Suzi Yoonessi


Iranian American director Suzi Yoonessi still writes with jelly-pens, knows how to make a pretty awesome cootie-catcher and loves exploring the emotional chambers of the heart. Yoonessi most recently directed Daphne and Velma (2018) for Warner Brother’s Blue Ribbon Content, which is the origins story of two female super sleuths from Scooby Doo.

Yoonessi’s second feature Unlovable (2018), stars academy award nominee John Hawkes, academy award winner Melissa Leo and comedian Charlene deGuzman. The film won the 2017 Sun Valley Film Festival Film Lab, and the film is premiering at the 2018 SXSW Film Festival.

Yoonessi’s award-winning feature film Dear Lemon Lima (2009) premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival after participating in the FIND Director’s, Writer’s and Producer’s lab. The LA Times dubbed the visually stunning film, "as refreshing as an astro-pop on a summer day." The film was released by Phase 4 Films, Showtime and The Sundance Channel.

Yoonessi directed 2 seasons of go90’s Relationship Status (2017) and the season 3 premiere of YouTube Red’s Foursome. Yoonessi’s ITVS FutureStates episode The Spring of Sorrow (2011) premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and won an ECA award. For International Women’s Day, she directed #OwnYourVoice (2016) for the UN, YouTube and Portal A, which was recently nominated for a Webby and a Streamy Award. Yoonessi received a Jerome Foundation Grant for her artful documentary Vern (2003), which now resides in the SF Museum of Modern Art.

Yoonessi’s hilarious series Olive and Mocha (2015) is Funny or Die’s 1st Annual Make Em LAFF award winner, and was the #1 video on Reddit for a week. Yoonessi currently directs branded and commercial spots for Funny or Die, Condé Nast, Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls, Portal A, Retrofit and Super Deluxe.

Yoonessi received her BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute, and her MFA from Columbia University where she was a recipient of the FMI Directing Fellowship.

[Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.]

Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.