Walid Chaya is changing the course of diversity in Hollywood. Despite the popularity and fame of American movies and TV throughout the world, the industry is yet to provide proper representation to artists of diverse backgrounds. Only about 1% of TV actors are Middle Eastern, North African according to a study by MENA Arts Advocacy Coalition (MAAC).
He aims to change this with his Diversity Program which guides specific talent from diverse backgrounds and regions across the world. He strives for equality and representation of diverse actors on Hollywood film and TV, providing them with a voice.
Walid helps emerging actors to grow and achieve their goals, with many placing with renowned Hollywood talent agencies and booking roles in L.A. film and television.
Walid uses his role as an actor, director, and writer to promote diversity in films and TV. He is working on several projects for and about Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BlPOC) which he can’t wait to show the world. These stories feature popular topics that he has experienced as a Middle Eastern male, including human rights and equality, refugee crisis, family values and traditions, arranged marriages, coming out, and “the American dream” in today’s world. One of the action dramas that he has been developing “Breaking The I.C.E.” revolves around a displaced Syrian lawyer who seeks refuge in LA and is on a run. It depicts the struggle of an immigrant in America.
Walid also wrote, directed, and starred in Driving Ms. Saudi, which depicted the struggles of a son teaching his Saudi mom how to drive. The film followed the political development that allowed women to drive. Through his short film, Walid exhibited support for women empowerment in KSA. The movie earned the Best Short Film award in Dubai’s prestigious WOW Mid-East Film Fair, Silver Medal for Best Comedy Short at the Asia South East-Short Film Festival
In addition to playing a significant role to promote diversity on screen, Walid has great experience directing stage productions Off-Broadway in NYC, DC and LA as well as internationally through his company Broadway in Beirut. His aim is to enhance entertainment in the Middle East by connecting Middle-East-based producers/directors to resources from NY/LA. He has also directed various regional productions including the Off-Broadway premiere of Law & Order: NRU (2017), We Are Monsters the Musical (2015), and the DC premiere of “Disney’s “High School Musical” Live on Stage (2008).
Walid Chaya is an award-winning actor-director and founder of Studio For Performing Arts LA and Moonlit Wings Productions; 2x winner for “Best Drama Instruction” and bags the position of “Best Arts Program” by Washington Family Magazine. He is an immigrant from Lebanon and struggled his way to being on top of the game. Being immensely passionate about filmmaking, he has always been a creative soul.
“I love that films bring people of all backgrounds together. From the audition room to filming on set, the collaborative nature of my work makes it so special to me. The cherry on top is sharing these projects with the world so people can watch, connect and cultivate a conversation with one another.”