Rhys Ernst, a 2010 HBO Point Scholar, is a filmmaker and artist. His work investigates transgender identity in the context of larger narratives and seeks to develop and expand the portrayal of trans lives in media. He is a Co-Producer of Amazon’s “Transparent” and created the title sequence for the series. “Transparent” received 2014 Golden Globe Awards for Best Comedy and Best Actor in a Television Series Comedy or Musical, and the show has received 11 Primetime Emmy Award nominations. Ernst directed and produced the docuseries “Transparent: This Is Me,” a deeper conversation about trans issues, which was also nominated for a 2015 Emmy Award.
Ernst received his B.A. from Hampshire College in 2004, where his undergraduate film “The Drive North” played in numerous film festivals worldwide, winning a Gold Plaque at the Chicago International Film Festival, and a Princess Grace Award Honorarium. He was an Associate Producer of LOGO’s acclaimed 2006 series “Coming Out Stories,” and a producer/editor for MTV’s Creative Services Department in 2008. In 2011, Ernst earned an M.F.A. in Film/Video from CalArt and his thesis film, “The Thing”, premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. While at CalArts, Ernst advocated for trans and queer issues and produced a number of films to encourage dialogue about social inequities. In 2012, he was chosen as a Project: Involve Fellow for Film Independent.
Ernst and his frequent collaborator, Zackary Drucker were selected to participate in the 2014 Whitney Biennial. Their body of work, including the film “She Gone Rogue” and the photo series “Relationship,” drew international media attention. Ernst has also shown work in the Oberhausen Film Festival, Rushes Soho Shorts, Brisbane International Film Festival, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art, MIX Brazil, Indie Memphis, REDCAT, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, MOCA Los Angeles, The New Museum, Brooklyn Museum, and The Hammer Museum. He lives in Los Angeles.