2011 Outstanding Young Alumna
SAIT's Outstanding Young Alumni Award is given to a recent graduate who has made exceptional professional achievements and contributions to the community. This year's recipient, Shiva Jahanshah, certainly fits this bill.
As a television reporter and producer, she has created a number of acclaimed documentaries. Her three-part documentary called "Homeless in Calgary" received a prestigious Alberta Motion Picture Industries Association (AMPIA) award. "Journey of Faith," her 30-minute film on Ramadan, received an AMPIA nomination and has aired across Canada. Jahanshah's work lends a voice to people living on the margins, bringing awareness to critical social issues like homelessness, gangs and domestic violence.
That social conscience permeates her private life as well as her professional one. Jahanshah is a committed community volunteer, participating in charity events such as the Mayor's Annual Food Drive, the Empty Bowl benefit and fund raisers for the Salvation Army and Drop-In Centre.
Shiva Jahanshah, filmmaker, producer, director, host, content creator, communicator
"After leaving my job at Shaw TV at the end of September, I am working on starting a private production company. My company will focus on the fashion, lifestyle and beauty industries. And I would love to come teach at SAIT! I think storytelling is an art and video allows you to be incredibly creative. I have always enjoyed meeting different people and understanding their stories, backgrounds and passions.
Having been in the business for 13 years, I have discovered a shortage of platforms for artists, and I would like to provide that for local artists. I want to convey how they pursued their art and communicate how they succeeded. People relate visually and seeing stories brings them to life. No matter what you are trying to sell, there is always that human connection. The digital world is huge, and video on digital is the wave of the future. The platforms are growing, which is good as you have options for delivering your message. But since there is so much content out there, it can be hard to get noticed. A lot of millennials have never had cable, so reaching them on that platform is out. Being super active on social media is an essential promotion tool.
Receiving my Alumni Award from SAIT was a wonderful experience. It said that what I was doing was appreciated and truly making a difference. Being nominated by SAIT while doing my student practicum was a real honour, too. I still have the award on my mantel."