Shannon Walsh is a filmmaker, writer and Associate Professor in the Department of Theatre and Film at the University of British Columbia. She is writer and director of the feature documentaries Illusions of Control (2019), Jeppe on a Friday (2013), St-Henri, the 26th of August (2011), and H2Oil (2009). She premiered her first nonfiction VR, Disappearance: Hong Kong Stories (RIDM 2018), and finished a short doc, Matsutake Hunters (AmDocs 2019), for TELUS Originals.
In 2018, her first fiction feature script, Unidentified Minor, was a top 10 finalist at the Cinequest Screenplay Competition. In 2017, the script also won Best Low-Budget Screenplay at the 15th Female Eye Film Festival, was shortlisted for the CBC-TIFF Diverse screenwriting award, a quarterfinalist in the Shore Scripts competition, as well as an official selection into competition at the 2017 Oaxaca Film Festival. It was also selected for the Women in the Director's Chair "Story & Development" lab, the Stowe Story Lab, and the WIFTV mentorship as part of the Whistler Film Festival. Unidentified Minor was shortlisted for the Sundance Screenwriters Lab twice.
Walsh’s films have been theatrically released in Canada, the UK, and South Africa, and played in over 60 film festivals worldwide such as Hot Docs, Visions du Réel, Beijing, La Rochelle, Rome, Paris Cinéma, Durban, Bergen and others. Her documentaries have been broadcast nationally and internationally on Netflix, CBC, Discovery, Al Jazeera, Fox Africa, SABC, Télé-Quebéc, Global, and Canal-D, as well as in museum spaces, including the 56th Venice Biennale and the Pompidou Centre in Paris. Her work has been supported by the National Film Board of Canada, Telefilm, SODEC, Vision du SudEst, CALQ, the Gauteng Film Commission, and Canada Council for the Arts, amongst others.
As a theorist, she has published in a range of research areas, largely focused on South Africa, with more than 35 journal articles and book chapters in spaces such as Educational Philosophy and Theory, Area (Royal Geographic Society), Review of African Political Economy, and Feminist Media Studies. Walsh has won numerous fellowships and awards, with research supported by SSHRC, the Research Grants Council of Hong Kong, the FQRSC, AWID, amongst others.Walsh received a PhD in anthropology and education from McGill University in 2010, and completed a post-doc in the South African Research Chair in Social Change at the University of Johannesburg in 2013. From 2013-2016 she was an Assistant Professor at the School of Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong.
She was a Wall Scholar at the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies for 2017-2018, and a Leading Scholar at Green College for 2017-2019. Her edited volume, The Ties that Bind: Race and the Politics of Friendship in South Africa, co-edited with Jon Soske, and released by Wits University and NYU Press.
Her most recent feature documentary, Jeppe on a Friday (2013), has been screened at the 56th Venice Biennale, the Pompidou Centre in Paris, and film festivals around the world. Her award-winning first film, H2Oil, was recognized as one of the top ten independent documentaries of 2009. She followed with St-Henri, the 26th of August (2011) co-produced with the National Film Board of Canada (NFB). Her films have played in over 50 film festivals and museums, on television and in cinemas, and have been supported by Société de développement des entreprises culturelles (SODEC), the Gauteng Film Commission (GFC), Canada Council for the Arts, among others.
As a theorist, Walsh publishes extensively in areas such as cities, social movements, pedagogy, sexuality, critical race theory, ethnography and visual and participatory methodologies, largely focused on South Africa. She has won numerous fellowships and awards; and her research has been supported by Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), the Fonds Quebecois de la recherche sur la societe et la culture (FQRSC), the Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID), amongst many others. Walsh was a faculty member at the School of Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong, from 2013-2016, and continues to be a Research Associate at the University of Johannesburg’s Research Chair in Social Change, where she did her post-doc. She received a PhD in anthropology and education from McGill University in 2010.
Walsh is working on new documentary and a fiction feature. Her first book, The Ties that Bind: Race and the Politics of Friendship in South Africa, edited with Jon Soske, will be released in fall 2016.