Shalom is an award-winning documentary filmmaker whose works include films about girls living on the streets in Vietnam, Kayan women in Thailand who wear brass neck-rings, and her own pregnancy. Her latest project looks at unconditional love in the most unlikely location.
Her first feature, The Love Market, followed four hill-tribe girls as they grew up in the midst of Vietnam’s growing tourism industry. After four years, with no funding and many obstacles to overcome, the film on Best Feature Film at the 2009 SA Screen Awards, was nominated for Best Documentary and Best Director at the 2009 AFI Awards and won the Best Documentary and IF Audience Awards at the 2009 St Kilda Film Festival.
Shalom’s films often feature people at the margins. Strong in the CIty joined three Aboriginal women as they made the move from their traditional lands to city life, and Chasing Shadows followed an Aboriginal hip hop crew from Whyalla as they tried to break into the Adelaide music scene.
Shalom’s latest release, Prisoners and Pups, premiered to a sold out audience at the Adelaide Film Festival in October. The film explores the lives of a group of women prisoners who sign up to foster retired greyhounds and prepare them for adoption as pets. With just eight weeks to transform these institutionalised animals into family-friendly pets, the women face many challenges, not least facing up to their own situation.