Shanshan Chen is a self-shooting director and producer, originally from Shanghai, and now works and lives in London, passionate about creative and character-driven documentaries for international audiences.
Shanshan is experienced in gaining access to original stories and engaging characters, every so often from remote areas or regions in conflict, including South Sudan, Uganda, and Lebanon, and directing films about complex and sensitive topics in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Europe and America.
Shanshan's documentaries have been screened at festivals and broadcasted globally. She brings incredible journalistic skills to her work, having spent a decade making humanitarian documentaries distributed by Reuters. Working as an editor has given her a unique way of storytelling through strong visuals and sound.
Languages: English, Chinese Mandarin
Main areas of work: Unscripted, Directing, Producing, Self-shooting, International documentaries, Under-reported stories, Original series and films
-Visualising stories with a strong sense of cinematography;
-Experienced in managing small crews and productions;
-Making films of a variety of styles based on briefs;
-Researching and pitching original story ideas;
-Building trust with characters;
-Strong interview skills with sensitivity and patience;
-Day-to-day scheduling and call sheets;
-Able to work on long-term and long-running projects.
Sony FS5/X70/PMW200; Canon 5D Mark IV;
Professional lighting systems (LED and tungsten);
Adobe Premiere, After Effects, Final Cut 7/X
Co-director. An original half-hour doc about LGBT+ lives 50 years after the Stonewall riots, filmed in Honduras, Zanzibar, Taiwan and England, provides unique access to the poignant personal stories of those facing challenges due to their sexuality or gender identity. KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival. Woodpecker International Film Festival. Dublin Human Rights Festival. IPAS Film Festivals. Broadcasted by PBS SoCal. Distributed by Journeyman Pictures.
Researcher, Assistant Director. An original 6x30 minutes series. Season one is about climate change's impact on cities globally. Researched ideas and worked on one episode, about climate migration in Mongolia. PBS SoCal.
Director, Producer. An original short doc that tells the story of Louis Lakor, a former child soldier with the rebel group in northern Uganda. My Hero International Film Festival, Best Documentary & Humanitarian Awards. Finalist for One World Media, Children in Conflict Reporting Award.
Director, Producer, Editor. An original short doc that unravels the life of three Chinese families that have been impacted by China’s “One Child Policy”. TIME.
Director, Producer, Editor. An original short doc about business-savvy Syrians, Yemenis, Libyans and Iraqis’ lives in Yiwu, a Chinese city that welcomed them with open arms, but without laws recognising refugees, many migrants are worried about how long they will be able to stay in what has become their second home. One World Media.
Director, Producer. A series of short docs and a feature doc that portray the cultural diversity of documentary filmmaking in Britain. Directed the short doc “Day in a Life” about a female engineer who defies gender stereotypes, which was also selected to be featured in the TV doc. BBC Three.
Director, Co-producer. A series of three creative, hybrid animated films based on real stories of people who are on a mission to end modern-day slavery in Vietnam, Mexico and Brazil. Now competing at ANIMATOR International Animated Film Festival, International Animated Series Competition.