Shaz Bennett’s debut feature ALASKA IS A DRAG, that she wrote/directed and produced has won numerous awards in festivals and highlighted as one to watch in Vogue, Filmmaker and other publications. Bennett's first television writing job was on THE GLADES on A&E. She later joined the writing team for UnREAL on Lifetime and produced the popular spin off THE FAITH DIARIES. Shaz currently writes on the police procedural BOSCH on Amazon and directed her first episodic episode on Season three of Ava Duvernay's QUEEN SUGAR on the Oprah Winfrey Network.
Before working in film and television, Shaz worked in a fish cannery; bartended at a mafia bar; was a film programmer at Sundance, LA Film Festival and AFI FEST; peddled liquor undercover; developed films for actor Giancarlo Esposito; and was Cher’s stand-in for a day. Her films and performance pieces have been seen in festivals, theatres, museums and abandoned warehouses all over the United States, Mexico, Canada, South Africa and Europe. One of 8 women selected to the prestigious AFI Directing Workshop for Women, nominated as one of Fox's Top 20, Sundance Screenwriting Labs 2017 with director Crystal Moselle (THE WOLFPACK), and Fox's inaugural Franchise Directing program (DIE HARD). Shaz's original pilot THE SALT FLATS was included as one of the top unproduced scripts written by women for WeForShe this year.
ALASKA IS A DRAG UPCOMING SCREENINGS: http://alaskaisadrag.com
Shaz's feature film ALASKA IS A DRAG -- written & directed by Shaz Bennett, starring Martin L. Washington Jr, Maya Washington, Matt Dallas, Christopher O'Shea, Jason Scott Lee, Margaret Cho, John Fleck, Kevin Daniels, Nia Peeples, Adam Tomei -- in festivals now.
Awards: BEST NARRATIVE FEATURE -- Smithsonian African American Film Festival, Leeds, Tulsa American, Jerome Independent
Special Jury Mention for Directing -- URBANWORLD