Ziri Rideaux started this lifetime in the small Bavarian village called Wettstetten as Ziri Barbara Wagner, the oldest of two daughters of Transylvanian immigrants to Germany. Her childhood was spent with horses, sports and arguing with her parents. She eventually left Bavaria with two master degrees in International Politics and Journalism/Film to seek a better life elsewhere. Early on, Ziri sensed that the small town of Wettstetten was cramping her style – so she moved to ever larger cities and embarked on her long, windy journey: reoccurring elements were travel, her political activism, shamanism and her resulting desire to communicate to the world what she had learnt.
She worked a few years as a TV-journalist in Berlin, hosted her own TV show and soon became a TV- war correspondent and traveled the world for years, witnessing unspeakable human desperation, mainly in the Third World. During this time, Ziri got involved in a clandestine research that lead to her disillusionment with the mainstream news media and its refusal to contribute “truth” to our daily lives. She left her job and moved to Los Angeles where she set up shop doing award-winning documentaries and feature films, mostly focusing on political, social and environmental issues. Ziri wrote/ directed/produced the feature film BACKGAMMON which made it to Cannes, where she received an award from Prince Albert of Monaco. Back in L.A., the versatile filmmaker also worked as a horse-whisperer, flamenco guitarist and tattoo artist. Ziri continued to pursue her call as a Shaman, spending many nights in the desert and conversing with spirits and ancestors, soliciting their strength and advice. In 2001 she opened the photo agency PICTUREPERFECT which became one of the top 20 celebrity photo agencies in the world. At the same time, Ziri established herself as a painter, comic artist and poet.
In the following years, Ziri’s parents and her only sister developed cancer and died. Ziri spent many months at their deathbed, taking care of them and accompanying their dying process. This experience inspired Ziri to develop the feature script FIRE IS MY FRIEND. The story deals with crossing communication barriers between the living and the dead, based on her own experiences. In 2012, Ziri started FRIENDS, the first alternative funeral home in the U.S. (www.friendsaf.com) as a licensed Death Midwife and Funeral Director. In 2016, Ziri started shooting the documentary-series 4EVER about new ways to approach Death and Dying.
Ziri is currently gearing up to shoot the feature film PROJECT HAMMER, a political thriller about her true-life experiences as a war correspondent in Third World countries. The film intends to shed light on the secret agendas behind power politics, robber-baron economics and the complicit silence of the media. Ziri is also in the process of raising funds for an INSTITUTE FOR FORGIVENESS AND HEALING. This project is meant to contribute awareness to the growing wave of positive change in people – while the desperate elites are creating war and mistrust to mask their decline.