As an award-winning filmmaker and Associate Professor at Northwestern University Qatar, Rana's work has received critical acclaim at prestigious global film festivals, including Cannes, Sundance, and Toronto Film Festival. Rana holds an MFA from Carnegie Mellon University/Moscow Art Theater, a 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), Mare Nostrum (2016), Searching for the Translator (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).
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.
Rana's work has been featured in various media outlets, including an article in the French paper Le Monde written by Benlamin Barthes, which highlights the impact of Rana's work on Syrian storytelling. In addition, The New York Times has named The Translator as one of five action films to stream now, the Translator has received a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, a testament to the film's exceptional storytellig.