UNCW’s Silva Receives Prestigious NC Artist Fellowship Award

Thursday, September 01, 2016

Shannon Silva, an associate professor in the UNCW film studies department, is the recipient of a 2016 NC Artist Fellowship from the North Carolina Arts Council.

NC Artist Fellowships support the creative development of artists throughout the state. Silva will use the $10,000 award to complete her most recent film project, “Baby Oil.” The short narrative, set in 1978, focuses on two sisters stranded in rural North Carolina during a severe storm. It was shot over the summer in Leland with a crew of mostly UNCW students.

“I can’t express how thankful I am for this award and opportunity,” she said. “It will have a marked impact on my work over the next few years and I could not be more grateful.” Silva joined the UNCW faculty in 2006. She is the first filmmaker from UNCW to receive this honor.

In addition to directing/producing more than 30 short films and videos, she has served on the screening committees for the Ann Arbor Film Festival, SXSW, Iowa City Documentary Festival, Cinematexas and the Cucalorus Film Festival. Her own films have screened at the Dallas Video Festival, Humboldt Film Festival, St. John's International Women's Film Festival and more.

In 2012, her feature length documentary, “It’s A Girl Thing: Tween Queens and the Commodification of Girlhood,” was recognized as the “Best Social Justice Documentary” at the Philadelphia Independent Film Festival.

She also serves as the faculty supervisor for the UNCW Visions Film Festival and Conference and co-founded the Wilmington Female Filmmakers Collective.

Film studies department chair Dave Monahan notes the department is very proud of Silva. “She keeps growing as a filmmaker and I can’t wait to see what she does next,” he said. “Shannon sees every project as a teaching opportunity. Our students greatly benefit from her collaborative spirit and talents as a producer, writer and director.”

As part of the fellowship, Silva will attend a workshop with the Creative Capital Foundation, a New York-based, national nonprofit which provides grants and advisory services to artists. In addition, the NC Arts Council will host an exhibition of work by all 17 of the visual, craft and film/video 2016 Artist Fellowship winners.

--Caroline Cropp