Shaz Bennett currently works on Amazon’s acclaimed series BOSCH. Before that on Lifetime’s UnREAL, and was a writer on A&E’s hit show THE GLADES.
ALASKA IS A DRAG is her feature debut film, based on the short film of the same name.
One of 8 women selected to the prestigious AFI Directing Workshop for Women, selected as one of Fox’s Top 20 Directors, Sundance Screenwriting Labs 2017, and Fox’s inaugural Franchise Directing program.
The Feature ALASKA IS A DRAG, is based on the award winning short film by the same name. It’s a black comedy lovechild of HEDWIG and ROCKY. The short screened in over 150 festivals including: AFI FEST, Nashville, Sarasota, Torino, Melbourne, Palm Springs, Frameline, Provincetown and Los Angeles. It sold in the US, UK and France to Vimeo, iTunes, and several VOD platforms.
Shaz’s performance pieces and other acclaimed short films (TOP OF THE CIRCLE, MARTINI and TUNNELS) have been viewed in numerous festivals and museums across the United States, Mexico, Canada, South Africa and Europe including: AFI FEST, Cinevegas, The Los Angeles Film Festival, True West Festival, Silverdocs, Nashville, Philadelphia, Lunafest, the Berkley Photographic Museum and the International Women’s Museum.
Shaz is a mutt – she was raised in Salt Lake City, Utah. She spent her summers camping and hiking in Zion, Arches, Canyonlands and learned to drive in the Salt Flats on the Utah/Nevada border. On her way to becoming a writer/director, Shaz worked in a fish cannery, bartended at a mafia bar, peddled liquor undercover, developed films for actor Giancarlo Esposito and was Cher’s stand-in for a day. She was also a film programmer at Sundance, LA Film Festival and AFI FEST.
Shaz relocated from Utah to New York to study with Spaulding Grey, where she wrote and performed four award-winning shows: “The Shaz Show,” “Abrasive Fairy Tales,” “Eyes, Lips, Legs,” and “Hungover Angel.” These shows were performed extensively around the world, including spoken word festivals sponsored by MTV, Comedy Central, Hennessey and NOW. Shaz still performs regularly with Sit n Spin at the Comedy Central Stage, The Moth and Third Saturdays; she is a regular contributor to KCRW’s UnFictional.
The New York Post described Shaz Bennett as “the Mormon Dennis Leary.”
In her enchanting feature debut writer/director Shaz Bennett spares no punches in showing how brutal and isolated Alaska can be especially if you are anything different than the norm. — Queerguru