Ellen Osborne


Ellen Osborne earned a MFA in film from San Francisco State University. She received a Student Academy Award for her graduation film, "Clowning Around." After graduation, she went on to work in a variety of positions in both narrative and documentary film and television.


She began painting in 2002 and her artwork has been displayed in curated and juried exhibitions in California, Oregon, Minnesota and Kentucky. In 2005, she began exploring animation by using her paintings in short animated films.

Her latest film "Reboot" was created with a technique called clay painting. Clay painting uses thinned down plasticine. A  2-dimensional picture is created and photographed from above, after which the clay is slightly manipulated and photographed again. This is done repeatedly until a filmic sequence is built up. The four minute film "Reboot" is made up of over 2500 clay paintings.

​Selected Filmography as Producer/Director


  • 2018 "Reboot" 4 minute animation

  • 2015 "Half Step Behind" 4 1/2 minute animation
    Screened at the San Luis Obispo Symphony accompanied by live music performed by Cafe Musique and the San Luis Obispo Symphony

  • 2013 "Put A Lid on It" 3 1/2 minute animation
    Winner of best animated film "San Luis Obispo Film Festival"
    Also screened at: The Denver International Film Festival, Hawaii Film Festival and Cinequest.

  • 2012 "Chango Spango" 1 minute animation

  • 2010 "The Sound of One Tree Clapping" 1 minute animation
    Selected from 23,000 submissions for the short list of 125 films for "You tube Play" at the Guggenheim Museum

  • 2000 "Blossoms of Fire" Feature Length Documentary
    Screened at 42 film festivals throughout the world, winning the following awards:
    Coral Prize: Havana International Film Festival, Havana, Cuba
    Award of Excellence: Society for Visual Anthropology, American Anthropology Association
    Best Documentary: Film Fest New Have, Conn.
    Prix Union Latine Competition: La Cita Festival de Biarritz, Biarritz, France