DAVID KAPLAN is a writer/director from New York City.

He directed and co-wrote PLAY, a collaboration with game designer Eric Zimmerman. PLAY was commissioned by the Independent Television Service (ITVS) for their ongoing series FutureStates and won Best Short Film at the 2010 PiFan Fantastic Film Festival in South Korea. PLAY was included in the 2012 exhibition “Playtime – Videogame Mythologies” which premiered at the Maison d’Ailleurs Musée de la science-fiction, de l’utopie et des voyages extraordinaires in Switzerland and is currently being shown throughout the world.

His feature film TODAY’S SPECIAL is a comedy set in Jackson Heights, Queens, starring Aasif Mandvi (The Daily Show), Madhur Jaffrey (Shakespeare-Wallah) and legendary Bollywood actor Naseeruddin Shah (Monsoon Wedding). Today’s Special was released theatrically by Reliance Mediaworks.

YEAR OF THE FISH is Kaplan’s first feature film; it premiered at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival and was released theatrically in 2008.  YEAR OF THE FISH won “Best Film” at the 2007 Avignon Film Festival, “Best Film” at the 2007 Asheville Film Festival, the Audience Award at the 2007 Independent Film Festival of Boston, and was nominated for the Piaget Producers Award at the 2009 Independent Spirit Awards.

Kaplan has made several short films, including LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD starring Christina Ricci and Quentin Crisp, which premiered at the 1997 Sundance Film Festival, was shown in theaters and on television throughout the world, and has been taught as part of the curriculum at Harvard, Oxford, and Columbia Universities. His other award-winning shorts include LITTLE SUCK-A-THUMB, THE FROG KING (1995 Sundance Film Festival), and LOVEDEATH, commissioned for Lincoln Center’s 2003 New York Video Festival.

In 2011, Kaplan directed an episode of Current TV’s short-lived sci-fi series BAR KARMA, produced by game designer Will Wright (The Sims, Spore) and starring Ken Leung (Lost) and William Sanderson (Deadwood, Blade Runner).

His 2013 short documentary WHERE BEASTS DWELL, about artist Kathy Ruttenberg, played continuously at the Stux Gallery show Nature of the Beast in Chelsae, New York.

Kaplan lectured at Scripps College in Claremont, CA on “Fairy Tales into Film” and “Reimagining Fantastic Tales.” He has been a lecturer or guest speaker at Parsons School of Design, Pratt Institute, Columbia University, Marymount Manhattan College, New York University, the Tampere School of Art and Media, Finland, and the Network of Asian Fantastic Films (NAFF) at the Puchon Fantastic Film Festival, South Korea.


  • Where Beasts Dwell (2013) (Documentary) – 11 min – director/camera.
  • She Sleeps (2012) (Music video) – 3 min – writer/director/camera.
  • Bar Karma – “The Arrival” (2011) (TV episode) – 30 min – director.
  • PLAY (2010) (Short film) – 18 min – director, co-writer.
  • Today’s Special (2009) (Feature film) – 99 min – director.
  • Year of the Fish (2007) (Feature film) – 96 min – writer/director.
  • LoveDeath (2003) (Short film) – 4 min – co-writer/co-director.
  • What is the City? (2002) (Short film) – 15 min – co-director.
  • Little Red Riding Hood (1997) (Short film) – 12 min – writer/director.
  • The Frog King (1994) (Short film) – 9 min – writer/director.
  • Little Suck-a-Thumb (1992) (Short film) – 9 min – writer/director.