1. Ramin Bahrani, Director

    Born and raised in North Carolina, American filmmaker Ramin Bahrani’s first feature film, Man Push Cart premiered at the Venice International Film Festival (2005) and later screened at Sundance (2006). The film won more than 10 international prizes, including the FIPRESCI international critics prize at the London Film Festival (2005), before being released around the world to wide critical acclaim. The film was nominated for three Independent Spirit Awards (2007) including Best First Film.

    Bahrani’s second film, Chop Shop, premiered at the 2007 Cannes International Film Festival, and then screened at Toronto (2007) and Berlin (2008). Chop Shop was released worldwide to critical acclaim, winning several prizes including the Acura “Someone to Watch” Independent Spirit Award (2008) for Bahrani. In 2009 the film was nominated for two Independent Spirit Awards, including Best Director.

    In 2008 Bahrani premiered his third film, Goodbye Solo, as an official selection of the Venice Film Festival and won the FIPRESCI international critics prize for Best Film. The film was called a “near-masterpiece” by A.O. Scott of The New York Times, and Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun Times wrote that “Ramin Bahrani is the new great American director.”

    His latest film, a short subject entitled Plastic Bag (2009), premiered as the opening night film of Corto Cortissimo in the Venice Film Festival, where Bahrani was also on the jury for Best First Film. The film features the voice of legendary filmmaker Werner Herzog and an original score from Kjartan Sveinsson of Sigur Rós.

    In early 2009, Bahrani was a recipient of the prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship and was also the subject of several international retrospectives including the MoMA in New York City, Harvard University, and La Rochelle Film Festival in France.