She is a writer and filmmaker born in London, Ontario and raised on the West Coast. Her mother came to Canada during the Trudeau years to work as a nurse; her father specialized in animal husbandry. Like most Korean immigrants, however, they went into business, opening a handful of grocery stores one after another and ultimately starting up a commercial mushroom farm in B.C.’s Fraser Valley. A near-fatal accident on the farm left her mother wheelchair bound when Ann was nine years old. The accident profoundly affected her and the rest of the family.
Ann started writing poetry when she was a child. Her work has since been published in anthologies and magazines in Canada and the United States. Her first volume of poetry is called The Last Thing Standing (Mansfield Press 2000) of which Nino Ricci writes is “a beautiful and memorable book. Ann Shin writes about love, loss and the idea of home with clarity, wit and grace.” She is also the author of Crossroads Cant (Broken Jaw Press 1997).
Her films explore themes of migration, alienation, cultural myths, race and beauty. Her documentaries have been broadcast worldwide and screened in numerous festivals, garnering awards. ‘How to Breathe the Air of Our Ancestors’ won a gold medal at the 1998 New York Festivals, ‘The Roswell Incident’ won Bronze at the 1999 Columbus International Film Festival, ‘Western Eyes’ won the 1998 National Film Board Reel Diversity Competition, ‘The Four Seasons Mosaic’ was nominated for Best Performance Documentary at the 2005 Geminis. She resides in Toronto with her husband and two daughters. She works as a producer and is writing a novel.
Ann’s documentaries include:
- ‘The Four Seasons Mosaic’, CBC, 2004
- ‘Almost Real, Connecting in a Wired World’, National Film Board of Canada, 2002 (Free to view)
- ‘Western Eyes’, National Film Board and CBC Newsworld, 2000 (Free to view)
- ‘The Fall of an Asian Tiger’, Vision TV, 1999
- ‘The Roswell Incident;, History TV, 1998
- ‘How to Breathe the Air of our Ancestors’, CBC Radio, 1998