Soho-based commercial production company Blinkink has announced the addition of Sundance-winning director Renee Zhan to their talent roster. Originally from Houston, Texas, Zahn is now based in London. Her work explores a range of topics such as body, nature, and sexuality with pockets of dark humor emerging at unexpected times. Using varied textures and materials, and techniques ranging from hand-drawn 2D to watercolor and Claymation, she uniquely pushes creatives boundaries.
After graduating from Harvard University, Zhan honed her craft at the National Film & Television School. Her graduation film O Black Hole features a woman who can’t stand the passing of time turning herself into a black hole. It is currently making the rounds on the festival circuit, including the Chicago Film Festival and the London Short Film Festival, with shortlists at the student BAFTA’s and SXSW.
The animated short Reneepoptosis was Zhan’s first post-graduate film; written while on a travelling fellowship in Japan, the 2D animation was designed in the style of a Chinese ink painting. It was screened at TIFF, SXSW, Locarno and won the Jury Prize for Animated Short at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. Zhan’s film Soft Animals was also screened at Annecy, TIFF, Edinburgh, Encounters, and Doc Leipzig.
Dan Sarto is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network.