Jovanka Vuckovic is an award-winning writer and filmmaker. Her first short film The Captured Bird (winner of four Best Short Film Awards) was executive produced by Guillermo del Toro (The Shape of Water, Pan’s Labyrinth) and was an official selection at over 50 festivals around the globe including the Worldwide Short Film Festival, Fantasia, Sitges, and Fantastic Fest. It received an unprecedented theatrical release in Canada at 25 Cineplex Odeon theatres across Canada in May of 2013.
In 2013 she was selected by the Toronto International Film Festival as one of 25 filmmakers from around the globe to participate in its high profile Emerging Filmmakers Competition. Her next two short films, including The Guest, were created for the competition. It too was picked up for theatrical distribution in 25 Cineplex Odeon theatres on September 19, 2013.
An outspoken advocate for gender equality in film, Vuckovic joined the Directors Guild of America in 2014 after executive producing and directing part of XX, the first-ever all-female horror anthology from Magnolia Pictures and XYZ Films (now on Netfilx, iTunes and Amazon Prime). The film had its World Premiere at the SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL on January 22, 2017 was released on February 17, 2017, where it topped the iTunes charts for weeks and became Magnolia’s highest grossing feature film. For her segment, she adapted Jack Ketchum’s Stoker award-winning story “The Box” (from Peaceable Kingdom) starring Natalie Brown (The Strain).
She made her feature debut in summer 2019 with the comic book-styled, teen post-apocalypse film Riot Girls, described at Cannes 2018 as “Riverdale meets Lord of the Flies with a blasting punk soundtrack.” Vuckovic is also in development on the hyper-violent thriller All My Heroes Are Dead from her own script.
Vuckovic studied Physical Anthropology at McMaster University but dropped out to pursue a career as a digital effects artist at CBC Television, where she earned a Gemini Award (Canadian equivalent of a Primetime Emmy) for Best Visual Effects when she was 25 years old. She also became a celebrated genre film expert during her tenure as Editor-in-Chief of Rue Morgue Magazine and was twice named one of the most important women in the history of horror alongside Mary Shelley (Frankenstein), Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker) and Debra Hill (Halloween). She is an alumnus of the Toronto International Film Festival Talent Lab, Berlinale Talents and a member of the Directors Guild of Canada as well as the Toronto chapter of Film Fatales, an international organization of women feature film directors.
Vuckovic is also the author of Zombies! An Illustrated History of the Undead (St. Martin’s Press) and the compendium of factoids and trivia Horror Miscellany from Ilex Press. She has appeared on television and in documentaries as a genre film expert including the Blade Runner (Five-Disc Ultimate Collector’s Edition), Zombiemania , Universal’s The Future of Fear and The Vice Guide to Film.
In March 2016, Vuckovic opened THE TELL TALE HEART Tattoo & Gallery — a high end tattoo studio and dark art gallery in downtown Burlington, Ontario. The shop is an homage to author Edgar Allan Poe, conceived to celebrate macabre, surreal and dark art of the finest quality. The Grand Opening art show included original paintings by Clive Barker, Chet Zar, Travis Louie, Mike Mignola, Nat Jones and Daniele Serra.