Parisa Barani is an award-winning Iranian American Canadian film director. Born and raised in Tehran, she immigrated to Vancouver at the age of 16, and eventually settled in Los Angeles.


She completed proof of concept of her feature film HUMAN TERRAIN through AFI Directing Workshop for Women starring Maggie Siff and Sarita Choudhury and will be distributed by Refinery29/Shatterbox – a creative launch pad and development platform for female voices. This season’s selected filmmakers also include Chlöe Sevigny, whose short film screened at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival. Barani’s short is produced in association with Level Forward, a new studio founded by Abigail Disney and Adrienne Becker - a new entertainment company focused on mainstream inclusion and social impact. And recently was an official competition selection of Bentonville Film Festival founded by Geena Davis Institute.

She is one the participants of 2019/2021 Universal Directors Initiative. Barani is the recipient of the 2016 Tribeca Film Institute Sloan Grant, as well as a grant from the Neda Nobari Foundation. She was shortlisted and semi-finalist for the 2017 Sundance Screenwriters Lab, 2019 Sony Pictures Television Diversity Program and 2020-2021 NBC Female Forward/Emerging Director program.

Barani began her creative career working at the John Anson Ford Theatres in Los Angeles and the Arts Club Theatre Company in Vancouver. She was mentored by Anne Bogart at SITI’s Theatre Intensive Training at Skidmore College. Shortly thereafter, Barani’s award-winning short film Ablution screened at festivals worldwide, including Mill Valley Film Festival, Palm Springs International ShortFest and Diversity in Cannes Short Film Showcase.

She curated and spoken on panels such as a SXSW panel in 2017 titled “Authentic Muslim Voices Tell Their Stories.” and at San Francisco State University at the Iranian Diaspora Studies conference in 2019 titled “How Iranian-American Filmmakers Change the Dialogue”

Before venturing into directing, she earned an MBA and worked in distribution for Film and TV at numerous companies as the Director of International Sales. She is currently teaching at Latino Film Institute part of Youth Cinema Project. She is fluent in English and Farsi.

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