Rania Ajami is a trendsetting, award-winning writer and director who has just completed the groundbreaking film Asylum Seekers. The film is one of the first to use the new, revolutionary digital Red Camera. Asylum Seekers is a free-wheeling, dark comedy of the modern world, in which six men and women, fed up with the abuse they suffer in "normal" society, seek to escape from it, and compete to find a spot as one of the inmates of a prized mental institution.
Rania is now starting work on My Eyes Through Carnage, a Heart of Darkness-style thriller about two women who are embroiled in a search for a missing girl in an African desert territory. This will be the first international film to shoot in Libya since the 1960s.
In 2004 she was one of 8 directors cited in Filmmaker Magazine’s ‘25 New Faces of Indie Film’. Earlier that spring, Rania’s work was featured in the ‘Public Lives’ column of The New York Times and other national newspapers. Her feature documentary about Qaddafi’s female bodyguards, Shadows of a Leader, is the first Western documentary shot in Libya and the first critical work on Qaddafi’s elite bodyguard corps. Shadows of a Leader, which has been sold internationally to more than twenty countries (including Israel, Canada, Germany, and Japan), won Best Student Documentary at the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival (2004), and was selected for competition at many prestigious film festivals.
Rania’s award-winning short films Katalog and When The Woods Fell Silent Again continue to travel the festival circuit. Her directing work also includes the plays The Naughty Painter and his Irresistible Neurotic Nymphets (2002) performed Off-Broadway in Manhattan, and The Giant Swearing Beard (2001), which received the Francis LeMoyne Page Award for Outstanding Theater at Princeton University.
Rania is a graduate of Princeton, where she studied English and Theater, and received her MFA from New York University’s Tisch Graduate Film Program, where she held an Alberto Vilar Global Fellowship in the Performing Arts and a Film Program Fellowship.