Cedar was born in New York but grew up in Israel, where his parents emigrated in 1973. His father, Howard Cedar, is a professor of molecular biology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In Israel, Joseph Cedar studied philosophy and theater history at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He completed his studies at New York University. In 2001, he was with his award- winning feature film Time of Favor his debut as a screenwriter and director. Since his second feature film, Camp Fire, the 2005 was the official candidate of Israel for an Oscar nomination, he has an excellent reputation and is considered one of the most prestigious Israeli film directors. In 2011, Cedar intellectual comedy Hearat Shulayim ( English language title: Footnote ), which earned him his first invitation to compete in the International Film Festival of Cannes, where it won the award for best screenplay.
- 2001: Time of Favor ( Ha - Hesder )
- 2004: Campfire ( Medurat Hashevet )
- 2007: Beaufort
- 2011: Footnote ( Hearat shulaim )
- Berlinale 2004: Don Quixote - Award of the FICC, Special Mention for Campfire
- Berlinale 2007: Silver Bear for Beaufort in the category " Best Director "