Ramin Bahrani

Ramin Bahrani Biography

Ramin Bahrani (born March 20, 1975) is an American director and screenwriter. Film critic Roger Ebert listed Bahrani's film Chop Shop as the 6th best film of the 2000s and hailed Bahrani as "the director of the decade." Bahrani was the recipient of the prestigious 2009 Guggenheim Fellowship, and was the subject of several international retrospectives including the MoMA in New York City, Harvard University, and the La Rochelle Film Festival in France. Bahrani is a professor of film directing at Columbia University's Graduate Film Program in New York City

Life and career

Bahrani was born in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, to Iranian parents. He received his BA from Columbia University in New York City. His first feature film, Man Push Cart (2005), premiered at the Venice Film Festival (2005) and screened at the Sundance Film Festival (2006). The film won over 10 international prizes, was released theatrically around the world, and was nominated for three Independent Spirit Awards.

Bahrani's second film Chop Shop (2007) premiered at the 2007 Director's Fortnight of the Cannes International Film Festival, and then screened at the Toronto International Film Festival (2007) and the Berlin International Film Festival (2008) before being released theatrically to wide and universal critical acclaim. Bahrani was awarded the prestigious 2007 Someone to Watch Award Independent Spirit Award. In 2008, he was nominated for Best Director Independent Spirit Award.

Goodbye Solo, Bahrani's third feature film, premiered as an official selection of the Venice Film Festival (2008) where it won the international film critic's FIPRESCI award for best film, and later had its North American premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival (2008). The film was called a "masterpiece" by numerous critics including Roger Ebert and A.O. Scott of The New York Times.

In 2009, he made a short film Plastic Bag which features the voice of German filmmaker Werner Herzog and an original score from Kjartan Sveinsson of the band Sigur Rs. Plastic Bag premiered as the opening night film of Corto Cortissimo in the Venice Film Festival where Bahrani was also on the jury for Best First Films. It later screened at Telluride and The New York Film Festival. In 2012 he made a music video of the song "Eg anda" for the Sigur Ros album Valtari.

Bahrani's fourth feature film, At Any Price (2013) stars Dennis Quaid, Zac Efron, Heather Graham, Kim Dickens, Clancy Brown and Chelcie Ross. It was selected to compete for the Golden Lion at the 69th Venice International Film Festival.

Bahrani's fifth feature film 99 Homes (2015) opened to strong reviews at the Venice Film Festival.

Bahrani recently wrapped shooting on his upcoming film for HBO, Fahrenheit 451, an adaptation of Ray Bradbury's 1953 dystopian novel of the same name.


Year Title Festivals Awards and Notes
2005 Man Push Cart
  • 62nd Venice International Film Festival - Giornate Degli Autori, Venice-Days 2005
  • 49th London International Film Festival - World Cinema 2005
  • 46th Thessaloniki International Film Festival - Main Competition 2005
  • 2006 Sundance Film Festival
  • 34th New Directors/New Films Festival - 2006
  • FIPRESCI International Critics Prize, London Film Festival
  • Independent Spirit Award Best First Film, Ramin Bahrani, Nominee
  • Independent Spirit Award Best Male Lead, Ahmad Razvi, Nominee
  • Independent Spirit Award Best Cinematography, Michael Simmonds, Nominee
  • Gotham Award, Breakthrough Director, Nominee
  • Special mention of Jury at 54th International Filmfestival Mannheim-Heidelberg
  • Audience Award at 46th Thessaloniki International Film Festival
  • Best First Film International Festival of Setubal, Portugal
  • Ecumenical Prize, Arsenals Film Festival, Latvia
  • Best Film Ojai Film Festival
  • Honorable Mention, Vienna Film Festival
2007 Chop Shop
  • Cannes Film Festival, Official Selection Director's Fortnight
  • Toronto Film Festival, Official Selection
  • A F I Film Festival, International Competition
  • Berlin Film Festival, Official Selection Generation
  • Gotham Award, Best Actor Alejandro Polanco, Nominee
  • Independent Spirit Award, Acura Someone To Watch Award 2007, Ramin Bahrani, Winner
  • Independent Spirit Award, Best Director, Ramin Bahrani, Nominee 2008
  • Independent Spirit Award, Best Cinematography, Michael Simmonds, Nominee 2008
2008 Goodbye Solo
  • Venice Film Festival, Official Selection
  • Toronto Film Festival, Official Selection
  • FIPRESCI International Critics Prize, Venice Film Festival
  • Independent Spirit Award, Producer Award, Jason Orans, Nominee 2008
  • Gotham Award, Best Actor Soulymane Sy Savan, Nominee 2009
2009 Plastic Bag
  • Venice Film Festival, Corto Cortissimo, Opening Night Film
  • Telluride Film Festival, Official Selection
  • New York Film Festival, Official Selection
  • SXSW Film Festival, Official Selection
2013 At Any Price
  • Venice Film Festival, Official Competition
  • Telluride Film Festival, Official Selection
  • Toronto Film Festival, Official Selection
  • SXSW Film Festival, Official Selection
  • Tribeca Film Festival, Official Selection
  • Nominated for the Golden Lion
2015 99 Homes
  • Nominated for the Golden Lion
  • Venice International Film Festival - SIGNIS Award Honorable Mention
  • Venice International Film Festival - Young Jury Members - Best Film
2018 Fahrenheit 451
  • HBO Television Film


  • FIPRESCI Prize, London Film Festival (2005)
  • Someone to Watch Independent Spirit Award (2008)
  • FIPRESCI Prize, Venice Film Festival (2008)
  • Guggenheim Fellowship (2009)
  • United States Artists Fellow award (2010)

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