Joseph Cedar was born in New York in 1968, and immigrated to Israel with his family at the age of six. Cedar has a Yeshiva background, studied philosophy and theater history at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and is an NYU Film School graduate.
His first feature film Time of Favor (Hahesder) won six Israeli Academy Awards, including Best Picture 2000, and was the number one box-office hit that year in Israel of that year. Campfire (Medurat Hashevet) is Cedar's second feature film. Cedar currently lives in Tel-Aviv with his wife Vered Kellner, a journalist, and their daughter.