Joanna Tsanis is an award-winning genre filmmaker and producer. Her films have screened at notable festivals including SITGES, FANTASIA, FANTASTIC FEST, and SCREAMFEST. Joanna’s debut short film Imagine a World won the award for ‘Best Director, Short’ at Nightmares Film Festival. Irish Film Critic calls it “the perfect mixture of fun, scares, and cleverness.” The film is now streaming on Gunpowder and Sky’s horror brand ALTER.
Joanna’s latest short film Smile had its world premiere at Fantastic Fest and international premiere in the Academy Qualifying 2021 Sitges Film Festival’s Official Fantastic Competition. The film stars Konstantina Mantelos (Anything for Jackson) and features the voice of Ashley Laurence (Clive Barker’s Hellraiser).
Joanna’s previous short film Mourn (starring Lynne Griffin of Black Christmas ) won the award for Best Dark Drama at the 2021 Atlanta Horror Film Festival. Pop Horror calls it a “film that pulls you in and never lets go.“
Formerly a comic book critic for the Toronto Standard, Joanna has written and produced for a wide range of branded content. In 2019, she wrote an educational science fiction game for Ryerson University titled AIO in Space.
Joanna is also a passionate independent film producer, having recently produced Lisa Ovies’ Witches Midnight starring Academy Award nominated genre legend Alec Gillis, and Ali Mashayekhi’s The First Goodbye starring Esmé Bianco of HBO’s Game of Thrones. Joanna wrote and produced Eleftheromania, an award-winning WWII-era short film starring Academy Award Winner Olympia Dukakis.
In 2021, Joanna produced Eulogy to Us, a feature-length horror anthology film with independent production company Landed Entertainments. The film is now in post producton.
Joanna actively lends her production insights to student filmmakers at Ryerson University where she ran an alumni film festival and managed a grant and mentorship program for film students in continuing education.
Joanna is passionate about mental health awareness and is a member of the Canadian Mental Health Association of Toronto.