Shmulik Maoz is an Israeli film director, notable for his controversial 2009 film, Lebanon that won the Leone d'Oro at the 66th Venice International Film Festival.
Maoz, also known as Maoz Shmuel or Samuel Maoz, was born in Tel Aviv. At the age of 20, he was a gunner in one of the first Israeli tanks to enter Lebanon in the 1982 Lebanon War.
After the war, he trained as a cameraman at the Academy of Art Beit Tzvi and did art direction in film and television productions. As a director, Maoz was associated with the production of documentary films such as the ARTE production of Total Eclipse (2000) with Yevgenya Dodina, as well as television programs and theatrical responsibilities.
In 2007, Maoz began the process for Lebanon, his first feature film project. The script, based solely on Maoz's personal experiences, describes the traumatic experiences of a four-man Israeli tank crew in a Lebanese village early in the war.
At the end of July 2009 for his feature film debut Maoz received an invitation to the competition of the 66th Venice Film Festival, where he won the Golden Lion, after having been rejected by the Berlin and Cannes film festivals. In the same year the film was nominated in ten categories for the Ophir, Israel's national film awards.