Zanah Thirus

Zanah Thirus is an actress, producer, writer, and director from Chicago. She received her master’s degree in cinema production from DePaul University at the age of twenty-two and began her career in independent filmmaking and content production in 2015.

In 2016, Zanah won Best Female Director for her short film Hourglass at the Cineplay Film Awards. Her festival credits as a filmmaker include Official Selection - Chhatrapati Shivaji International Film Festival (2016), Best Student Documentary - London Independent Film Awards (2017), Semi Finalist at The German United Film Festival (2018), and Finalist at Cinema Los Angeles Film Festival (2018).

Since launching her brand, Zanah Thirus Productions LLC, Zanah has shifted her focus to merging arts and activism through documentary and narrative storytelling. Her films explore subjects such as gender, race, politics, and mental health. In 2019, her feature documentary Black Feminist was an official selection at the Bronze Lens Festival of Atlanta. That same year, her short film Demons was also nominated for Best Short Film at the Content Creators of Atlanta Awards. Shortly afterwards, Zanah was named one of Diversity in Cannes Top 10 Filmmakers of the Decade. (09/20)

Available Title(s):


Unlearning Sex


A film by Zanah Thirus, 2020, 81 min, Color

Sexual assault and trauma -- and how these experiences intersect with race, class, and sexual orientation -- are rarely discussed in our society. Zanah Thirus’s bold new film, UNLEARNING SEX, explores these topics with complexity and sensitivity, simultaneously raising awareness and opening the door for important conversations. Thirus bravely takes us on her six-month journey through sexual trauma therapy and the reclamation of her body in hopes of lending strength and inspiration to others. While told through a deeply personal lens, including intimate audio recordings of Thirus’s therapy sessions, the film tells a story that is at once…

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Black Feminist


A film by Zanah Thirus, 2019, 53 min, Color

BLACK FEMINIST is a lively and illuminating documentary that explores the double-edged sword of racial and gender oppression that Black Women face in America. Frustrated by the lack of intersectionality in the women’s movement and the misogyny plaguing the Black liberation movement, filmmaker Zanah Thirus set out to shine a light on the complexities and…

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