Art of the Shine

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

illustration of hand with shoe shine cloth
Independent Lens
Premiere Date
April 9, 2018
60 minutes

Stacey Tenenbaum

Stacey Tenenbaum is an award-winning creative producer and director. In 2014 she founded H2L Productions, a boutique documentary film production company specializing in crafting character driven stories which are shot internationally. H2L Productions’ first documentary feature Shiners, which Stacey produced, directed, and wrote, was broadcast Show more on the Documentary Channel in the winter of 2018 and on the PBS Independent Lens series in the Spring of 2018. Stacey is currently releasing Pipe Dreams, a documentary feature about competitive organ players which will be broadcast on the Documentary Channel in 2019 and on PBS Independent Lens in 2020. She is currently in development on Scrap, a character driven environmental documentary and Tough Old Broads, a film about ground-breaking women. Before turning her attention to film, Stacey worked in factual television for 16 years, producing and co-creating award-winning documentary series such as The Beat (CTV) and In Real Life (YTV). In 2012, Stacey was nominated for an International Emmy for In Real Life III. Stacey is known for her ability to find and connect with great characters around the world. She is passionate about making cinematic films which are filled with humor and heart. 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.