Versatile film actor Raz Degan worked with acclaimed directors Oliver Stone, Julie Taymor, Robert Altman and Italian maestro Ermanno Olmi, among others.
As a cinematographer he was involved with the documentary "The Green Prince", which won the Audience Award for World Cinema at Sundance Film Festival.
Raz’s feature documentary “The Last Shaman” was executive produced by Leonardo di Caprio and is currently available on Netflix globally.
Discovered in New York in the 90’s, Raz’s career commenced as a model featured in international publications and campaigns for brands such as Jägermeister, Pepe Jeans, and Loreal to mention a few. His popularity rocketed across Europe where he became a mainstream celebrity, particularly in Italy, appearing regularly on TV shows and series. Life in the limelight paved the way to acting opportunities in theaters and TV films, and later he landed roles in international feature films.
Raz earned a cameo role in Robert Altman's film ”Prêt-à-Porter”. In 2004, he secured the role of Darius III in Oliver Stone's film “Alexander” alongside A-list cast members Colin Farrell, Angelina Jolie and Anthony Hopkins . In 2005 Degan played the lead role in Ermanno Olmi's film “One Hundred Nails” which opened the 2007 Cannes Film Festival. In 2008-2009, he continued to star in various Italian films playing different roles including hero and villain. In 2009 he co-starred in Barbarossa, starring Dutch actor Rutger Hauer in the title role.
After years spent in front of the cameras, Raz turned the camera 180 degrees in search of his own artistic expression. This brought him back on the road, traveling the world in search of human stories that were bigger than fiction. His passion for photography and film-making led to a vast body of works that include commissioned and self-produced works.
BEHIND THE CAMERA
In 2010 Degan developed content and hosted a documentary TV series, “Mistero” that aired primetime for the leading Italian national broadcaster. The show investigated topics related to the paranormal, mysticism, conspiracy theories and pseudo-science in general. Degan collaborated on the show for two seasons (over 20 episodes).
"THE LAST SHAMAN"
While traveling through the Amazon his curiosity for Ayahuasca, medicinal plant healing and the socio-political exploitation of the Amazonian curanderos drove Degan to investigate the phenomenon deeper. His quest led to his directorial debut of the feature documentary ”The Last Shaman” which was picked up by Netflix and executive produced by Leonardo di Caprio/Appian Way.
Born and raised in an Israeli Kibbutz at the borders of Lebanon, Syria and Jordan, and thereafter serving in the Israeli military forces, Degan developed a natural propensity for action from a young age. He fueled his passion for adventure by traveling to over 100 countries including some of the most dangerous territories in the world. From Tajikistan through Afghanistan toward Tibet and Nepal, he crossed the Silk Road on foot, ventured across Africa, Asia and South America, and lived extended periods in the Peruvian Amazon.
Through his travels, Degan honed his survival skills that later helped him win the Italian edition of “Survivor” in 2017, and was commissioned his own TV series ”Raz and the Tribe” in 2018, in the roles of executive producer, writer, co-director and host for SKY International Network.
In 2018 SKY Networks Italy aired Raz’s TV reality-docu series ”Raz and the Tribe”. In the show, Raz travels to far corners of the globe to live with indigenous tribes, immersing himself in their culture to become one of them. In each episode, he takes a celebrity guest star with him to explore new cultures and to document rights of passage. The action-packed series opened discussions and generated a lot of buzz on social outlets as it addressed controversial themes. It was greatly received by critics and public alike, earning the network 3 to 4 times the channel’s average ratings.
"RAZ AND THE TRIBE"
Raz’s body of work spans wildlife and landscape photography as well as human migrations, vanishing cultures, ancient traditions and contemporary culture alike. His photographs have been collected over a 20 year period across all continents and has been featured in publications and exhibitions internationally also garnering him various awards and industry recognition.
Raz Degan was born on August 25, 1968 on an Israeli kibbutz to American mother and Israeli father. He speaks English, Italian, and Hebrew fluently.
Through his extensive travels, Degan honed an acute ability to relate with the lesser fortunate. An active humanitarian, Degan has been involved with Fondazione Telethon Italia since over 10 years, and with UNHCR since 2017 with the Educate a Child in Syria Project.
OTHER PASSIONS AND PROJECTS
Following extensive travels to India, Raz dedicated much time to becoming a Yogi and learning the Hindu philosophies. Raz also supported various emerging artists in his art gallery in Milan, Italy. Between his travels and creative projects, Raz is growing his organic farm on his property in the south of Italy.
Sorellina e il principe del sogno, television, 1996
Coppia omicida, 1998
Le ragazze di piazza di Spagna, television miniseries 1998
Alexander, 2004, in the role of Darius III
Film Privato, television, 2004
Centochiodi, (One Hundred Nails) 2007
Barbarossa, 2009, in the role of Alberto da Giussano
Omamamia 2011 as Silvio
Forces spéciales, 2011 in the role of Ahmed Zaief
The Green Prince, 2014 - cinematographer
The Last Shaman, 2016 - director, cinematographer, writer, producer
Raz and the Tribe, 2017-18
The Lost Sadhu, in production - director, DOP, writer, producer