Biography

Ilana Rein was born and raised in New York City and is currently a Los Angeles-based director and screenwriter. Her films have been screened at film festivals, galleries, and universities internationally. It’s been written that Rein is “spearheading a new genre”* that blurs the line between science fiction and reality and that her work demonstrates a “…profound hunger to connect through art…stories that feel directly relevant to the challenges of the modern day.”**

After receiving a B.A. from Oberlin College and an M.F.A from the School of Visual Arts in New York City, Rein started her career as a photographer with her work being widely exhibited and published. She began directing films after the events of 9/11 and her first, Periphery, was an official selection of the New York Video Festival at Lincoln Center (run by the New York Film Festival) in 2002.

The roots of Rein’s current film work grow from her award-winning film We Are All Cylons. In filming Cylons, she immersed herself in the world of Battlestar Galactica fandom and, as part of the creative process, “Rein imagined making the film as an AI would.”*** Cylons premiered at Sci-Fi London Film Festival in 2011 and had an international festival run. 

Rein wrote and directed Ellipse, which was shot on location at The Royal Observatory in U.K. Ellipse premiered at the BFI in 2013 in London. To prepare, she collaborated with professors of AI and astrophysics at MIT and Princeton. 

Two works-in-progress, Alignment Project and Out of the Everywhere, are inspired by the year Rein spent in the remote Arizona desert researching unidentified aerial phenomena, Native American mythology, and astronomy. 

Her work has been featured in numerous publications, including Wired, Doubletake, Scientific American, 9/9 Paris, and Art in America. Articles and interviews with Think Progress, Wired, Earth2Hub and Arcfinity are available online.

She travels to New York City to collaborate with Guggenheim Fellow Lenore Malen on multi-media installations, most recently for State of Emergency, a guerilla projection event that took place at the corner of Bowery and Prince Street in November 2017Rein is attached to direct the feature Penny Whistler, a film she and her writing partner–Brian Smith–were commissioned to adapt from the Ken Russell screenplay.      

Rein works and lives in Los Angeles with her husband, two sons and two dogs. 

Perception is Rein’s debut feature film. 

* H. Honeycutt, Planet Etheria 3/12
** A. Rosenberg, Think Progress 6/11
***A. Watercutter, Wired 4/11