Anuradha Rana is an independent filmmaker, educator, mentor, and program leader who has produced and directed award-winning films internationally. Born and raised in India, her immigrant roots create the lens of a curious interloper at the heart of her films, where everyday characters push conventional boundaries.
Her work includes Language of Opportunity, a work-in-progress longitudinal documentary about how language informs personal and cultural identity. The film was selected for the 2019 Center for Asian American Media (CAAM) Producer’s Fellowship, and the Tribeca Film Institute Network in 2020. She was awarded the DePaul Humanities Center Fellowship and a Senior Research Fellowship by the American Institute of Indian Studies (AIIS), University of Chicago, funded by the US Department of State.
She recently produced and co-directed Musher, an inter-generational portrait of four women sled-dog racers in the Upper Midwest, which premiered at the Oscar-Qualifying Chicago International Children’s Film Festival and is screening at festivals around the country and beyond. Her previous films include the short documentary, counter//balance, which explores memory and loss as dancers with differing abilities craft an inclusive performance. The film won awards for Best Directing and Best Short Documentary while it screened at over 60 film festivals around the world; and Preserves, a poetic journey into an Ecuadorian rainforest that harbors some of the greatest biodiversity on Earth, two indigenous tribes living in voluntary isolation and 850 million barrels of oil - enough to fuel the world for nine days.
She is in production on Brewer, a short poetic documentary that highlights women in brewing and normalizes their presence in a male-dominated space. The film was one of five projects selected to pitch at Tribeca If/Then shorts; in development on fiction feature, The Punk Show in Chicago, which was selected for the Chicago Independent Producer’s Lab 2021 organized by Full Spectrum Features and the Department of Cultural and Special Events (DCASE), Chicago, and chosen for the Chicago Independent Producer’s Lab in 2021 and the CIX:Lab | Chicago International Film Festival and Cinema/Chicago in 2022.
She is part of the Steering Committee for the Asian American Documentary Network (ADOC) and a member of Brown Girls Doc Mafia (BGDM) and the Mezcla Media Collective. She was named one of Chicago Film’s 50 Screen Gems by Newcity Magazine in 2017 and 2019, a DCASE Esteemed Artist in 2021 and selected to ArtEquity’s BIPOC Leadership Cohort in 2021 and DOC NYC’s Documentary New Leaders’ cohort in 2022.
As part of her work as a mentor and program leader, Anuradha was formerly the Creative Lead for the Diverse Voices in Docs fellowship organized by documentary powerhouse, Kartemquin Films (Hoop Dreams, Minding the Gap, Unapologetic, Finding Yingying) and the Community Film Workshop of Chicago (CFW) where she designed and led the annual mentorship and film development program for BIPOC documentary filmmakers.
She has been invited to lead pitch development and coaching workshops for the Blackstar Film Festival, Center for Asian American Media, and the If/Then mentorship program.
She is an Associate Professor and Co-Chair of the Documentary Program at DePaul University’s School of Cinematic Arts, a Vincent de Paul Associate Professor in Film, and a recipient of the Excellence in Teaching Award. She serves on the Faculty Council, Society of Vincent de Paul's Global Justice Committee, and on the advisory board for the DePaul Migration Council and the DePaul Humanities Center.
Directing, Cinema Production, Interactive Media
Specific Research Area
Visual Storytelling; Non-fiction; Short Film; Transmedia; Indian non-fiction; International Filmmakers.
A-DOC, BGDM, Kartemquin Films