Emily Limyun Dean set to direct animated feature

Photo by Bradford Rogne Photography

Emily Limyun Dean (Photo credit: Bradford Rogne).

AACTA Award-nominated filmmaker Emily Limyun Dean will make her feature directing debut on an animated feature for Sony Pictures Animation.

Entitled Tao, the female-driven sci-fi adventure is set in China, according to Deadline, which broke the story.

Tonya Kong, whose credits include the US TV series Arrow, Daredevil and Justice, is attached as the writer. The plot is under wraps.

The US-born Chinese-Australian took nights classes in art certificate training at AFTRS and worked on live action short films and TV series while she studied at the University of Sydney.

After graduating with a BA (Honours) in history and English in 2009 she wrote, directed and animated her first animated short Forget Me Not.

Based on her family’s experience with Alzheimer’s disease, it was nominated for the Best Short Animation Award at the 2012 AACTA Awards.

She studied animation at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) before training in the story department at Pixar Animation Studios.

Then she worked as a story artist at Animal Logic and Warner Bros. in Los Angeles on The Lego Batman Movie (2017), The Lego Movie 2 (2019) and Scooby-Doo (2020).

“We have known and worked with Emily for many years. She’s a fantastic talent and I’m pleased to see her get this great opportunity to step up to direct,” Animal Logic CEO Zareh Nalbandian tells IF.

She now writes, directs and executive produces film and TV content under her production banner Grade 8 Productions.

Last year she wrote and directed Andromeda, a sci-fi short about an android who, through her friendship with a little girl, becomes alive, starring Kestrel Leah, Aaron Glenane, Mai Brunelle and Nathan Lee.