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Filmmaker | Professor

Rana Kazkaz is an award-winning filmmaker and associate professor of communication in residence at Northwestern University Qatar, where she teaches narrative filmmaking. Kazkaz’s films have been recognized at the world’s leading film festivals including Cannes, Sundance, Toronto, Tallinn, Tribeca, and Abu Dhabi.

She received her MFA from Carnegie Mellon University/Moscow Art Theater, BA from Oberlin College, and a certificate from the American Film Institute’s Directing Workshop for Women.

With a focus on Syrian stories, her producing, screenwriting, and directing portfolio includes The Translator (2020), which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, Mare Nostrum (2016) which was selected in over 100 international film festivals, including Sundance, and won more than 40 awards, Searching for the Translator, a documentary (2016), Deaf Day (2011), and Kemo Sabe (2007).

Her first feature film The Translator (2020) won several grants and development awards including the Arte Award at L’Atelier de la Cinefondation at the Cannes Film Festival (2017), the CNC Award at Meetings on the Bridge at the Istanbul Film Festival (2017) and a Tribeca Alumni Grant (2018). 

Article in the French paper Le Monde written by Benjamin Barthes:

The New York Times names The Translator one of five action films to stream now -

The Translator receives a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes:

Her current film projects include The Hakawati’s Daughter and Honest Politics.

In 2021, she was invited to become a member of the Académie des César and was awarded the Roberta Buffett Visiting Professorship at Northwestern University. In 2023, she was awarded a MacDowell Fellowship.

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