JAN JANRAY aka Jalal Jonroy's picture


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Biographical Information

Americas - USA

A dual American and British citizen, multi-lingual Jan Janroy now lives and works in New York and Paris. He is fluent in English, French and Kurdish, and speaks or understands conversational Persian, Arabic and Portuguese.

A member of 'Writers Guild of America (WGA)[us]' , and a former student of 'UCLA School of Film and Television' , AFI , and 'USC Department of Cinema & TV' Advanced Screenwriting Practium, Jan was born in Southern-Kurdistan (Iraq.)

Made stateless and in exile since he was a teenager, Jan has studied and worked in London, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Rio, Paris and New York.

Either through scholarships or paid for by his own work, he has studied at the universities of Leicester, Imperial College, London, Paris Sorbonne, and UCLA and USC film schools in Los Angeles. After graduating with a rare First Class Honors B.Sc. degree at Leicester University, to the dismay of his professors, Jan declined a scholarship to study for a PhD at Churchill College, Cambridge University, in favor of a Masters Degree at Imperial College/London University so he could live in London - the cosmopolitan capital of diverse cultures and international arts.

In London, Jan studied Creative Photography. Worked briefly as a fashion photographer in London and Paris. Discovered Koo Stark before her royal romance with Prince Andrew. Then, he studied 'Acting, Movement and Speech' at the London City Literary Institute.

Years later, in New York while living for seven years with actress Layla Alexander, he coached actors for their final year scenes and plays at the renowned 'Circle in the Square Theatre' School of Acting on Broadway.

An amateur musician, Jan collects ethnic music and has been listed as a Patron of the Arts at the 'World Music Institute' in New York.

Two members of Jan's family - a younger brother and a brother-in-law - went missing or murdered in Iraq. Later, their remains were found in Ba'athists and Saddam's mass graves. Jan was obliged to abandon his film projects unfinished for about ten years to help his family escape Saddam's genocidal campaigns against Kurds. Some of those horrors are reflected in his first feature film David & Layla (2006).

Jan supports Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Institute Kurde de Paris, Washington Kurdish Institute, and the World Music Institute. He writes about and promotes the films, music and cultures of oppressed nations.

A cinephile of both East and West cinema, Jan is an Internet film critic of World Cinema at 'Newroz Films' , as well as a writer on human rights and a free-lance supporter of the Human Rights International Film Festivals.

Many of his siblings & relatives now live as refugees in diaspora in England, Holland, Germany, and France. His first feature, David & Layla, is a gift, a 'comic relief' to the oppressed 'Layla's of the world. It's dedicated to the memory of the genocide victim members of his family in 'Kurdistan.'

IMDb Mini Biography By: Gill Holland


Link to my previous index page on iranian.com (pre-Aug 2007)