A seasoned PBS documentary producer, writer and editor, Shirley Thompson is best known for the PBS documentaries she has edited and/or produced, including Mañana Seguimos/Tomorrow We Carry On (2019), Crossing Spaces (2018), Finding Kukan (2016), Kū Kanaka: Stand Tall (2016), Winning Girl (2014), Breadfruit and Open Spaces (2013), Eating Alaska (2009), Pidgin: the Voice of Hawai‘i (2008), It’s Still Elementary (2007), Special Circumstances (2006), Surfing for Life (2000) & It’s Elementary (1996).
Many of the films she has worked on have received major funding from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting minority consortium via Pacific Islanders in Communications, Latino Public Broadcasting and Center for Asian American Media. These films have garnered major awards, have screened at film festivals around the world and have broadcast nationally on public television.
She recently completed co-producing two seasons of Reel Wāhine of Hawai‘i, a series of short films portraying Hawai‘i’s top women filmmakers. She directed three of the 12 films, featuring producer Heather Giugni, camerawoman Victoria Keith and producer Myrna Kamae. The series is produced in collaboration with Hawai‘i Women in Filmmaking.
A New Orleans native who lived and worked in San Francisco and Dallas, she is based in Honolulu, Hawaii since 2010. Shirley is a member/owner of the New Day Films collective since 1993 and a former steering committee member for six years. As a Latina and a daughter of immigrants, she is committed to filmmaking that builds bridges across cultures and communities.