Based in Los Angeles, J. J. Alani aka J. Jonroy Alani also works in New York and Paris. A Directors Guild of America (DGA) member and a Writers Guild of America (WGA) member in New York since 1996, Alani is the writer/producer/director (as Jay Jonroy) of David & Layla, a political romantic comedy. (He dedicated this film to his family members lost in genocide.)
His latest feature Beyond Paradise is a drama cross-cultural bittersweet love story. See the genesis of the story inspired by true events at beyondparadisemovie.com/about/directors-inspiration/
Alani tweets about World Cinema on Twitter @FilmFavorites. With thousands of followers, the site posts the Trailer and a few hints of uncommon recent & classic must-see films of the world.
Official Selection at 28 international film festivals, David & Layla won 8 Awards, including Mons Festival International du Film D'Amour's Grand Prix du Public against La Vie en Rose, 2 Days in Paris and Lady Chatterley. ( fifa-mons.be/fr/accueil-festivals )
David & Layla received notable praise from the Nobel Laureate, Oscar nominee Screenwriter and acclaimed Playwright, Harold Pinter: "A bold, politically relevant film made against impossible odds." Plus, critical reviews in the New York Times, Variety, Washington Post, LA Times, etc.
Alani is the Executive Producer of Margreet, a story about the legend of Mata Hari set in Paris. It was officially selected to World Premiere at Cannes Film Festival 2015 Short Corner. Margreet is produced by Alani's PA Zoya Skya who costars with Riley Smith in the film. [Iconic Hollywood star Greta Garbo played Mata Hari in the classic movie Mata Hari ]
Alani is in development on a future independent movie entitled Amorous and two epic films inspired by man's first written epic poem, the 5000-year-old historical allegory Gilgamesh as two screenplays: Gilgamesh and Gilgamesh: In Search of Immortality.
He studied at The UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television and at the USC School of Cinematic Arts (Advanced Screenwriting Practicum) in Los Angeles, 1985-1989.
Hollywood's largest studio, Time Warner/Warner Bros, as well as Netflix, iTunes, Amazon, Vudu, Turner Classic Movies, etc., continue distribution of David & Layla. Its music score is on 60+ international music sites, including iTunes.
Following Creative Photography studies at the London Camden School of Arts, Alani worked briefly as a Fashion Photographer in London and Paris. He continues his interest in photography on Twitter @1PhotoDaily.
In Paris, he studied at the Sorbonne University, 1990-1994, receiving a "Diplôme Supérieur de Langue et Civilisation Françaises."
In New York, he coached graduate students at the Graduate Department of New York University Film School- Tisch School of the Arts on their final thesis projects, 1996-2000.
He served as volunteer Acting Coach at the Circle in the Square Broadway Theater School in New York where his then wife, Olga Alexandrova aka Layla Alexander, was studying, 1995-1999.
Earlier in England, he had received a (B.Sc.) Bachelor of Science with First Class Honors in Science and Sociology at Leicester University, (D.I.C.) Diploma of the renowned London Imperial College, and (M.Sc.) Masters Degree in Cybernetics at London University.
In London, as a Marketing Executive with ICL, he worked with the creators of the Monty Python TV series, while at night he studied 'Acting, Speech, and Movement' at the 'City Lit'- the City Literary Institute.
A member of The Royal Photographic Society (U.K), Alani is an amateur Art collector and a Patron of World Music Institute in New York.
He is the founder of "Human Rights For All- No Exceptions!" featured on Facebook and on Twitter @HRights4All, each with thousands of followers. These sites focus on female empowerment, equality, justice and equal human rights for the oppressed nations and the minorities of the world, including LGBT- Lesbians, Gays...
A dual American and British citizen, J.J. Alani was born in the Middle East. He is fluent in English and French, some Spanish & Portuguese, and speaks and understands a few Middle Eastern languages. He has lived and worked in Paris, London, Rio de Janeiro, San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York.
Written by: Gill Holland, Executive Producer and CEO, The Group Entertainment, New York.
- Beyond Paradise - Independent feature