Born in Omaha, Neb., Morano took up filmmaking at an early age, after her father returned from a business trip to Japan with one of the first JVC camcorders and suggested she become the family documentarian. She earned a B.F.A. in film from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, where she has since served as an adjunct professor of cinematography.
Frozen River, which Morano shot for writer/director Courtney Hunt, won the Grand Jury Prize for Drama at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. Morano was also behind the camera on the more recent Sundance entries The Skeleton Twins, Kill Your Darlings, Little Birds, For Ellen and Shut Up and Play the Hits. Her credits also include the HBO series Looking and the features And So It Goes, The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete and Autumn Blood. She was honored with Women in Film’s Kodak Vision Award for Cinematography in 2011.
Recently, Morano directed and shot the drama Meadowland, which premiered in competition at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival and will be theatrically released in the fall. She is currently shooting an as-yet-untitled HBO series about the 1970s music scene in New York for executive producers Martin Scorsese, Terence Winter and Mick Jagger.