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Zanah Thirus Chicago, United States

Named one of Diversity in Cannes' Top 10 Filmmakers of the Decade, Zanah is an impact-driven creative based in Chicago IL, USA.

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Since launching her company in 2018, Zanah Thirus Productions, Zanah has shifted her focus to merging arts and activism through documentary and narrative storytelling. Her films explore subjects such as reproductive justice, local politics, intersectional feminism, and recovering from sexual trauma.

In 2020, Zanah’s documentary, ‘Unlearning Sex’, won Best Human Rights Film at the Toronto International Women's Film Festival and The Silver Award at the Spotlight Documentary Film Awards. Her documentary, ‘Black Feminist’, won Best Documentary at Coal City Film Festival (2021) in Nigeria, and the Jury Award for Best U.S. Documentary at the International Black & Diversity Film Festival (2021). Recently, Zanah branched into comedic storytelling with her romantic comedy short, ‘The Love You Want Exists’, which premiered at three Academy Award Qualifying Festivals in 2021 (Bronze Lens, Reel Sisters of the Diaspora, and St Louis International Film Fest).

Zanah’s latest project ‘New Santa’ is set in the North Pole during a diversity, equity and inclusion overhaul where a Black woman is appointed to the position of Santa Claus. The film premiered at Academy Award Qualifying Film Festival, Bronze Lens, in the Summer of 2022.

Outside of filmmaking, Zanah is passionate about film strategy and getting impact-driven films to the intended audience. Her projects have been distributed to over 20 academic libraries including Harvard University, and screened with various organizations including the American Public Health Association's national conference.

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