Zanah Thirus Profile picture
One of @diversencannes ‘Top 10 Filmmakers of the Decade’ || Senior Producer @stinkstudios || Director on @sweet_rickey’s roster ||
Shelton Mercer (Now at @TwitChange) Profile picture Alexandra Jiménez - Barralaga 🇭🇳 Profile picture 2 added to My Authors
Nov 10, 2020 13 tweets 3 min read
A lot of people ask me how I balance working full time as a commercial producer and being an indie filmmaker, so I figured I’d make a thread about it. 1) understand that it’s possible to have a day job and a passion. Many people will tell you that it’s not possible. It is. It’s just about time management and setting realistic goals for yourself.
Sep 22, 2020 6 tweets 1 min read
My first advice to documentary filmmakers :

1) find out if you want to follow a topic or a story.

2) find out which documentary genre you want to execute your film- (poetic, observational, participatory, etc)

3) create a deck that outlines...(cont) • longline & synopsis
• themes & genre
• story elements (b roll list, archival footage, interviews, etc)
• tentative production timing
• your target audience
• your targeted distribution plan
• mood board
• doc examples of other films similar to yours for reference
Sep 15, 2020 13 tweets 7 min read
I’m still trying to wrap my head around the fact that this has been my most successful and decorated year as an indie filmmaker and I’ve been in my living room this whole time.

A THREAD. January 2020 I was named one of the Top 10 Filmmakers of the Decade by @diversencannes, a movement promoting diversity at the Cannes Film Festival. Image
Sep 10, 2020 7 tweets 2 min read
I have a full time job as an ad agency content producer. outside of that I make indie films. Most people have no idea about my 9-5. I only promote my film work. My day job doesn’t define me. It’s the primary investor in my films, and the reason I’m able to create consistently. You can teach and make films.
You can be an office coordinator and make films.
You can drive Uber and make films.
You can produce commercial content for brands and make films.

There are so many sustainable ways to be a filmmaker that don’t involve struggling.
Sep 8, 2020 5 tweets 3 min read
All of my documentary films follow a similar format/style. Activism centered, interview based, coupled with animation, typography, archival footage, and b roll.

Why? Because the producer + Virgo in me will not allow me to agree to a project without a definitive end date 😩 Exhibit A: Black Feminist.

52 mins. Highly educational. Distributed by @womenmakemovies. Schools LOVE this. It’s fun, upbeat, poignant, and informational.

Shot this in 2 locations with a 3 person crew of all Black women in Less than a year.
Aug 19, 2020 6 tweets 2 min read
Every single time a celebrity is called out for sexual misconduct, the responses to it show me that we as a society STILL know little to nothing about sexual assault, trauma, and consent. It’s exhausting. The problem is that so many men are conditioned to believe that sexual aggression and coercion are how you engage in sexual activity. Enthusiastic consent is demonized because men are taught they should “chase” and “pursue”. Sex is looked at as something to obtain from women.
Aug 1, 2020 4 tweets 2 min read
I started filmmaking in 2015. The first five years of this journey has been

- getting my masters degree in cinema producing
- producing 15 films, directing 8
- focusing on festivals & content distribution
- networking my ass off to build a film tribe The next five years my focus is

- getting into academy award qualifying festivals consistently.
- learning how to shoot on a basic DSLR so I can film my own docs
- writing bigger scripts with larger casts and crews.
- more international distribution
Jul 28, 2020 9 tweets 2 min read
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I get shit at least once a month when someone finds out that I’ve never been to LA.

Yes, I’m an internationally awarded filmmaker who’s films are streaming GLOBALLY, who has NEVER been to LA.

A thread. “You need to go because of the networking opportunities!”

1) LA is over saturated. Everyone there is in film. I don’t want to be somewhere that EVERYONE does the same thing that I do.

2) y’all act like technology don’t exist. I can connect with LA filmmakers from Chi
Jul 27, 2020 4 tweets 1 min read
The next feature documentary I’m producing/directing is on feminism and Christianity. I’m tackling sexual abuse in the church, acts of feminism in the Bible, and myths vs facts. The voices involved in this project?! Whew.

Y’alls dusty ass pastors are about to be TRIGGERED AF. I’m not stopping till there’s a wanted sign with my face on it outside of every mega church.
Jul 16, 2020 9 tweets 3 min read
The distribution plan for my latest documentary film, Unlearning Sex, is now COMPLETELY virtual. I plan on revolutionizing impact producing via virtual screenings and events.

