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// Illusions of Control - Distribution

Illusions of Control - Distribution



Cinema Politica is proud to be the Canadian distributor of Shannon Walsh's latest documentary ILLUSIONS OF CONTROL, which reveals strategies for flourishing in the ruins of modernity. Below you can read the film's synopsis, learn about the fllmmaker, and importantly—book this insightful documentary for a screening in your community or at your festival/institution today! 


Director: Shannon Walsh
Running time: 87 minutes
Languages: English, Japanese, Chinese, Spanish, with English subtitles
Release: 2019

A riveting meditation on resilience in the face of disaster, ILLUSIONS OF CONTROL unfolds in landscapes irrevocably shaped by human attempts to dominate them. Five women confront unbearable crises: Silvia searches for her missing daughter in the deserts of northern Mexico; Yang attempts to hold back the expanding desert in China; Kaori mobilizes mothers as citizen-scientist to monitor radiation in Fukushima, Japan; Stacey builds on Indigenous knowledge to confront toxic legacies in Yellowknife; and, Lauren stands at the crossroads of a terminal cancer diagnosis in Chicago. What opportunities does ecological instability offer for imagining new ways of relating to each other, to the places we inhabit, and to our collective future? Each story reveals surprising ways to live on, and reimagine life in the ruins.

To learn more, visit the official website of the film.



“This film questions why we are acting so complacent about protecting the only planet we have.”
- Tiffy Thompson, She Does the City

“An educational and informative work, Illusions of Control is no illusion when it comes to any world problems.”
- Nick Wangersky, Hollywood North Magazine

“With increasingly unnerving serenity, Vancouver director Shannon Walsh interweaves portraits of five women dealing with personal and systemic crises all over the world.”
- Norman Wilner, NOW Toronto

“Complex, sad and strangely beautiful.”
- Susan G. Cole, Point of View Magazine

“Illusions of Control unfolds as a remarkable collection of micro-narratives meditating on the human will to persevere.”
- Adrian Mack, The Georgia Straight


Shannon Walsh is a filmmaker, writer and Assistant Professor in the Department of Theatre and Film at the University of British Columbia. She is writer and director of the feature documentaries Jeppe on a Friday (2013), St-Henri, the 26th of August (2011), and H2Oil (2009). She finished her first short non-fiction 360 VR, Disappearance: Hong Kong Stories, in 2017. In 2018, her first fiction feature script, Unidentified Minor, was a top 10 finalist at the Cinequest Screenplay Competition. In 2017, the script also won Best Low-Budget Screenplay at the 15th Female Eye Film Festival, was shortlisted for the CBC-TIFF Diverse screenwriting award, a quarterfinalist in the Shore Scripts competition, as well as an official selection into competition at the 2017 Oaxaca Film Festival. It was also selected for the Women in the Director's Chair "Story & Development" lab, the Stowe Story Lab, and the WIFTV mentorship as part of the Whistler Film Festival. Unidentified Minor was shortlisted for the Sundance Screenwriters Lab twice. 

Walsh’s films have been theatrically released in Canada, the UK, and South Africa, and played in over 60 film festivals worldwide such as Hot Docs, Visions du Réel, Beijing, La Rochelle, Rome, Paris Cinéma, Durban, Bergen and others. Her documentaries have been broadcast nationally and internationally on Netflix, CBC, Discovery, Al Jazeera, Fox Africa, SABC, Télé-Quebéc, Global, and Canal-D, as well as in museum spaces, including the 56th Venice Biennale and the Pompidou Centre in Paris. Her work has been supported by the National Film Board of Canada, Telefilm, SODEC, Vision du SudEst, CALQ, the Gauteng Film Commission, and Canada Council for the Arts, amongst others.


To obtain an educational or institutional license for ILLUSIONS OF CONTROL for an institution anywhere in North America, click here and fill in the educational request form.


To book ILLUSIONS OF CONTROL for a film festival, a grassroots screening or a community event, simply follow this link to our online booking form, or scroll to the bottom of this page where you'll find the form. We'll get back to you in a jiffy.


Montreal, QC
- April 17, 2020, Cine-Vert, Ausgang Plaza (6524 Rue St-Hubert)

Richmond, BC
- Mar. 18, 2020, Richmond Women's Resource Center (7000 Minoru Blvd)

Edmonton, AB
- Mar. 7, 2020, The Metro Cinema (109 St. North West)

Sudbury, ON
- Feb. 28, 2020, Sudbury Indie Cinema (162 Mackenzie St.)

Montreal, QC
- Feb. 7-19, 2020, Cinémathèque Quebecoise(335 Boulevard de Maisonneuve East)

Toronto, ON
- Feb. 5, 2020, 8pm, The Royal Cinema (608 College Street)

Calgary, AB
- Jan. 31- Feb.7, 2020, Globe Cinema(8 Avenue SW)

Vancouver, BC
- Jan. 29, 2020, The Cinematheque (1131 Howe St.)

Cassel, Germany
Kassel Dokfest
- Nov 14, 2019, 5:15pm, Goethestrasse 31 (34119 Cassel)

Waterloo, ON
Zonta Film Festival
- Nov. 9, 2019, 6:10pm, Princess Twin Cinemas (46 King Street North)
- Nov 8, 2019, 3:30pm, Princess Twin Cinemas (46 King Street North)

London, ON
Forest City Festival
- Oct 27, 2019, 12:30pm, Wolf Performance Hall (252 Dundas Street)
- Oct 26, 2019, 12:30pm, Imagine Cinema, Citi Plaza (355 Wellington St.)

Calgary, AB
Calgary International Film Festival
- Sept 27, 2019, 6:30pm, Eau Claire 1 (200 Barclay Parade SW #200)
- Sept 23, 2019, 4:30pm, Globe Cinema (617 8 Ave SW)

Vancouver, BC
DOXA Documentary Film Festival
- May 6, 2019, 7pm, Vancity Theatre (1181 Seymour St)
- May 12, 2019, 3:45pm, The Cinematheque (1131 Howe St)

Toronto, ON
World Premiere, Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival
- April 28, 2019, 9:15pm, TIFF Bell Lightbox 2 (350 King St W)
- April 30, 2019, 2:30pm, Scotiabank Theatre, Cinema 3 (259 Richmond St)
- May 2, 2019, 10am, TIFF BEll Lightbox 3 (350 King St W)

ILLUSIONS OF CONTROL: Screening Requests

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