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Under the Radar: The Films of Ramin Bahrani

Through a set of seemingly disenfranchised characters, writer/director Bahrani uncovers the rich lives of those living on the edge in the contemporary United States. By working with nonactors and a small crew, he is able to capture an intense intimacy that borders on documentary. Born and raised in Winston-Salem, North Carolina (the setting for his most recent film, Goodbye Solo), he spent three years in his parents’ homeland of Iran while working on his thesis film for Columbia University, where he now teaches. His assured direction and original neorealist screenplays earned him accolades such as the “Someone to Watch” Award at the 2008 Independent Spirit Awards. Critic Roger Ebert says, “After only three films, Bahrani has established himself as a major director.”