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She was one of the only women in the story room for ‘Inside Out.’ Now she’s the first woman to direct a Pixar short

When Domee Shi first had the idea for a short film about a Chinese Canadian mother who accidentally creates a dumpling that comes to life, she kept it a private, personal assignment during her fulltime job as a story artist on the Pixar film “Inside Out.”

But as she developed the story — an homage to mothers, Chinese food and Cantonese dramas — she received encouragement from one key mentor: “Inside Out” director, Pete Docter.

“I pitched it to him and his reaction was so positive it surprised me,” Shi says. “He said, ‘You better make this, this is awesome.’ I was like, ‘Oh, cool! All right.

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