Graduated in 1984 from the Caragiale Academy of Theatrical Arts and Cinematography (UNATC) in Bucharest, where he has also taught as a professor. Started his career with short films: Venice in September (1983), Thirty Years of Insomnia (1984) and Backstage (1988). Caranfil made his feature film debut with E Pericoloso Sporgersi (1993) and continued with road movie comedy Asfalt tango starring Charlotte Rampling (1996) and with Dolce far niente (1998). His movie Filantropica (2002) was a critical success. Nae Caranfil wrote the screenplay for all his movies and worked on the music for the first two of them (E Pericoloso Sporgersi and Asfalt-tango).