Emmanuel Shirinian is an accomplished screenwriter and director, who graduated with a BFA Major in Film Studies from Concordia University in 1999, and is an alumnus of the Canadian Film Centre (Directors Lab 2006/07). He was one of six directors across Canada invited to participate at the National Screen Institute’s Features First Program in 2007, and was invited amongst a select group to participate in the esteemed Tribeca All Access development program in New York City in 2011.
In 2012, he was commissioned by Skills For Change to conceptualize and direct a short documentary on the emotional experience of immigration focusing his story on Human Rights Activist and Holocaust Educator, Toni Silberman. In 2013, the Toronto International Film Festival honored Shirinian with the Irving Avrich Award, celebrating and recognizing him as one of the top emerging filmmakers in the country. Shirinian’s first feature film as both writer and director titled, It Was You Charlie, had its world premiere at the 2013 Busan International Film Festival in South Korea and its US Premiere at the 2014 Cinequest Film Festival in San Jose. The film also went on to win the Special Jury Prize for Best Narrative Feature at the Barcelona International Film Festival, and in 2015 was bestowed a CSA Nomination for Best Cinematography. In addition, Shirinian is in development with Telefilm Canada as both writer and director with his second feature film titled, My Foolish Heart.
Shirinian broke out onto the film scene in 2002 with a compelling short film, Memory Waters, that filmmaker Atom Egoyan described as “a film that handles a nightmarish situation with deep pools of humanity, compassion and tenderness.” Shirinian’s short films have screened at respected festivals such as, Toronto International Film Festival (2006 & 2010), Montreal World Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, AFI Dallas International Film Festival, Los Angeles Short Film Festival, Palm Springs, Clermont-Ferrand, Barcelona, Venice and many others. The Last Bang, was the winner of the 2007 Gold Remi Award at Houston World Fest for Best Original Comedy. In 2008, Song of Slomon, was nominated for a Golden Sheaf Award at the Yorkton International Film Festival for Best Comedy. Shirinian’s short films have also been broadcast on the CBC, IFC, TMN, Super Channel, and Movieola.