Shannon Walsh is a filmmaker, writer and Assistant Professor in the Department of Theatre and Film at the University of British Columbia. She is writer and director of the feature documentaries Jeppe on a Friday (2013), St-Henri, the 26th of August (2011), and H2Oil (2009). She finished her first short non-fiction 360 VR, Disappearance: Hong Kong Stories, in 2017. Her fourth feature doc, Illusions of Control, is currently in production with What Escapes Production and Last Songbird Productions, and support from Telefilm and TELUS.

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 is 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, was released in 2017.

Current projects

Previous films

Jeppe on Friday

(2013), HD, 87 min, Feature doc, with Arya Lalloo

Parabola Films / Urucu Media / Gauteng Film Commission / Vision du SudEst

Best Documentary, Karoo Indie Film Festival, South Africa, 2015
Johannesburg Pavilion, 56th Venice Biennale, May 2015; The Pompidou Center BPI, Paris, Oct 2013
Bioscope Cinema, Johannesburg

Labia Theatre, Cape Town


South African Airways (SAA)

FX TV “Out of Africa”

South African Broadcast Corporation (SABC)


Indie Karoo Film Fest South Africa (Winner of the Best Documentary Film)

56th Venice Biennale, Italy

Film Africa, England

KwaMashu African Film Festival, South Africa

Geneva International Film Festival, Switzerland

Black Movie, Switzerland 

Colours of the Nile Film Festival, Ethiopia

Africa Hoje, Mostra de Documentarios Africanos, Brazil

RIDM Montreal, Canada

Rendezvous du Cinéma Québecois, Canada

Big Sky Documentary Festival, United States

NY African Film Festival, United States

Beijing International Film Festival, China

Vues d’Afrique Montreal, Canada

Festival Cinema Africano,  Italy

Encounters Festival, South Africa

La Rochelle Festival, France

Festival Paris Cinéma, France

Durban International Film Festival, South Africa

Cinémas d’Afrique-Lausanne, Switzerland

DMZ Festival, Korea

Centre Pompidou Paris, France

Cordoba African Film Festival, Spain


High Commission of Canada, Johannesburg, August 2013; First Wednesday Film Club, Atlas Studios, Johannesburg, August 2013; Things of Order: the Materiality of Value in Cities of the South, Wits University City Institute, South Africa, April 2013; AFDA, Johannesburg, South Africa; High School Screenings in Montreal with the RIDM festival, 2013.

À St-Henri, le 26 août

(2011) HD, 85 min, Feature doc

Parabola Films/ NFB/ Canal-D/ SODEC, & Conseil des Arts et des Letteres du Québec


Five-week cinema run in Montreal


Canal D National broadcaster (French)

Documentary Channel (English)

Air Canada


Distributed in Canada and Internationally by the National Film Board of Canada (NFB)


Hot Docs – Canada

DMZ DocsKorea

Durban International Film Festival – South Africa

The Rendez-vous du cinéma québécois – Canada

Full Frame Documentary FestivalUSA 

Beijing International Film FestivalChina 

Bordeaux men’s prison as part of an RIDM – Canada


(2009), HD, 76 min, Feature-length documentary
SODEC/ Global Television/ Télé-Quebéc / Canada Council / Loaded Pictures


  • Special Mention, Best Documentary, CRiterio Ambiental Film Fest (CRAFF), Costa Rica, 2011
  • Grand Prize, Festival de films de Portneuf sur l’environnement, Quebec
    Honourable Mention, Eco-camera Award, RIDM festival; Nominated for 3 awards at the festival
  • Top 10 Independent Films 2009, The Montreal Mirror
  • Top 5: “Best of the Fest”, 1001 Documentary Festival, Istanbul, Turkey

Canada and the UK

Can-West Global National (English)

Télé-Quebéc (French)

The Discovery Channel (US)

Distributed by KinoSmith in Canada as part of the Hot Docs film series

Dogwoof in the UK. Educational distribution by Film Option in Canada and Dark Hollow in the USA.

Hot Docs, Toronto

Cinefest International Film Festival, Sudbury, Ontario

Atlantic International Film Festival, Halifax, Nova Scotia

Calgary International Film Festival, Alberta

Edmonton International Film Festival, Alberta

Vancouver International Film Festival, British Columbia

Power Shift, North Dakota, USA

Rome International Film Festival, Italy

Bergen Film Festival, Norway

Arnolfini Gallery – Centre for Contemporary Art, Bristol

Guelph Festival of Moving Media, Canada

Rencontres internationales du documentaire de Montréal with Cinema Politica, Montreal

Musée de la Civilisation, Québec

1001 Documentary Film Festival, Istanbul, Turkey

Re-Frame Film Festival, Peterborough

Rendez-Vous du Cinema Quebecois, Montreal

Big Sky Documentary Festival, Montana, USA

Tri-Continental Film Festival Johannesburg, South Africa

and many others.

• Community events and screenings have been held throughout Canada, the US, the UK, Norway, and Italy as well as throughout the Climate Summit in Copenhagen in 2009.


Department of Theatre and Film, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada