Art of the Shine

Meet the men and women who make their living shining our shoes.

Independent Lens
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Stacey Tenenbaum

Stacey started her career as a researcher in factual television over 18 years ago. In 2004 she began producing documentary series for channels such as Discovery, History, National Geographic, and others. In 2008, Stacey co-created and produced the documentary television series The Beat, which followed a team of beat police patrolling the streets of the Show more Downtown Eastside in Vancouver. She was nominated for an International Emmy in 2012 for In Real Life, a non-fiction series she co-created and produced. Throughout her career Stacey often returned to her true passion of finding interesting characters and bringing their stories to life. In 2014, she started H2L Productions; a documentary film production company based in Montreal, Canada, and she began research on her first feature documentary The Art of the Shine, a film she also directed and produced. Show less

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The Film

The Art of the Shine delves into the lives of shoe shiners around the world giving you an insider’s view of this often ignored profession. From the brash street shiners of New York City, to the masked shoe shine boys of La Paz, The Art of the Shine travels the world to show you what it means to be a shoe shiner. The film will introduce you to the people who do this job and allow you to see the world through their eyes. You’ll discover that despite being literally and figuratively ‘looked down upon’ by society, shoe shiners universally take great pride in the work they do. They like the freedom that comes with being their own bosses and enjoy interacting with customers who always walk away happy. Yet, despite high levels of job satisfaction, shoe shiners are mostly ignored and, in some countries, even maligned. This film challenges viewers to question why that is.