is a freelance writer and David Bowie fanatic. She writes on culture and media, with a specific focus on British cinema and society. Her articles have included topics such as: the role social realism films play on cultural identity, the queering of the aristocracy in British costume dramas, David Bowie as a transnational identity and Paddington Bear in a post-Brexit Britain.
Shelby completed her masters degree at the University of East Anglia, researching the cultural and societal impact of cinematic representations. Her thesis, "David Bowie is the Englishman from Mars: An Examination of Englishness through Stardom", explores the representation of Bowie's national identity through his on screen performances. The completed thesis is archived in the British Film Institute's Reuben Library, and the first two chapters are published in the Celebrity Studies Journal.
Shelby is a founder of Film East, a member of the BFI's Young Film Programmers Network. The group provides a platform for young audiences to experience cinema through immersive and interactive film screenings. The group offers events, screenings, workshops and more, serving the East of England.
She was previously the Film Editor at Concrete Newspaper, where she worked with student journalists to write in-depth film articles based around philosophical art concepts. She is now the Editor-in-Chief for Film East Online, providing a place for new writers to improve their skills via film writing.
In addition to writing, Shelby is also a freelance social media marketer, working with art organisations throughout the UK. She is currently working on the audio art piece, Locality, which is an avant-garde musical project that uses the sounds of a city to create an experimental musical narrative, reflecting the movement of a local community and bringing musicality to the mundanity of everyday life. The project has been included in the Young Norfolk Arts Festival's 'no space, every place' exhibition and in Curat10n's exhibition, 'Movement.'
Shelby is open for commissions, and you can contact her at email@example.com or via any social media link below.
Awards and Recognition
Eating the Screen, edited by Shelby Cooke. 2022
SCREEN DREAMS: a zine by Film East, edited by Shelby Cooke, 2021
"David Bowie is the Englishman from Mars: an examination of Englishness through stardom", Celebrity Studies, DOI: 10.1080/19392397.2020.1769489, 2020
"Untitled" (A Dadaists Poem), Young Norfolk Arts Festival Zine, 2020
Times Shifting: New Voices from a Changed World, edited by Alan Caig Wilson et al., 2020
Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF): 2022
BFI London Film Festival: 2020, 2019
Raindance Film Festival: 2020
Norwich Film Festival: 2020
BFI Flare Film Festival: 2022, 2021
Lectures and Presentations
Lecturer. The Memeification of Your Film Business. Independent Cinema Office's Young Audiences Screening Days. 8 June 2022.
Lecturer. Working-Class Girls: Gender, Class and Stereotyping in British Cinema. Feminist Art Lecture series for The London Drawing Group (webinar). 12 July 2021.
Presenter. David Bowie is the Englishman from Mars: An Examination of Englishness through Stardom. International Conference on Film Studies: "(De)Constructing Narrative Identities” at Birkbeck, University of London. 8 February 2020.
Presenter. Queering the Aristocracy: The Queering of Aristocratic Men in Edward Berger's Patrick Melrose (2018). Critically Queer Symposium at University of East Anglia. 7 May 2019.
Open Art: Movement (2019). Curat10n, Online. 13 January 2020 - Present.
Open Art: Movement (2019). Curat10n, Espacio Gallery, London. 29th February 2020.
'no space, every place' (2020). Young Norfolk Arts Festival, Norwich. 2 July 2020 - 6 July 2020
Evenings on BBC Radio Norfolk with Sophie Little
Film East Programmer and Editor-in-Chief, Shelby Cooke, was featured on the BBC Radio Norfolk's Evening Show with Sophie Little to discuss her favourite films from this year's Best Picture nominees. This interview was broadcasted live on 19 April 2021.
Evenings on BBC Radio Norfolk with Rob Butler
Film East programmer and Editor-in-Chief, Shelby Cooke, was featured on the BBC Radio Norfolk's Evening Show with Rob Butler on Wednesday 19 August 2020. Her and Rob discussed upcoming Film East events, writing opportunities with Film East Online and everything about films.
Upload with Sophie Little on BBC Radio Norfolk
In September 2020, Film East became regular contributors to BBC Radio Norfolk's new programme, Upload. To launch the first episode, lead programmer and Editor-in-Chief, Shelby Cooke, chatted with Sophie Little about her passion for film, community cinema and how you can get involved!
Cinema for All: Young People in Community Cinema
Film East was featured on the Cinema for All's Young Film Programmers blog, highlighting cinema societies and organisations created and run by young people throughout the UK.
Read the interview here.