Hello. I’m Shane Belcourt.
I like making things.
I like telling stories.
I like being alive. Immensely. Too lucky.
So, the arts – music, film, writing, photography,
hanging out with arresting light, good food and laughter
that feeling that there are fireworks in our hearts
to keep exploring this life and expressing its joys and its sorrows/longings.
I’m going to write about myself in the 3rd person now …
Shane Belcourt is a Métis award-winning and CSA-nominated director, writer, and cinematographer whose work often explores the Aboriginal experience. He grew up in Ottawa the son of a prominent Aboriginal rights leader (Tony Belcourt) in a home of artistic siblings (Christi & Suzanne Belcourt). In 2007, with the release of his debut feature film, Tkaronto, Shane was a TIFF Talent Lab participant, an IFC Mentorship Award Winner, and in 2010 a Filmmaker in Residence at the Winnipeg Film Group. His short films and documentaries have played at imagineNATIVE, Telefilm Canada’s Perspectives Program at Cannes, Whistler Film Festival, Air Canada, CBC, APTN, The Comedy Network, the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, the Museum for the American Indian, TIFF Bell Lightbox Indigenous Cinema Retrospective, and many others. (check out the Portfolio section to see more of these filmmaking works). Should also be noted that Shane makes films with Duane Murray and Jordan O’Connor under the banner of “The Story Attic” and/or “The Breath Films”. Finally, Shane teaches filmmaking workshops throughout the year with Aboriginal youth and youth at risk through various Aboriginal outreach programs, as well as teaching a directing class at LIFT twice a year in Toronto.
Shane was born and raised in Ottawa and went to Roland Mitchner, St. Joe’s, and Notre Dame before moving to Toronto to attend York University. After three years in the Film Production & Screening program, Shane dropped out to be in a rock band full time, while slinging coffee at the Second Cup. Throughout all schooling Shane played music, sports, wrote, and made films.
Shane’s first big band, Woodrow, released a full-length CD and won some song writing competitions – it was a fruitful creative relationship with Marqus Bobesich. Then prior to traveling in Australia Shane began his own solo project, The Shane Anthony Band taking the full reigns in the song writing. That resulted in the release of 3 CD’s which received some radio rotation in Canada and a few songwriting award nominations. That culminated producing the Juno-nominated Digging Roots CD, “Seeds”. Shane then made Tkaronto, making filmmaking the prime focus and songwriting more of a late night in the kitchen affair.
Shane listens to copious amounts of Ryan Adams and John Mayer … basically sing-songwriter stuff, roots, and blues mostly with lots inbetween. Shane watches everything Pixar too many times in a week (thank you Claire), the usual masters (Allen, Spielberg, Scorsese, Malick, etc), the mid-career masters (Mann, Lee, Soderberg, Tarantino, etc), the “can we call them masters” (Anderson’s, Inarritu, Jonze etc), and whatever he has to watch right away because he’s studying it for something he’s working on.
Above all, sitting with friends and laughing so hard the sides hurt and one has to get to their feet to walk it off while still laughing their head off replaying the joke/moment over and over in their head … later waking one up in bed laughing out loud again, and looking crazy walking down the street recalling it once again and laughing some more … Well all of that remains by far Shane’s favourite thing … and equally Shane can go in the total opposite direction when something is so pure, so clean, so truffle that it cuts through to the bone and rattles your core with a wake up call to the Great Spirit of all things, to bow down in praise as it were.