Sheila M. Sofian creates films that investigate social issues utilizing a unique hybrid of animation and documentary. She has produced, directed, and animated seven independent animated films. Sofian has received grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, Rockefeller Media Arts Fellowship, and the Pew Fellowships in the Arts, among others. Her award-winning films have been exhibited internationally, including at MoMA, Annecy Animation Festival, Hiroshima International Animation Festival, Zagreb Animation Festival, and CaixaForum in Barcelona, Spain. Her films are distributed educationally and in home video markets.
Professor Sofian has taught painting-on-glass animation and documentary animation workshops internationally at several institutions including the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá, Colombia, the Central Academy Of Fine Art in Beijing, China, the University Of Buffalo and the Kansas City Art Institute. She developed curriculum and designed coursework for Documentary Animation Production and has written on the subject. She served on a Panel on Animated Documentary at the International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film in Germany. Sofian was a Keynote Speaker at the "Animating Realities: Animation, Documentary and the Moving Image" conference at the Edinburgh International Film Festival, Scotland in 2011.
Ms. Sofian is an Associate Professor at the University of Southern California, where she teaches Animation Production, Documentary Animation Production, and Story Art Development courses. She holds a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and an MFA in from the California Institute of the Arts.