Rana Kazkaz, Syrian-American, cofounded her production company Synéastes Films in 2010 which focuses on stories from the Middle East. Rana is the author and director of four short films and is developing several feature films, including The Translator and Love-45. Her last short film, Mare Nostrum, has been selected in over 70 film festivals, including Sundance, has won 24 international prizes, and is on the short-list for Best Short Film at the French Academy Cesar Awards in 2018. Independently Rana works as a story editor and is co-producing two documentaries. Rana and Anas Khalaf have two children and live in Doha after having left Damascus as a result of the on-going Syrian conflict. Rana holds an MFA in Acting from Carnegie Mellon University/Moscow Art Theater and attended the Directing Workshop for Women at the American Film Institute. Presently, she is Assistant Professor in Residence at Northwestern University in Qatar.