Shabnam Sukhdev
Shabnam Sukhdev
Doctoral Student
Graduate Programme in Theatre & Performance Studies, York University
Research keywords: Identity; culture; environment; mental health; human rights
Award-winning filmmaker Shabnam Sukhdev is an alumnus of the Film and Television Institute of India, PUNE. She has previously worked in the Mumbai film and television industry in the capacity of writer, director and producer of television shorts and serials for over two decades. She migrated to Canada in 2002. She received government support to express herself as an independent artist. Driven by a strong social conscience, she volunteered a lot of her time towards teaching media courses in film cooperatives and was invited to be on the programming committee of Global Visions Documentary Film Festival in Edmonton, Alberta. Issues of identity, culture, environment, mental health and human rights concern her deeply, and are reflected in her work.

She won a National Award in India for a feature-length documentary on her father, the renowned documentary filmmaker, S. Sukhdev. “Earth Crusader,” her documentary about sustainable architecture explores self-taught architect Didi Contractor’s work and passion for conserving the Earth’s resources. She completed “Peacock Plume” in 2018. The film explores the life and works of Odissi dance proponent, Shubhada Varadkar. She narrates her story of surviving cancer and heartbreak through the power of her art. She has recently completed her Masters in Fine Arts thesis on mental health at York University. Her thesis film “Unfinished” is a first person documentary told from a caregiver’s perspective. She began her PhD research in the Department of Theatre and Performance Studies in Fall 2022.