Director, Screenwriter and Producer
Gideon "Gidi" Raff is an Israeli film and television director, screenwriter, and producer. Most recently Gideon created, wrote, and directed the Netflix limited series THE SPY about the life of Israeli spy Eli Cohen, starring Sacha Baron Cohen, which has received critical acclaim since its release. Gideon also wrote and directed the 2019 Netflix movie THE RED SEA DIVING RESORT, starring Chris Evans, about the true story of an undercover operation to help Ethiopian-Jewish refugees escape to Israel.
Gideon is best known for his creation of the Channel 2 thriller drama series PRISONERS OF WAR. He was born in Jerusalem to a Jewish family, and after serving three years as a paratrooper in the Israel Defense Forces, he completed a degree in film at Tel Aviv University. From there, Raff moved to Los Angeles and in 2003 completed a graduate degree in directing at AFI. His graduation short film The Babysitter premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York, which led to director Doug Liman hiring him as director's assistant on the 2005 film MR. & MRS. SMITH.
Raff made his feature-length directorial debut in 2007 with THE KILLING FLOOR, a psychological thriller which he also co-wrote and co-produced. 2009 saw Raff return home for the production of PRISONERS OF WAR. The series became the country's highest-rated drama of all time, and went on to win several Israeli television awards.
An American version of the series was developed by 20th Century Fox Television based on the strength of the script alone. This resulted in the acclaimed series HOMELAND, developed by former 24 producers and writers Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa in cooperation with Raff. He acted as an executive producer on the Showtime hit and co-wrote the pilot episode.
Raff lives with his husband Udi Peleg in Los Angeles. He is an animal rights activist, and became vegan in 2007.