Zahra Dowlatabadi was born in 1962 in Tehran, Iran. She is both a producer and a consultant. She started her animation career in 1986. Since then, she has worked in almost every major studio in Los Angeles along with many internationally acclaimed animation studios and talent.
Presently, Dowlatabadi is focused on producing web animation featuring Persian nursery rhymes. Concurrently, she is managing Animation Team, an organization she founded in 2000. The purpose of Animation Team is to assist studios with finding qualified artists and production staff.
Dowlatabadi co-authored "Producing Animation" for Focal Press with Catherine Winder. Written from the perspective of the producer, the book details all steps necessary to creating a project starting with where to find ideas all the way through development, pre-production, production and post production. "Producing Animation" covers three formats: television series, direct-to-home video and feature production.
In 1998, she was the Associate Producer on Warner Bros.' first full length animated film, Quest For Camelot. In this role, Dowlatabadi was responsible for managing a crew of over 450 people from the early stages of production through the film's completion. During her tenure at Warner Bros., she also acted as a satellite Production Manager on the box office hit Space Jam, which combined both animation and live action footage. Following her passion for Children's Rights, Dowlatabadi produced an animated short on the topic of children's safety at work for Unicef and Warner Bros.
Prior to joining Warner Bros., Dowlatabadi functioned as Co-Producer on the first three feature length direct to home video sequels of Land Before Time at Universal Cartoon Studios. She received an Annie Award in 1996 for her work on Land Before Time IV.
At Hanna-Barbera Features, she was the Production Manager on Once Upon A Forest, the first theatrically released film produced by the team that was to become Turner Feature Animation. She oversaw the production of animation sent to studios in Taiwan, Australia, Argentina, Spain, Denmark and the U.S. For Turner, Dowlatabadi worked on Page Master , their second animated/live action film as assistant to director, Joe Johnston. In this position she garnered first hand experience at live action film-making.
At Walt Disney Television Animation, she managed the Goof Troop series through pre-production. For Fox Children's Network, she worked on the production of the animated Television series Peter Pan and the Pirates. Dowlatabadi began her career at the renowned Japanese animation studio, Tokyo Movie Shinsha. During this time she production managed Little Nemo as well as working on their television series Visionaries and Bionic Six. With equal passion for documentary filmmaking, Dowlatabadi was involved in a number of independent projects including Prince: A Musical Portrait and Survivors of Torture in the City of Angels.
Dowlatabadi graduated from the University of Southern California with an M.A. in Film Theory and Critical Studies. She also holds a B.A. in English Literature and Film from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana.
Quest for Camelot (Warner Bros. Feature) Associate Producer
Space Jam (Warner Bros. Feature) Satellite Production Manager
Children Have a Right to Safety (Warner Bros./Unicef PSA) Producer
Land Before Time II (Universal Cartoon Studios) Co-Producer
Land Before Time III (Universal Cartoon Studios) Co-Producer
Land Before Time IV (Universal Cartoon Studios) Co-Producer