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Arianna LaPenne

Los Angeles, CA US
Available for Freelance
Documentary director


Arianna LaPenne is a New Yorker who ended up in Los Angeles. Arianna got interested in documentary filmmaking because she asks too many questions. This turned out to be an excellent discipline to direct this sort of energy. Arianna's latest project is a new 3 part limited series for Warner Bros Discovery, Executive Produced by Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer, and tentatively titled Highway 20. Slated for early 2023 release, it is based off the Emmy award-winning investigative journalism of reporter Noelle Crombie of The Oregonian. Prior to this, Arianna’s television directing credits include the Emmy- nominated Netflix documentary series Connected: The Hidden Science of Everything, with host Latif Nasser of Radiolab, Emmy-nominated Pandemic: How to Prevent an Outbreak, Emmy-nominated Season 2 of Waffles + Mochi, and Edward R. Murrow award-winning Unadopted on PBS. Recently she also directed an episode of a new BBC Science series about Earth's greatest natural phenomena, and two films for the inaugural CNN Films shorts series; The Bunker Boom, about a subterranean prepper community in South Dakota, and Super Reviewers, an unusual journey into a surprising sub-culture on the internet. Arianna has also directed and shot Emmy-nominated and Edward R. Murrow award-winning work for The New York Times, Nat Geo, Al Jazeera, and Viceland on issues ranging from child marriage, gang violence, to political conflicts around the world. Her work has taken her to more than fifty countries; directing crews in the sewers beneath London, to a locked down “clean room” at the NASA space center in Houston. She has embedded with female Kurdish soldiers fighting ISIS in Syria and Iraq and documented the effects of Rhino breeding in South Africa for National Geographic. Films she has directed and DP’d have screened at SXSW, DOCFest, Tribeca, DOC NYC, and PBS, and have been supported by the Sundance Labs, ITVS, IFP, and won a Peabody Award. Arianna was a Director of Photography for many years before pivoting to directing full time. Brands Arianna has directed commercials for include: Google, Ford, Dannon, West Elm, Bulleit Whiskey, Poo Pourri, and Tillamook.