Parisa Barani is an Iranian-Canadian-American film director. She was born and raised in Tehran, then immigrated to Vancouver at the age of 16, and eventually settled in Los Angeles. Barani is currently enrolled in the AFI Directing Workshop for Women (Class of 2019) and in post production for short version of her feature which stars Maggie Siff and Sarita Choudhury as the leads. Her feature narrative film Human Terrain is in development with Level Forward, a new studio venture that aims to focus on backing projects driven by women and people of color. She is also the recipient of the 2016 Tribeca Film Institute Sloan Grant and was shortlisted for the 2017 Sundance Screenwriters Lab.
Barani began her creative career in theatre working at the John Anson Ford Theatres in Los Angeles and the Arts Club Theatre Company in Vancouver. She was also mentored by Anne Bogart at SITI’s Theatre Intensive Training at Skidmore College, learning both Viewpoints and Suzuki Method techniques. Shortly thereafter, Barani’s award-winning short film ABLUTION (Wuzu) screened at festivals worldwide, including the 38th Annual Mill Valley Film Festival and was an official selection of the Diversity in Cannes Short Film Showcase. She has spoken on numerous panels, most recently at SXSW 2017, where she curated the panel “Authentic Muslim Voices Tell Their Stories,” to advocate for diversity and radically authentic storytelling. She is also an active member of Women In Film & Television Vancouver.
Before venturing into directing, she earned an MBA from CSULB and found employment in film and TV distribution, working at numerous companies as a director of international sales. She is fluent in English and Farsi.