Joanna Tsanis is an award-winning genre filmmaker and producer. Her films have screened at festivals worldwide including SITGES, FANTASIA, FANTASTIC FEST, and FRIGHTFEST. Her work has been featured in various horror publications such as Fangoria, Bloody Disgusting, and Pop Horror. She was recently spotlighted in Dread Central’s newsletter The Harbinger.
Joanna’s award-winning short film Smile had its international premiere in the Academy Qualifying Sitges Film Festival ‘Official Fantastic Competition’, and won the AUDIENCE AWARD for Best Short at The Overlook Film Festival. The film stars Konstantina Mantelos (Anything for Jackson) and features the voice of Ashley Laurence (Clive Barker’s Hellraiser).
Her short film Mourn (starring Lynne Griffin of the 1987 horror classic Black Christmas) won Best Dark Drama at Atlanta Horror Film Festival and Best Short Screenplay at Filmquest Film Festival. Pop Horror calls it a “film that pulls you in and never lets go.” Her previous 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.” It is now streaming on ALTER.
Joanna wrote and produced Eleftheromania, a WWII-era short film starring Academy Award-winner Olympia Dukakis. She is currently producing and directing two segments (The Overkill and After Mara) for a feature-length horror anthology; the anthology’s international cast includes Esmé Bianco of HBO’s Game of Thrones and Academy Award-nominated genre icon Alec Gillis.
Formerly a comic book columnist 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 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 teaches a class on Film Production at Rogue Studios, a boutique film and acting school that was recently sponsored by Raimi Productions.