Ian Harnarine was born in Toronto, Canada and is the son of immigrants from Trinidad and Tobago. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Physics & Astronomy at NYU and a Master’s degree in Nuclear Physics from the University of Illinois. He eventually became bored with physics research and moved to Brooklyn to become a filmmaker.
Harnarine has since earned an MFA from NYU’s Graduate Film School, where he serves as faculty in both the Physics and Graduate Film Departments. Harnarine is a member of both the National Board of Review and the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television.
His short thesis film Doubles With Slight Pepper (executive produced by Spike Lee) won a Canadian Academy Award and the Best Short Film Award at the Toronto International Film Festival. Its premiere on Vimeo garnered over 10,000 plays in 24 hours.
Harnarine is adapting David Chariandy’s novel Soucouyant, as well as a feature adaptation of his short film Doubles With Slight Pepper. He is also co-writing Time Traveler with Spike Lee.
Harnarine was selected by Filmmaker Magazine as one of the 25 New Faces of Independent Film and named one of Playback Magazine‘s Ten to Watch for 2013. He was profiled in the New York Times.
Watch an interview with Ian: