Synopsis ▪︎ Bio


NORTH OF BLUE SYNOPSIS  (60 minutes, 16:9, Dolby Digital, 2018)

“Inspired by the chilling and mysterious winter landscapes of the Yukon, North of Blue is a mesmerizing non-narrative exploration giving form to the formless and offering shifting focal points and patterns that explore tensions between the recognizable and the strange.

Bursting with lively colours and dynamic shapes, North of Blue is abstract art come to life. Conventional silhouettes are deconstructed, stripping away meanings and associations to free the mind for a wildly subjective visit to the north. A dreamlike façade, North of Blue is a stunning symphony which speaks to the explorer in us all.” -Chris Robinson, Ottawa International Animation Festival

CREDITS  Directed, produced, animated and designed by Joanna Priestley. Sound design and music composed by Jamie Haggerty. Compositing and paint effects by Brian Kinkley. Additional sound effects by Chris Barber. Edited by Greg Snider and Joanna Priestley. Assistant Animators: Neisje Morrell and Don Flores. Animation Assistants: Rachel Bradley, Jesse Bray, Gabe Mangold and Dui Oray. Supported by the Klondike Institute for Art and Culture, Caldera Foundation and Willapa Bay A.I.R. Special thanks to Paul Harrod, Sticky Film.

JOANNA PRIESTLEY BIO   Joanna Priestley has directed, animated and produced 32 award winning films, including an abstract animated feature, North of Blue, and an iOS app. 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 Museum of Modern Art (New York), Center for Contemporary Art (Warsaw, Poland), American Cinematheque (Los Angeles, CA), Hiroshima Animation Festival (Japan), Jenju International Film Festival (Korea) and Stuttgart Animation Festival (Germany) and she has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the American Film Institute, the MacDowell Colony, Fundación Valparaíso and Creative Capital. Priestley was founding president of ASIFA Northwest and has been a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences since 1992, where she annually juries the Student Academy Awards and the Nicholl Screenplay Fellowships. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband, director/production designer Paul Harrod, and two cats. More information can be found on her website:

“She’s the queen of independent animation.” -Bill Plympton