YDA JURY 2018: Ali Ali

Ali Ali
Film Director
Good People
Cairo, Egypt

Ali Ali is an acclaimed director from Cairo, Egypt and former Executive Creative Director
and founder of the independent agency Elephant. He is one of the region’s most soughtafter
directors, and was recently named by the Gunn Report as one of the ten most
awarded Directors in the world today.

With over six Cannes Lions under his belt, as well as the coveted yellow pencil for direction
at last years D&AD awards. His other Cannes Lions include a Silver Lion for Panda
Cheese in 2010. With more than 90 million views, “Never Say No to Panda” was named
one of the most watched TV spots of all time by The Guardian.

He initially earned a degree in computer science from the American University in Cairo.
However, preferring storyboards to motherboards, he quickly abandoned a programming
career to study Art Direction and Graphic Design in Miami. His first job was in
2003 as an Art Director with D’Arcy Bucharest. Over the next few years he built an impressive
career as creative director for some of the world’s top agencies – Leo Burnett,
JWT and McCann Erickson – before topping it off as ECD of DDB Berlin.

In 2010, he founded Elephant with his creative partner Maged Nasser, with the two-man
shop quickly becoming the region’s most awarded agency. In 2011 it was named one of
the three most exciting new agencies in the world by the Cannes Lions Festival.

Despite the agency’s success, Ali quit the ad world to focus on his directing career fulltime
in 2012. Born in Egypt and raised all over the world, his work has an attentiveness
to local realities as well as an international sensibility. He is currently repped by Sonny
in London, Anorak in Germany and Carnibird in France.

He spends his time between Cairo and Athens.