Experiencing Interruptions?


Back in 1996, while lying in bed with his girlfriend, Ariel Semmel was abducted by extra-terrestrials. The incident jolted him into a journey around the world, to prove that ET’s are active on our planet. His incredible findings connect him to memories of his past, marked by 24 years of obsessive self-documentation. This footage turns into a wild, rollercoaster ride of a film, PARANO.

Ariel grew up in the overbearing shadow of a mother, who survived the Holocaust, and came of age in the nightclubs of Tel Aviv. A young motorcyclist, who became addicted to drugs, booze, and casual sex, he was also a successful director of television commercials, who abandoned his career to shoot PARANO.
As a partner and father, he watched his family life collapse all around him. Then, as he approached midlife, Ariel discovered that he was adopted, and that his father was a dangerous criminal. Yet, during all that time, he kept hearing voices in his head, leaving him no peace or quiet.

This is a very revealing, dizzying emotional journey into the innermost crevices of one man, who just wants to understand the meaning of his own existence.

  • Ariel Semmel
  • Ariel Semmel
  • Ariel Semmel
  • Ariel Semmel
    Key Cast
  • Anati Landau Semmel
    Key Cast
  • Dr. Shosh Zimerman
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Feature
  • Genres:
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 20 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    October 22, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    700,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
    France, Israel, United States
  • Language:
    English, Hebrew
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Jerusalem Film Festival
    July 28, 2019
    JFF Winner- Best Director
Director Biography - Ariel Semmel

Born 1964. Quit school at 16, Autodidactic since. Bartender, 2 years in Paris. Fashion photographer, Cinematographer, 18 years in NYC. Yellow cab driver, Motorcycle racer, Visionary and multidisciplinary producer/director with over 20 years of experience and achievements in international projects.
Currently live in Tel Aviv and finally managed to quit smoking.

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Director Statement

I was adopted by a holocaust survivor and abducted by extra-terrestrial beings, from my bed in the middle of the night. Nobody believed my story. Oh, that mainstream certainty that human kind is all alone, in this endless enigmatic universe we live in.
PARANO is a mad and wild ride through my bizarre life. My name is Ariel Semmel.