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Hitting the Ground Running | Shelby Mitchell-Adams’ Video Production Story


In the days and weeks following the completion of her studies at Toronto Film School Online, this year’s Video Production valedictorian has hit the ground running.


Not only is Shelby Mitchell-Adams in development talks with a major, Toronto-based studio about a half-hour television series, but she’s also shopping her latest short film, Tewa’a:raton, around the festival circuit, and continues to run her independent business, Dreamcatcher Studio, from her home on the Akwesasne reservation.


“I want to thank Toronto Film School for the high degree of academic excellence and inspiration to be the best creators of our chosen paths. Your dedication to your students is unmatched, with an education that is authentic to industry expectations,” said Mitchell-Adams, an Indigenous filmmaker who won Best Canadian Short for her documentary, Radio Bingo, at the 2022 TFS Film Festival.


“Just to have this community of constant support makes TFS unique and brilliant.”



Mitchell-Adams recently sat down to reflect on her time at Toronto Film School, her passion for filmmaking, and her plans for the future. Here’s what she had to say:


Please tell us a little bit about yourself


My name is Shelby Mitchell-Adams. I reside on the Akwesasne Mohawk Reservation. I’m an Indigenous film maker who is most passionate about creating films that are interesting and captivating, then putting them out into the world.


What brought you to Toronto Film School? Where were you in life when you decided to continue your studies with us?


Toronto Film School had been on my radar for about a year before I actually applied. At the time, I was running my film studio with my daughter and decided to go back to school. I knew I needed to build my creative and technical skills, which are essential to succeed in today’s industry.


What made you decide to pursue your passion for video production?


Video production was something I was already doing as a self-taught filmmaker, but I soon realized that I needed to get a formal education to develop my skills to help build my production portfolio, and I needed screen content disciplines to keep me on track with my abilities.



What is the most important thing you’re taking away from your studies at TFS?


The most important thing that I will forever be grateful for from my studies at TFS is the dedication and drive that all my professors have for the industry. We are learning from actual lived experience. I’ve also met online some really great, talented filmmakers who have the same goals and mindset that I have set forth. Also, the network of industry that is available to all students is unmatched.


What are your plans after graduation both immediate and long term?


After graduating, I’m hitting the road running. I’m in development with a major studio in Toronto for a half-hour television series. A short documentary that I wrote and directed has been submitted to festivals, and I will continue running my business on the Akwesasne Reservation.


If you offered one piece of advice to an incoming student, what would that be?


One piece of advice I would tell incoming students is to make contacts and make an impression. Industry is watching!



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