Meet 2016 Djerassi Residency / SFFS Screenwriting Fellow Dash Shaw

In partnership with the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, we're pleased to announce that Dash Shaw has been awarded the 2016 Djerassi Residency Award / San Francisco Film Society Screenwriting Fellowship, for continuing development of his script The Cryptozoo Debut.

The Djerassi Residency Award / San Francisco Film Society Screenwriting Fellowship provides uninterrupted time for work, reflection and collegial interaction, making this award unique in its capacity to provide a screenwriter with an inspiring and supportive environment in a stunningly beautiful rural location. Located 40 miles south of San Francisco in the Santa Cruz Mountains overlooking the Pacific Ocean, this residency offers living and work-studio accommodations and all meals from September 14–October 12, 2016, at no cost to the recipient.  

This movie is partly an ode to psychedelic underground comic books, which were born in San Francisco, and so I couldn’t be more excited to storyboard it in the Bay Area.

Shaw is a cartoonist and animator whose forthcoming graphic novel, Cosplayers, arrives September 2016 from Fantagraphics Books. His previous book New School was named one of the best books of the year by NPR. His other recent books include Doctors, BodyWorld and Bottomless Belly Button. His animated works include Wheel of Fortune, Blind Date 4, the Sigur Ros video Seraph (co-written with John Cameron Mitchell), and the 2009 IFC web series The Unclothed Man in the 35th Century AD. He wrote and directed the forthcoming independent animated feature My Entire High School Sinking into the Sea starring the voice talents of Jason Schwartzman, Lena Dunham, Reggie Watts, Maya Rudolph and Susan Sarandon. Shaw was a 2010 Sundance Labs fellow and a 2014–2015 Cullman Center fellow at the New York Public Library.

“During this residency, I’ll be storyboarding my second animated movie, The Cryptozoo Debut,” said Shaw. “This movie is partly an ode to psychedelic underground comic books, which were born in San Francisco, and so I couldn’t be more excited to storyboard it in the Bay Area and in such a beautiful, fantastical location.”

The Cryptozoo Debut is a hand-drawn animated feature modeled after 1960s underground comic books about a zoo that houses mythological creatures. The zookeepers must catch these “cryptids” before they fall into the hands of arms dealers who want to sell them as weapons. As the zookeepers struggle to capture a Baku (a Japanese dream-eating creature) they begin to wonder if they should display these rare beasts, or whether they should allow them to stay hidden.

Previous recipients of the Djerassi Residency Award are Tom Gilroy (2015) for his supernatural drama Our Lady of the Snow, Lea Nakonechny (2014) for her dramatic thriller A Sweeter World, Joshua Zeman (2013) for his scientific drama Collider, Julie Tosh (2012) for her science fiction–infused family drama Program Rose, Adam Chanzit (2011) for his psychological thriller The 15th Stone and Kathryn Mockler (2010) for her project Weak People Are Fun to Torment. 


The Djerassi Residency Award / San Francisco Film Society Screenwriting Fellowship is supported by a gift from Film Society board of directors member Dale Djerassi.