Suzi Yoonessi: Award-winning Director

Award-winning director Suzi Yoonessi’s feature film UNLOVABLE (2018) premiered at the 2018 SXSW Film Festival, winning a Special Jury Prize. The Duplass Brothers produced film was picked up by MGM Orion for theatrical distribution, and stars academy award nominee John Hawkes, academy award winner Melissa Leo and comedian Charlene deGuzman. Yoonessi’s award-winning feature film DEAR LEMON LIMA (2009) premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival. The film was released by Phase 4 Films, HBO, Showtime and The Sundance Channel.  Yoonessi most recently directed DAPHNE AND VELMA (2018) for Warner Bros., which is the origins story of two female super sleuths from Scooby Doo.

Yoonessi was recently nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Directing of go90’s Relationship Status and just wrapped production on one of Snapchat’s first original series, DEAD GIRL’S DETECTIVE AGENCY for Indigo. In addition to episodic, Yoonessi has directed branded, short and commercial spots for Funny or Die, Condé Nast, Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls, Attn:, Portal A, Retrofit and Super Deluxe. Yoonessi was nominated for a Streamy Award for her International Women’s Day spot #OwnYouVoice. 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. Yoonessi’s most recent film UNLOVABLE is being released by Orion Classics November 1st.

My Goal of the Day: To inspire delight

My Thought of the Day: Following her heart, she lost her mind

My Action of the Day: Turning trash into treasure

What do you love most about Your City?

As an Iranian American, born in Buffalo, NY, I still remember the first time I visited Los Angeles and saw people were so many shades of the rainbow. The level of diversity and multiculturalism is awe-inspiring and I’m lucky to live in Larchmont Village, where the sense of community and creative minds who live on my block build an extended family.

Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant?

My favorite breakfast meal is pancakes with my husband and kids on Saturday. It’s the one day of the week I get to sleep in and eat more than the crusts of my daughters lunch sandwich and scraps for breakfast. My favorite restaurant is Fig & Olive in LA – it’s clean food and a beautiful space.

What are you doing at:

6:00 AM – Crossing my fingers hoping my kids will sleep until 6:30.

10:00 AM – I’m currently in post-production on The Dead Girls Detective Agency, so usually I’m headed to the edit room or I’m at home watching cuts, sending notes on sound or on the phone chatting with the composer. When I’m in between work, I’m reading a lot of material and building out visual decks.

12:00 PM - Favorite Lunch spot/meal?

I like Le Pain Quotidian on Larchmont because there’s space and you can hear yourself talk.

7:00 PM -  In a dream world, I’m back home and putting my kids to sleep, but film is a job that usually means 12-14 hour days.

11:00 PM – Reading in bed.

What drink do you need to get through the day and at the end (and how many)?

Water all day and a glass of milk before bed.

Most used App/Favorite Instagram Account?

I love finding images on weheartit, designing graphics in PicLab or making my kids laugh with Snap filters. My favorite instagram accounts are Bored Panda, Décor Hardcor and Ricky Thompson & Paige Elkington are both inspired, comedic geniuses.

What should everyone try at least once?

Watching Ricky Thompson’s inspirational instagram videos, going to a Rooftop screening in NYC, the snapchat dog filter with a baby, a Yayoi Kusama infinity room and staying at the Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo.

Where do you enjoy getting lost?

Storm King Art Center in upstate NY, Japantown in San Francisco and the Koreatown mall in LA is filled with Kay pop culture & the most delicious food court.