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A Sneak Peek into Tarek Tohme’s Life: Lights. Camera. Action!



The film industry is said to be one of the most difficult careers to break into—and it is indeed. Countless people worldwide attempt to make their entry into the business with each coming day, whether it be submitting spec scripts, going to film school, applying to a writers’ room, or following in the footsteps of filmmakers like Robert Rodriguez in forging their own path from the ground up. With a countless swarm of fresh stories and talented new artists swimming through the unpredictable waters of Hollywood lore, survival and longevity are no easy tasks for a young Hollywood director or producer. But one individual who is thriving and effectively striving in Hollywood is a young artist named Tarek Tohme. A budding director, producer, and writer, Tarek has managed to make a mark for himself in spite of the unfavorable odds.

Born in Santa Monica, California, Tarek grew up in the Brentwood community of Los Angeles. He was born to an American mother and a Lebanese immigrant father, resulting in a vibrant and cross-cultural upbringing. Tarek’s father was the manager of pop icon Michael Jackson and orchestrated the music legend’s This is It comeback tour prior to Jackson’s passing in 2009. His father’s time in the business, as well as Tarek’s own memories with Michael, were two driving forces for his career choice. He was motivated to use the grief and artistic loss of Jackson’s passing as fuel to bring new art into the world.

A student of both the arts and business world, Tarek made it a point to complete his studies before entering a formal entertainment career. He attended Harvard-Westlake High School from 2006 to 2008. Tohme then graduated from the USC School of Cinematic Arts and USC Marshall School of Business in 2013 with degrees in film and television production and business administration. As a creative head, his approach to film and production is unique. Due to his out-of-the-box ideas, Tarek received the University of Southern California’s prestigious, four-year, full-tuition Trustee Scholarship. 

Tohme’s passion for making it to the silver screen was evident from his college days. His dedication and hard work opened the doors to his first job in the film industry. Whilst studying at the USC School of Cinematic Arts, he and seven other film students were selected to direct, The Labyrinth, a still-unreleased feature film anthology produced and financed by actor James Franco. Working on real movie sets among professionals was a great learning experience for Tohme. The project is still very close to his heart, as it was his first-ever feature directorial experience.

To be hand-picked for an opportunity many desired to have was a huge sign of the kind of talent that Tohme possessed even as a young student. He was well-aware of the cut-throat competition in Hollywood, which explains his consistent, good quality work. And he wasn’t one to waste any time. Tohme dove deep into the world of professional film production as soon as he graduated college. He served as a producer on several feature films, including “Don Quixote: The Ingenious Gentleman of La Mancha“; this was the first fully fleshed out narrative feature film ever produced at the USC School of Cinematic Arts. No longer a student at USC, Tohme was hired as lead producer, alongside his longtime producing partner and fellow USC alum Vanessa Pantley, to guide a team of 10 student directors.

Tohme then worked on In Dubious Battle, which starred such talented actors as Robert Duvall, Ed Harris, Bryan Cranston, and Selena Gomez. A multi-million-dollar feature film, it was another step upward for Tohme, whose career would take an even greater leap the following year.

Tarek’s Opportunity to Shine

“Nothing is more expensive than a missed opportunity.”

Tohme’s thirst to reach new heights of success and tell stories of his own required him to be a constant hustler. Hold On, his feature directorial debut, is one of the highlights of his career. He starred in the film, alongside the very talented Luis Guzman, Maurice Benard, Flavor Flav, Beth Grant, and rising star Micayla De Ette. Tarek bonded well with Micayla De Ette during the filmmaking process and now counts her among one of his closest friends. Hold On possesses a special place in Tohme’s heart, as it depicts the lives of struggling artists trying to make their mark in a difficult industry. Released in late 2019, the film proved to be a turning point in Tarek’s professional life. It received widespread media attention before being pulled from theaters due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A re-release is currently in the works for late Fall 2021.

The positive experience of Hold On motivated Tohme to take yet another step forward in diversifying his creative mark on the world. He recently expanded his production company, Stone Canyon Pictures, to include a Talent Management Division. Among his clients are Hold On star Micayla De Ette, as well as music legend and reality TV icon Flavor Flav.

Heavily inspired by his latest film, the decision to discover, foster, and cultivate talent seemed the right thing to do. Tohme’s second feature directorial effort, an untitled sports documentary, is being produced by his production company and anticipating a release in 2022. Production is currently underway in Los Angeles.

Tarek Tohme’s journey from a passionate film student to an ambitious filmmaker is nothing short of a remarkably inspiring journey. And the best part is—it has only just begun.

Allan Strauss has a proven track record of editing and formatting content for newspapers, magazines or any other publishing endeavor. His experience includes everything from layout design to public speaking on stages around the world.