top of page

Tamar Halpern has written and directed twelve features, most recently female-driven thrillers for A&E Networks. In 2023, she signed a two-book deal with Diogenes Press in Zurich Switzerland and her first novel, California Girl, was published.  Halpern was hired by HBOMax to adapt the YA book The Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus. Previously, Halpern adapted Some of Tim’s Stories, a novel by S.E. Hinton (The Outsiders, Rumble Fish) and is attached to direct.


Prior work includes  adapting and directing Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life, starring Mira Sorvino, Michael Urie and Joe Pantoliano. Her feature documentary Llyn Foulkes One Man Band, about the forgotten LA painter, premiered in competition at LA Film Festival, had an Oscar qualifying run in 25 cities in the US and abroad, and is available on Amazon, iTunes and Netflix.  “A joy to watch," The Hollywood Reporter. “Undeniably fascinating,” Variety


She wrote and directed the award-winning feature Shelf Life,  called "a whip smart film that taps into a fresh source for American comedy” by Variety and introducing Betsy Brandt (Breaking Bad). Shelf Life premiered on Netflix. Halpern's comedy short Death, Taxes and Apple Juice has been invited to 40+ festivals, winning 16 awards including Boston Women in Comedy.

She optioned and adapted the book A Mango Shaped Space by New York Times bestselling author Wendy Mass, about a 13 year old girl with synesthesia. As the first person authorized by the Roald Dahl estate to write in his voice, she created a slate of interactive stories for Nestle. Her script about the legendary journalist Nellie Bly was developed for Paramount Studios and optioned by Darren Aronofsky’s Protozoa Pictures and Sobini Films. Her script Ezzy Fish was on the Black List, a Nicholl’s semi finalist, IFP/NY Top Ten finalist, Slamdance Finalist and accepted into Film Independent’s Producer and Director Labs.

She's the recipient of the Paramount Pictures Fellowship and the winner of the Jack Oakie Comedy Screenwriting Award, while completing her MFA in film from USC. She directed a VR project for EventBrite at the Los Angeles Women's March and has directed segments of Look What She Did, a non-profit dedicated to important women who have been forgotten or ignored by history. On the international front, Halpern traveled to Amman, Jordan to teach filmmaking and screenwriting to Jordanians and Syrian refugees in partnership with American Film Showcase,, the US Dept of Education and USC School of Cinematic Arts.


Thanks to her grandfather, a civil rights activist twice arrested for marching with the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, Halpern has been inspired to aim her writing and directing toward social change. She researched and penned a TV series about forgotten civil rights figure Clyde Kennard.


On stage, she's directed for  One Axe Plays and written and directed for Public Assembly, Hero Theatre and In House Theatre. Her writing has been featured on stage by the The Roots and Wings Project as well as the Houston Coalition Against Hate As a proud supporter and alumna of Hedgebrook, a funded writing retreat where women author change, Halpern's fiction and non fiction writing has been published in Joyland, Huffington Post, Retro, SheRa, ByLine, Ms in the Biz, Gulf Coast and Sundress, winning the Best Short Fiction award.


She has taught screenwriting at USC and teaches directing at Chapman University. Her previous work writing and directing commercials included clients such as DeBeers, Pepsi, YSL, EventBrite, Amazon and Armani. She got her start writing and producing for Bob Abel’s seminal interactive multimedia company and Knowledge Adventure, leading her to become a founder of  CitySearch.

Her mother, Abigail Gumbiner, was a visual artist who handsculpted photography and was arrested many times for civil disobediance and protest. Her father was a theoretical physicist and her son, Jordan Halpern Schwartz, is a composer for HBO, Vice, Showtime, as well as documentary and film. Her husband casts bronze sculpture for  a stable of Los Angeles artists and is simply amazing. Her 80 pound dog, Mr. Balloons, is a natural born comedian. 


Select  press: Film IndependentComediva, Duexieme Page, Huffington Post and the Los Angeles Times.

bottom of page