Shane Belcourt (Métis)
Writer and director Shane Belcourt (Métis) is best known for his independent feature film, Tkaronto, entitled with the original Mohawk name for the city of Toronto. In this work an intensive conversation between a man and woman explores the experiences of urban Métis and First Nations people. The film, which screened at many international film festivals, won awards in 2008 for Best Director at both the Dreamspeakers Film Festival and the Talking Stick Film Festival. It was released theatrically across Canada, and also played in-flight on Air Canada and on Canada’s Super Channel.
Belcourt has produced documentary footage on Métis and First Nations issues, including for the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network. Currently, he is working as the writer-director for a personal animated short about growing up the son of a Métis rights leader. He has been selected for Telefilm Canada’s Feature Aboriginal Storytellers Program to further develop his next dramatic feature film, A Better Place (working title). Recently he co-wrote and directed Boxed In, produced by the National Film Board’s Vistas project for the Canadian Pavilion in the 2010 Winter Olympics.
In 2010 Belcourt was selected by the Winnipeg Film Group to be Filmmaker in Residence. He was the recipient of the 2007/08 IFC Mentorship Award at the imagineNATIVE Film & Media Arts Festival. In 2007 he was one of 22 filmmakers selected to participate in the Toronto International Film Festival Talent Lab.
Belcourt studied film production at York University for three years, leaving to pursue a music career. For his work as a music producer, he was nominated for a Juno Award and for several Aboriginal Music Awards. Belcourt lives and works in Toronto, where he teaches a popular introduction to directing workshop at the LIFT art center and has also taught youth media workshops.
Work featured: Keeping Quiet