Ali Moallem was born on December 1962 in Tehran, Iran. He spent his childhood in his father’s hometown of Damghan. He completed his high school studies in Mathematics and Physics major at Sokhan High School in Tehran. He was graduated from the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting University of Tehran in Film Directing major and received his M.A. in Art Research major at University of Fine Arts in Tehran.
Moallem has taught cinema at several colleges and centers for teaching film directing. He has also been a member of several councils for production, distribution and research in the field of cinema affiliated with cinematic centers like Soureh Cinema Development Organization, Film Museum of Iran, House of Cinema, and Culture and Islamic Guidance Ministry. He is a founding member and three-time president of the Iranian Society of Film Critics and Writers, two-time inspector of House of Cinema, founding member of the Support Foundation for National Cinema of Iran, vicepresident and spokesman of House of Cinema (2006-2008), and a member of Iranian Cinema’s Producers Union’s board of directors.
He has also been an active member of jury and selecting committees of several international film festivals, namely Fajr International Film Festival (seven editions), the Pyongyang International Film Festival, Iranian Young Cinema Society, Student Film Festivals, Family Film Festivals, the first Film and Quality Festival, Rooyesh Film Festival, and the City International Film Festival (two editions).
Ali Moallem started his press activities as a writer and critic in 1985 with magazines like Soroush, Keyhan Farhangi. He was a member of writers’ council of the first edition of Farhang va Cinema (Culture and Cinema) magazine. In 1992, Moallem established the monthly specialized magazine of Donyaye Tassvir (Picture World).
Since then he has worked as the founder, manager, and editor-in-chief of the magazine, which has played a great role in raising the volume of materials in cinematic literature of Iran. After 19 years of publication, Donyaye Tassvir magazine is ranked among the prominent specialized magazines in the field of cinema. It also enjoys the highest circulation in the country and regular contribution by top cinematic critics and writers. Publication of the world’s first cinematic magazine for children and young people as a part of the magazine and special issues of Donyaye Tassvir in English are among other activities related to Donyaye Tassvir magazine which is also a member of the International Centre of Films for Children and Young People (CIFEJ).
Moallem started working at television as producer, director, host of cinematic programs in 1989. Since then he has produced several programs which have been aired by different channels of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB).
He is also the founding director of the Cinema and Television Award Ceremony of Donyaye Tassvir (Hafez Statute). The ceremony is the first cinematic ceremony of the private sector in Iran and is dedicated to honor the top names of cinema and television. The 12th edition of the awards was held on July 26, 2011 in Tehran. His first film as a producer was Shokaran / Hemlock (Behrouz Afkhami, 2000) in which Moallem cooperated as a partner-producer. Then came Gav Khuni / The River’s End (Behrouz Afkhami, 2004) which was his first film as an independent producer. The movie was warmly received at Cannes Film Festival (Directors’ Fortnight section) and Fajr International Film Festival. Moallem’s second film as producer was Marriage Iranian Style (Hassan Fathi, 2006) which was screened in Iran and several foreign countries, including France, the United States, and United Arab Emirates. His latest film as a producer, Aal (Bahram Bahramian, 2009) was the first joint cinematic production of Iran and Armenia. Ali Moallem is currently working on a new project named Cyrus the Great and Devalpa as a producer.