Quotes & Bio

"Imaginative, playful and whimsical, Priestley's work radiates a sense of wonder and delight about the art of animation. -Maral Mohammadian, Cartoons: the International  Journal of Animation.

"Joanna Priestley’s amazing body of animated films have deservedly earned their place in the pantheon of contemporary international animators. Inventively visioned, superbly crafted, and rich with insight into the physical and spiritual dilemmas that confront us all, each new work provides an unexpected pleasure." -Bill Foster, Director, Northwest Film Center

“With retrospectives, awards and a significant body of work under her belt, Joanna Priestley is a distinctive and pioneering director and producer.”  -Justin Johnson, British Film Institute

“The queen of independent animation!" Justin Johnson, British Film Institute

"The exquisite animated world of Joanna Priestley has been one of the best kept secrets of the toon community. Whether she’s exploring our common fears and phobias, observing the vicissitudes of modern romance or commenting on turning 40, her many styles and visions are undeniably original and hard to forget." - Animation Magazine

"The lively and inventive animations of Joanna Priestley are full of joy and unexpected pleasures." -Kathy Geritz, Pacific Film Archive

“Undeniably original and hard to forget.” –Animation Magazine

"I love Joanna's films. They're brilliant, inventive and amazing. She's the queen of independent animation." -Bill Plympton

 

"One of America's leading nonnarrative animators, Priestley has pushed the walls of the medium, incorporating anything from found objects to rubber-stamped clip art to puppetry and even documentary. What makes her such a fine ambassador for the form is her infectious delight in the sinuous, undulating movement of her brightly colored squiggles, ovals, and lines.  -Jim Ridley, City Pages, Minneapolis

Joanna and hand painted cards from Voices, at an exhibition at Cal Arts (1985).

Short Bio

Joanna Priestley has directed, animated, and produced thirty films, including the abstract animated feature North of Blue, and the iOS app Clam Bake. Her work maintains a high level of porosity between serious exploration of boundaries and intuitive whimsy, and she is dedicated to experimentation in technique, theme, and content. Priestley has had retrospectives at the British Film Institute (London), Museum of Modern Art (New York), Center for Contemporary Art (Warsaw, Poland), American Cinematheque (Los Angeles), Hiroshima International Animation Festival (Japan), Jeonju International Film Festival (South Korea),  Animation Masters Summit (Trivandrum, India) and Stuttgart International Festival of Animated Film (Germany). She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, American Film Institute, MacDowell Colony, Fundación Valparaíso and Creative Capital. Priestley was founding president of ASIFA Northwest and she is a voting member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, where she annually juries the Oscars, Student Academy Awards and the Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting. Priestley's other passions include medicinal herbalism and creating projects at Burning Man and she lives next to the forest in Portland, Oregon with her husband, director/production designer Paul Harrod. More info: www.joannapriestley.com. 

 

Biography

Joanna Priestley has directed, produced and animated thirty films, including the abstract animated feature, North of Blue, and the iOS app Clam Bake. Her work maintains a high level of porosity between serious exploration of boundaries and intuitive whimsy and she is dedicated to experimentation in technique, theme and content. Retrospectives of Priestley's films have been shown at the British Film Institute (London), Museum of Modern Art (New York), Center for Contemporary Art (Warsaw, Poland), REDCAT (Los Angeles), American Cinematheque (Los Angeles), Stuttgart International Animation Festival (Germany), Walker Art Center (Minneapolis, MN), Jeonju International Film Festival (Korea), Masters of Animation (Trivandrum, India) and on PBS (USA) and the BBC (UK). She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, American Film Institute, MacDowell Colony (Elodie Osborn Fellow), Creative Capital (New York), Djerassi Foundation (Rothenberg Award) and Fundación Valparaíso (Spain). Her films are in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

 

Priestley studied painting and printmaking at Rhode Island School of Design and at UC Berkeley, where she received a Bachelor of Arts Degree with Honors. She received an MFA Degree and the Louis B. Mayer Award from California Institute of the Arts. Her background includes Coordinator of the Northwest Film and Video Festival, Director of Strictly Cinema, Editor of "The Animator", Regional Coordinator of the Northwest Film Center and Co-Director and Co-Founder of FILMA: Women's Film Forum. Priestley was founding president of ASIFA Northwest and she has been a voting member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences since 1992, where she annually juries the Oscars, Student Academy Awards and Nicholl Screenplay Fellowships. 

 

Priestley has served on numerous juries and selection committees, including Hiroshima Animation Festival, Fantoche International Animation Festival, Annie Awards, CHILEMONOS Animation Festival, Stuttgart International Animation Festival, Nicholl Screenplay Fellowship, Tricky Women International Animation Festival, Canadian International Animation Festival, Texas Filmmakers Production Fund, Big Muddy Film Festival and the Public Art Advisory Committee. She presents animation lectures worldwide and she has an internship program at her company, Priestley Motion Pictures, in Portland, Oregon. Priestley's other passions include medicinal herbalism, gardening and creating projects at Burning Man and she lives next to the forest in Portland, Oregon with her husband, director/production designer Paul Harrod. Her films can be seen at www.joannapriestley.com.

Retrospectives

2019. Fantoche International Animation Festival (Baden, Switzerland)

2017. Trailblazing Women of Animation: Joanna Priestley, NW Film Center/

Portland Art Museum (Portland, OR)

2017. British Film Institute, National Film Theater (London, UK)

2017. Stuttgart International Animation Festival (Stuttgart, Germany)

2016. Tricky Women Animation Festival (Vienna, Austria)

2015. Art Education Conference, Kutztown University (Kutztown, PA) 

2015. Cinema Pacific Festival, Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art (Eugene, OR)

2014. Hiroshima Animation Festival (Hiroshima, Japan)

2014. POW Fest (Portland, OR) Received POW Fest Pioneer Award

2013. Sisters Movie House (Sisters, OR)

2013. Northwest Film Center/Portland Art Museum (Portland, OR)

2009. REDCAT (Los Angeles, CA)

2009. Cinemateca Santa Ana (San Miguel de Allende, Mexico)

2005. American Cinematheque (Los Angeles, CA)

2005. Jeonju International Film Festival (Jeonju, Korea)

2005. Walker Art Center (Minneapolis, MN)

2003. Northwest Film Center/Portland Art Museum (Portland, OR)

2000. Museum of Modern Art (New York, NY)

2000. Masters of Animation (Trivandrum, India)

2000. Pacific Film Archive (Berkeley, CA)

1996. Animated Women: the Art of Joanna Priestley (PBS and BBC2)

1995. Animerter Dager (Oslo, Norway)

1994. Stuttgart International Animation Festival (Germany)

1990. Krakow International Short Film Festival (Krakow, Poland)

1990. Center for Contemporary Art (Warsaw, Poland)

© 2019 Priestley Motion Pictures

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