Talent Guide

Roja Gashtili

  • Discipline:Director, Writer
  • Program Year:Directing Lab 2016


Roja Gashtili was born in Iran before moving to Missouri. After college, she moved to New York City where she worked in documentaries starting at Alex Gibney’s Jigsaw Productions. She was a coordinator on Charles Ferguson’s Oscar-nominated No End in Sight and worked on Martin Scorsese’s George Harrison: Living In The Material World and Lorne Michaels’ SNL: In The 90s. She has worked as a producer on MTV’s Exiled, Morgan Spurlock’s Warrior Poets and Refinery29.

She is part of an LA based filmmaking team with Julia Lerman. Their short film “Rita Mahtoubian Is Not A Terrorist” made while fellows at AFI’s Directing Workshop for Women premiered at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival.

Previously, their work received the Tribeca All Access grant and was part of IFP’s Emerging Storytellers Labs. Most recently, they completed production on their short film, “The Last Shift,” which was part of the inaugural Tribeca/Chanel Women’s Filmmaker Program where they presented the project to a jury including Julianne Moore, Patricia Clarkson and Mynette Louie.

They were fellows in Film Independent’s 2016 Directing Lab where they are further developing the feature adaptation of Rita Mahtoubian Is Not A Terrorist. The script was one of five narrative projects chosen for the 2015 Sundance Creative Producing Labs.

Current Project

Rita Mahtoubian Is Not A Terrorist (Narrative Feature)


When Iranian-born Rita Mahtoubian sets out to change her life from ordinary to extraordinary she accidentally captures the attention of a homeland security agent in this fractured, fresh comedy about romance, terrorism and trying to be a better person.