Rana Kazkaz, an award-winning filmmaker, is an assistant professor of communication in residence at Northwestern Qatar who 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, and BA from Oberlin College. She earned certificates from the American Film Institute’s Directing Workshop for Women and the National Theater Institute in Waterford, Connecticut.

With a focus on Syrian stories, her producing, screenwriting, and directing portfolio includes Mare Nostrum (2016) which has been selected in over 100 international film festivals and won more than 30 awards, Searching for the Translator, a documentary (2016), Ham (2013), Deaf Day (2011), Exquisite Corpse (2009), 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). The Translator will be distributed internationally in late 2021.

Her current film projects include Honest Politics and The Foolishness of God: My Forgiveness Journey with Desmond Tutu.

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.