A member of the Turtle Clan of the Mohawk, filmmaker Shelly Niro was born in Niagara Falls, NY and raised on the Six Nations Reserve in Brantford, Ontario. She graduated from the Ontario College of Art with an honors fine arts degree in painting and sculpture. Niro also completed an MFA at the University of Western Ontario, where her thesis contended with the re-discovery and re-addressing of basic myths, legends and history of the Iroquois people. Her research resulted in an intensive study of the diaspora of the Mohawk Nation, and as a result, Niro has devoted her time to making films that create roles for Native women like herself and provide them with a voice in the community. In 1992 she co-directed her first film, IT STARTS WITH A WHISPER.
Niro is perhaps best -known for her 1998 film HONEY MOCCASIN, which was awarded Best Feature, Best Actress, Best Actor and Best Director at Oklahoma’s Red Earth Festival and Best Experimental Work at the Dreamspeakers Festival in Edmonton, Alberta. Some of her other works include THE SHIRT (2003) and OVERWEIGHT WITH CROOKED TEETH (1997). Aside from making films, Niro has also served on panels juries and committees including the 1997 Native American Film and Video Festival. She was also named a fellow at the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institute in 1997 and was acclaimed by the New York State Historical Association for her exhibit "Where We Stand: Contemporary Haudenosaunee Artists." Niro currently lives in Brantford, Ontario with her husband. (07/12)
A film by Shelley Niro, 1998, 47 min., Color
This all-Native production, by director Shelley Niro (Mohawk), is part of the Smoke Signals new wave of films that examine Native identity in the 1990...