films that heal

My work takes an unflinching look at what it feels like to be human. My hope is that can all find a way to peace, and heal.



Alana Waksman was raised in the Transcendental Meditation community in Fairfield, Iowa. She holds a BA from Connecticut College in Theater and English, and an MFA from USC School of Cinematic Arts in Film & Television Production.

Alana has an extensive background in theater both as an actor and director.  She attended theater programs at The O'Neill National Theater Institute, Shakespeare & Company, Berkshire Theater Festival, and St. Petersburg Dramatic Arts Academy in Russia. Acting credits include: Room Service, Doctor Faustus, Sweet Charity, The Bald Soprano, A Mid-Summer Nights’ Dream. Directing credits include: The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek, brimful (llenisimo), and The Education of Macoloco. At age 22, Alana ran the drama department at her old high school. She has also taught numerous acting summer camps as well as privately coached young students in monologue training.

While at USC, Alana was chosen as one of ten top directors to co-direct USC’s first feature film, Don Quixote: The Ingenious Gentleman of La Mancha under the guidance of James Franco. The film premiered at the Palm Springs International Film Festival and is now available for streaming on Netflix. Alana has written and directed a number of short films, most notably Blackout, written by David Haskell, which received the Audience Award at the LA Shorts Fest, and Best Actor and Best Cinematography at the Women’s Independent Film Festival. She has also directed a number of music videos for the band, Dagmar, one of which premiered in Bitch Magazine.

For the last five years, Alana has been in development for her first feature film, We Burn Like This. While developing, she has worked as assistant to the director and post-production coordinator on Andrew and Alex’s Smith’s Walking Out (Sundance Film Festival 2017) in addition to working as Andrew’s assistant for two years. Following that film, she worked as assistant to the director on Jared Moshé’s The Ballad of Lefty Brown (SXSW 2017). Her day jobs have included Roadshow Coordinator for the Montana Film Festival, DocShop Producer for the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, and Festival Coordinator for the International Wildlife Film Festival. More recently, she has taken on the role of Community Outreach Coordinator for The Roxy Theater, the local art house movie theater in Missoula. She also serves as co-director for Montana Film Festival – Montana’s premiere fiction film festival.

Alana is an Ashkenazi Jew whose family is originally from a small village in Poland where they lived for hundreds of years until World War II. On her father’s side, she is a first generation American, and on her mother’s side, her roots can be traced to some of the first settlers. Perhaps this is the one of the reasons themes in Alana’s work often includes searching for self-acceptance and a sense of belonging. 

CLICK HERE to read more about Alana in the Audience Awards Featured Filmmaker article. 





On set for  We Burn Like This . Photo by Ezra Olson.

On set for We Burn Like This. Photo by Ezra Olson.