Born in Tehran, Iran in 1988, after studying Fine Arts in Iran where he actively collaborated on several cartoon magazines and series, Reza left for France where he perfected his skills at EESI in Angoulême completing his training with a Masters at the Ecole de la Poudrière in Bourg-Les-Valences for animation filmmakers.
Reza is the author and director of several award-winning animated shorts: including his graduation film Entre Chien et Loup (Between Dog and Wolf) which highly acclaimed and well received in France and internationally. Broadcast on ARTE in 2014, the short film was selected in many festivals in Annecy, Paris, Brussels, Morocco, Hungary.
Reza was the artistic director on Nora Twomey’s film The Breadwinner, nominated for such major awards including The Oscars®, Golden Globes and Annies in 2018 and winning both the coveted Audience and Jury Prizes in Annecy.
Reza was awarded Best Feature Film Character and Background Design for The Breadwinner at the European Animation Awards (Emil Awards) in Lille in 2018.
His latest short film The Musician (2020) premiered at 2020 Toronto International Film Festival . After its initial premiere, the film has been selected in over 70 festivals around the world including SXSW, Anima, IFTS , Aspen Shortfest, PalmSprings (Special mention of the Jury ) and Sonoma to name few. The Musician won best animated short film at Tribeca, Nashville and Ficie film festivals, as well as other prizes worldwide. The Musician is currently enjoying its illustrious journey around the world.
Reza is now working on his next short animated film, Songs of the Valley, as well as on the script for his 1st animated feature. Music and poetry are a great source of inspiration for Reza’s unique universe mixing humor and melancholy. The subject of injustice runs deep throughout his work.
Parallel to his activity in animation, Reza Riahi collaborates on various fine art and illustration projects, as well as teaching and mentoring animation talent in France. He is preparing his next exhibition in Paris for 2022.