Shaz Bennett is a television and film writer/director currently on Amazon’s acclaimed series BOSCH. Before that on Lifetime’s UnREAL, and was a writer on A&E’s hit show THE GLADES.
Shaz is in post-production on her feature film debut ALASKA IS A DRAG, starring Martin L. Washington Jr. Maya Washington, Matt Dallas, Margaret Cho, Jason Scott Lee, Christopher O’Shea, Kevin Daniels, Adam Tomei and John Fleck. The black comedy lovechild of HEDWIG and ROCKY is an adaptation of her award-winning AFI short film by the same title. 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 was one of eight women selected for the prestigious AFI Directing Workshop for Women and one of 20 selected for the Fox Top 20 Directors and the Sundance Two lab.
Shaz is a mutt – she was raised Mormon in Salt Lake City, Utah. She spent her summers in 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.”