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The Translator

Spring Grants 2017 - Production Stage
Current project status: PRE-PRODUCTION

Rana Kazkaz, Anas Khalaf / Feature Narrative / Syria, France, Belgium, Switzerland, Qatar / 2020 / 105 min / Original Language: Arabic, English / Interests: Drama, Thriller, Politics, War


Having gotten into trouble with the Syrian government, Sami has been living for years as a political refugee in Australia, working as an Arabic–English translator. And although he has adapted well to his new life, he is haunted by feelings of guilt for having abandoned his brother and sister. In 2011, the Syrian revolution starts unexpectedly, and Sami receives a video of his brother being arrested for peacefully demonstrating. The horrifying event brings up painful memories of when their father was similarly arrested by the regime thirty years earlier. Seizing this moment as a way to make up for the past, Sami makes the dangerous journey back to Syria in order to find his brother. Once there, Sami becomes increasingly aware of his responsibility towards his country and family, leading him just like his father and brother did—to risk everything for freedom.


Rana Kazkaz, Anas Khalaf
Rana Kazkaz, Magali Negroni
Anas Khalaf, Nicolas Leprêtre, Raphaël Alexandre

About the Director

Rana Kazkaz, a Syrian-American, currently lives with her family in Doha, having left Damascus as a result of the ongoing Syrian conflict. Kazkaz holds an MFA in Acting from Carnegie Mellon University/Moscow Art Theatre and attended the Directing Workshop for Women at the American Film Institute. She is the writer and director of four short films including ‘Mare Nostrum’ (2016). In addition to developing other feature films, Rana is Assistant Professor in Residence at Northwestern University in Qatar where she teaches filmmaking.

Anas Khalaf is a Syrian-French filmmaker who currently lives in Doha, having left Damascus with his family as a result of the Syrian conflict. He holds a BA from the Normandy Business School, and with his wife, Rana Kazkaz, co-founded the production company Synéastes Films in 2010. He is the director of three short films, including ‘Mare Nostrum’ (2016), which has been selected in over 100 festivals, including Sundance and Dubai, and has won 35 international prizes. He also works as an actor, having played roles in ‘Dégradé’ (2015), ‘With Premeditation’ (2014) and the television series ‘The Bureau’ (2015-).

Production Company Profile

Paris-based Georges Films was founded in 2015 by Nicolas Leprêtre and Raphaël Alexandre. The company is dedicated to producing and coproducing international feature films and shorts, and to discovering and nurturing new and experienced directors from around the world. They produced ‘Mare Nostrum’, a short film shot in Jordan, by Syrian directors Rana Kazkaz and Anas Khalaf, which was selected in over 100 festivals, including Sundance and Dubai, and has won 35 international prizes. Their other shorts include ‘Malik’ (2018) by Nathan Carli which garnered over 50 festival selections and 11 prizes and ‘Love U Hiroshima’ by Jules-César Bréchet to be released in 2020. In 2019 they produced Rana Kazkaz and Anas Khalaf’s debut feature film, ‘The Translator’, which is a DFI grantee and laureate of the best project in development at the Atelier de la Cinéfondation - Cannes 2017. They’re currently co-producing with The Imaginarium Films, ‘‘Inshallah a boy’’ from the Jordanian director, Amjad Al Rasheed and are financing ‘Wadi Rum, Victoire contre le desert’ from the French Academy Cesar and BAFTA awarded French director Patrice Leconte.


  • Main Contact

    Nicolas Leprêtre


  • Production Company

    Georges Films

    Georges Films

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