Talent Guide

Karina Dandashi

  • Discipline:Director, Writer
  • Program Year:Grants and Awards 2023, Screenwriting Lab 2023


Karina Dandashi is a Syrian American Muslim filmmaker born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA. Her films explore nuances in identity through the intersection of family, religion, and culture in Southwest Asian and North African (SWANA) and Muslim communities in America. Her work has been featured in numerous Oscar-Qualifying festivals around the U.S. and her latest short Cousins was recently acquired by The New Yorker. Her feature debut Out of Water was accepted into the Film Independent Producers Lab in 2022. Karina was a 2020 Creative Culture Fellow at The Jacob Burns Film Center and a 2021 Sundance Ignite Fellow. She was featured in Marie Claire’s inaugural Creators Issue as one of the “Top 21 Creators to Watch” in 2022.

Current Project

Out of Water


A young woman raised by a Syrian Muslim immigrant father and an American mother navigates the dual nature of her upbringing in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.