Ryan Henry is an Armenian-American writer/director, photographer, & musician who recently completed his M.F.A. in Film & T.V. Production at the U.S.C. School of Cinematic Arts.
In 2021, his screenplay, The Man in the Flying Lawn Chair, won the Screenwriting Discovery Award Grand Prize from the Oscar-qualifying Rhode Island International Film Festival.
His film, Spokespeople, won Best Short Doc First Prize at the Rhode Island International Film Festival, Best Film for Change at the BAFTA-qualifying Bolton International Film Festival, & awards at the Virginia Dares Cinematic Arts Awards for Decolonizing/Re-Indigenizing Media, Filmed By Bike Film Festival, & Better Cities Film Festival. The short has been selected for festivals worldwide including the Oscar-qualifying Edmonton International Film Festival, Planet in Focus International Environmental Film Festival, Yellowknife International Film Festival, & two dozen others.
In 2019, Mekenian's short,The American Ambassador, played the Catalina Film Festival and the Prague Independent Film Festival.
Ryan was born in Whittier, California. In his youth, he'd carry around his mom's Minolta XG7, shooting anything and everything in sight. When he attended the Orange County School of the Arts and Francis Coppola served as guest director, Ryan learned what he wanted to do with the rest of his life. At 16, he went door-to-door raising $10,000 to produce and direct his first play. Later that year, he became the first student director in OCSA’s history with the California premiere of the musical Parade, a production that led to the school’s formation of a directing curriculum.
Ryan’s passion for directing led him east when he was accepted to N.Y.U.’s Tisch School of the Arts. He studied under Tony-winning director Rachel Chavkin at Playwrights Horizons Theatre School, concentrating on production design and creating original work. During his freshman year, he was hired as a production assistant for the Broadway play Six Dance Lessons starring Mark Hamill. He directed and/or produced Mrs. Sharp starring Tony Award-winner Ali Stroker, Snoopy starring Tony Award-winner Sutton Foster, & Spare Some Change: N.Y.C. Artists for Barack Obama starring Tony Award-winners Lindsay Mendez & Celia Keenan-Bolger. Ryan assisted on Aaron Sorkin’s The Farnsworth Invention produced by Steven Spielberg, The 24 Hour Plays with Jennifer Aniston & Sam Rockwell, & the final two seasons of Law & Order. He once catered Hugh Jackman's holiday party.
Ryan’s goal is to direct the kind of films that inspired him as a kid — Comedies, Dramas, and True Stories that express honest, complex portrayals of the American dream.