Born and raised in Chicago, Emmy nominee XAN ARANDA is an award-winning director, producer, writer and consultant with projects ranging from fiction and documentary film and TV to branded content, commercials and music videos.
With Mark and Jay Duplass, Xan developed and serves as an Executive Producer of HBO anthology series ROOM 104. She produced BLUE JAY with Mel Eslyn, starring Sarah Paulson and Mark Duplass, which premiered at TIFF 2016. Xan also produced the Duplass Brothers' first commercial in 2015.
Xan's Emmy nomination was alongside Jill Soloway for Transparent's "This Is Me" --a collection of short films for which she served as Producer and Co-Executive Producer. The series premiered via Entertainment Weekly and is available via Amazon Prime and Wifey.TV. "You made magic, moved the world and made it seem effortless." --Jill Soloway
Xan's directorial debut, Andrew Bird: Fever Year, premiered at Lincoln Center with the New York Film Festival and screened in more than 90 festivals. Described by The Hollywood Reporter as a "gently illuminating look at a brilliant maverick musician... captured with grace and delicacy," Fever Year received nine awards.
Her concept and craft of the album trailer commissioned by Grammy-nominee Neko Case, positively received and aggregated by Billboard, Spin, Pitchfork, and numerous others, was celebrated for having “heart and soul” and continues to rack up views on YouTube.
Xan is a producer of the award-winning Kartemquin Films (Hoop Dreams) release Milking the Rhino, which filmed in Kenya and Namibia and screened on five continents. She served as Outreach Director for Prisoner of Her Past, directed by Gordon Quinn. Her Mormon Movie/Working Title, a co-production in progress with Kartemquin, is inspired by dramatic religious educational films her mother starred in while a student at Brigham Young University during the 1960s.
“There is no ‘foot in the door.’ You’re the door.”
Xan is a popular featured speaker on a wide range of topics. She’s been the guest of Nike, HBO, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, SXSW, Film Independent, NALIP, Waggener Edstrom, Wake Forest University, Seattle University, the Yukon High School of Fine Arts, Columbia College, Northwestern University, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, DePaul University, and many others.
Founder and Executive Director of the Chicago Short Film Brigade, Xan curated and hosted screenings of international short films from 2003 through 2012. The Sundance Institute recruited her for their ShortsLab: Chicago in 2011.
She has served on competition juries and grant panels across the nation.
Images by Phillip Faraone, Cameron Wittig, Xan Aranda, Mark Boyer, Sydney Fleischmann, Joseph Aranda, Myrna Suarez, Sean O'Malley, Jeff Sciortino, and others.