Experimental, but not experimental enough. Genre, but not genre enough. Documentary, but not truthful enough. Feminist, but not feminist enough.
Shayna Connelly is a filmmaker based in Chicago whose work explores hauntings, liminality and the boundaries between documentary, experimental and fiction filmmaking. Inspired by a book on haunted houses shelved in the non-fiction section of her childhood library, Connelly’s lifelong obsession with ghosts led her to explore trauma, place, identity and the link between fear and desire. Her hybrid approach to cinema questions the strict categorization of film modes and genres. She enjoys breaking cinematic rules regarding character, action and structure while exploring subjectivity, surrealism and abstraction.
Her recent work features a collection of eight films called A MEMORY PALACE FOR GHOSTS that connect the ways hauntings infiltrate our daily lives. In the series, hauntings arise from traumatic events, mental illness, everyday routines, the search for truth and the aftermath of grief. Such hauntings culminate in a questioning of her identities as feminist, mother and artist.
She holds an MFA in screenwriting and directing from Columbia College Chicago and is an Associate Professor of Film and Television at DePaul University. Connelly is a process focused teacher applying techniques from directing to other areas of filmmaking including editing, writing and film production. She has developed classes such as Creative Methodologies in Film and Television, The Supernatural in Film and Psychotic Women in Horror Cinema. She is the faculty advisor for DePaul Film Fatales, a student organization dedicated to increasing the number of films by, for and about women.
Works in progress: Love as Practice for Dying (narrative short in collaboration with Mark Metcalf); Dizygotic (experimental ghost story); Bananas Girl (documentary short).
Best Documentary Short
Every Ghost Has An Orchestra
Midwest Weirdfest
Eau Claire, WI
2019
Best Short Film
Quiver
Reels of the Dead Atlanta
Atlanta, GA
2019
Short Script Finalist & Nominee for Best Short Script
Love As Practice for Dying
Genre Blast
Winchester, VA
2019
Honorable Mention
Artist Statement
Chicago Underground Film Festival
Chicago
2019
Nominated for Best Horror Short
Quiver
New Renaissance Film Festival
Amsterdam
2019
Nighttime Thrills
Quiver
Chicago Southland International Film Festival
Chicago
2019
Best Cinematography
Quiver
Inca Imperial International Film Festival
Lima
2019
Nominated for Best Horror Short
Quiver
Deep in the Heart Film Festival
Waco, TX
2019
Necessary Voices Award
Every Ghost Has An Orchestra
Ithaca Fantastik
Ithaca, NY
2018
Paracinema Shorts
Every Ghost Has An Orchestra
Derby Film Festival
Derby
2018
Best Documentary Short
Every Ghost Has An Orchestra
Big Muddy Film Festival
Carbondale, IL
2018
Best Short Film, Best Cinematography
Quiver
Tampa Bay Underground Film Festival
Tampa, FL
2018
Honorable Mention
Quiver
The International Horror Hotel Film Festival
Cleveland, OH
2018
3rd Place: Best Horror Short
Quiver
Indie Suspense Horror Film Festival
Apopka, FL
2018
Jurors Award; Dark Themes Award; Best Sound Design; Best Cinematography; Best Editing
Quiver
The Artists Forum: Festival of the Moving IMage
New York, NY
2018
Best Experimental Horror
Quiver
Women in Horror Film Festival
Peachtree City, GA
2018
Most Original Concept
Quiver
Videoscream International Film Festival
Portland, Oregon
2018
Best Horror Film
Quiver
Berlin Short Film Festival
Berlin
2018
Best Cinematography (Short Film)
Quiver
Cinepocalypse
Chicago, IL
2018
Best Director
Quiver
Rising Above Festival
Los Angeles, CA
2018
Silver Award for Best International Documentary
Every Ghost Has An Orchestra
South Georgian Bay Film Festival
2017
Humanities Division Award of Distinction
Every Ghost Has An Orchestra
Columbus International Film and Video Festival
Columbus, OH
2017
Best Screenplay Short
Gardening At Night
Milwaukee Women's Film Festival
Milwaukee, WI
2017
Best Film About Loss
Gardening At Night
The Mespies
Minneapolis, MN
2017
Best Documentary Short
Every Ghost Has An Orchestra
Middle Coast Film Festival
Bloomington, IN
2017
Cinema 16 screening
signals: where do we go from here?
Oak Cliff Film Festival
Oak Cliff, Texas
2015
Honorable Mention
Blunt Force Trauma
Iowa City International Documentary Film Festival
Iowa City
2014
Nominated for Best Cinematography
Artist Statement
Georgia Documentary Film Festival
Atlanta, GA
Merit Award
Every Ghost Has An Orchestra
Headline International Film Festival
Vancouver
Best Sisterhood Horror
Quiver
South Texas Underground Film Festival
Corpus Christi, TX
Short Script Finalist
Love As Practice for Dying
Shawna Shea Memorial Film Festival
Uxbridge, MA
Best Film Over 10K
Gardening At Night
Monkey Bread Tree Awards
London
Honorable Mention
Mistreated and Wild
Amarcord Film Festival
Chicago, IL
Short Script Finalist
Love As Practice for Dying
Nightmares Film Festival
Columbus, OH
College
Columbia College Chicago
Directing and Screenwriting
College
Macalester College
German Studies
Birth City
Minneapolis, MN
Current City
Chicago, IL
Hometown
St. Paul, MN
Experimental, but not experimental enough. Genre, but not genre enough. Documentary, but not truthful enough. Feminist, but not feminist enough.