Ariel Schulman

Ariel Schulman

With his co-directing and producing partner Henry Joost, filmmaker Ariel Schulman explored issues of identity and morality in a social media-driven, digitally documented society in such documentaries and features as "Catfish" (2010), "Paranormal Activity 3" (2011) and "Nerve" (2016). Born in New York City, he met and befriended production partner Henry Joost while both were in high school. Schulman graduated from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts in 2004, the same year he launched his first production company with his brother, Yaniv "Nev" Schulman. Two years later, he teamed with Joost to form a second production entity, Supermarché, produced commercials and short films before venturing into feature-length projects in 2010 with the documentary "Catfish." The controversial film, which followed Nev Schulman as he attempted to determine the authenticity of an online admirer, won critical praise and led to a slew of new and diverse film projects. Joost and Schulman followed "Catfish" with "NY Export: Opus Jazz" (PBS, 2010), a filmed version of a 1958 ballet by Jerome Robbins, then ventured into mainstream dramatic fare with "Paranormal Activity 3," one of the more successful entries in the found footage supernatural horror franchise. Schulman and Joost soon returned to more independent/arthouse minded fare with the documentary short "A Brief History of John Baldessari" (2012), about the conceptual artist's life and work. Joost and Schulman also returned to the "Paranormal Activity" series with "Paranormal Activity 4" (2012) before focusing on short form projects with a slew of high-profile subjects, including "Cover Girl" (2014) with Lena Dunham, "A Year of Ping-Pong" with "New York Times" crossword puzzle creator Will Shortz attempting to film himself playing table tennis for an entire calendar year, and "Australia Psycho" (2015), a satirical look at actress Margot Robbie's ascent to stardom for The following year, they co-directed two suspense/horror efforts with online/documentation: "Nerve," with Emma Roberts as a high schooler participating in a dangerous online game of daring challenges, and "Viral" (2016), with Analeigh Tipton as a woman documenting a disease outbreak that decimates half the world's population.