A THREAD. This film follows my six month journey through sexual trauma therapy. I completed this film in @Kartemquin Diverse Voices in Docs Program. This uprising against racial injustice really pinpointed the importance of understanding systems of oppression in trauma work.
Jul 15, 2020 4 tweets 1 min read
The worst professional experience I had was being ambushed to a client meeting and dangled in front of a client like a diversity toy. “Look at this shiny film thing we have. She’s Black too! Look! Go on, tell them what you do!”

I felt like a wind up doll. Second worst experience I had was being brought to a brief where I was the only Black woman in a room full of 20+ white people to come up with ideas that targeted Black people and women.

Jul 13, 2020 4 tweets 1 min read
Back to the Black films subject...I want to see more Black love stories that involve intimacy beyond sex. Eliminate the glorified toxicity where the couple has to go through hell and heartbreak to be together, and give us something more than mediocre sex scenes. Examples? Psh. You ever had someone wash your hair & ask you to tell them about your day? Run you a bath and read a novel to you? Let you cry in their arms? Tickle you till you can’t breathe and help you catch your breath with theirs aka kisses? Intimacy is so much more than sex.
Jul 4, 2020 13 tweets 2 min read
Documentary filmmaking bbs gather round. Here are things you need to make SURE you do when producing a documentary . A THREAD. A production deck is your friend. Have a deck that outlines your entire project. It can be revised as the project moves along, but always have something tangible that has all information regarding your project.
Jun 16, 2020 4 tweets 1 min read
As long as I’m making films, I’m going to be making films that center Black womxn’s experience. Our stories deserve to be told. Storytelling and collaborating with other Black womxn filmmakers is my only relief In a world that doesn’t protect, listen to, value, or love us. Here’s a few of my films about Black womxn by Black womxn…
May 16, 2020 5 tweets 1 min read
Story time.

Today in my documentary fellowship program, we had our practice pitches in front of the board. Mind you, the cohort has been workshopping our docs since January.

Here’s the one I’m working on:… During my pitch, I outlined two specific audiences- assault survivors as well as sex educators + therapists. The distribution plan was REALLY specific to those groups.
May 11, 2020 5 tweets 1 min read
Until the relationship or commitment is clearly defined between both parties, there is no relationship.

Men love hearing that...until they text you “wyd” and you tell them on vacation with your new beau.

“I thought we had an understanding”

We did not. I did not understand. It’s very amusing to come across a man who assumes you’re waiting for him to choose you.

I never argue or refute those assumptions.

Let him assume he’s stringing you along. It’s entertaining.

These are the ones that say:
“What’s understood doesn’t need to be explained”
May 5, 2020 8 tweets 2 min read
The next script I’m writing surrounds a non patriarchal wedding of a straight couple.

This has been a long time coming... In ancient times (and still today in some cultures) women were literally given to men by their fathers as breeders. Literally tools to further a man’s legacy and bloodline. Never was to benefit women in anyway.
May 3, 2020 4 tweets 1 min read
Sitting in a room full of gatekeepers while professionally tap dancing in an effort to beg them to see that my work is worth funding never has and never will be a part of the equation.

Like ever.

If I can’t self fund it, I’m not producing it. I’m not writing a script that costs me $100K to produce. Because guess what. I DONT HAVE $100K to produce it.

I’m writing scripts that will cost me $3K-$5K or less.


Because I can make those happen.

It’s simple.
Apr 28, 2020 4 tweets 2 min read
I was recognized by @diversencannes as one of the top 10 filmmakers of the decade.

An international distributor and a US distributor are courting 2 of my feature documentaries I did with budgets of less than $2K.

I’ve never been to LA, or had a budget over $5K for my films. Success to me is not Hollywood. Success to me is having full autonomy over what I create, when I create it, and how I create it.

Indie filmmakers- define what success is to you. Don’t let the industry define it for you.
Apr 14, 2020 6 tweets 1 min read
Everyone who gives me shit about me having yet to go to LA proceeds to tell me how I can continue doing exactly what the fuck I’m doing as a filmmaker only with traffic that’s 10x worse , fake people, forest fires, and $6,000 rent.

Huh? Then again, Hollywood was just never a goal for me. The glitz and glamour of Hollywood was never appealing.

I make films that are healing tools for people. I make films to educate. I make films to inspire and change lives.