Before turning to filmmaking, Shameela worked in the field of human rights and social justice research and advocacy for over 15 years – including at the Constitutional Court in Johannesburg, UNIFEM in New York and the Institute for Democracy in South Africa.
As a filmmaker, Shameela has focused mainly on character-lead, human interest stories and has been commissioned to make several documentaries for international and local televisions stations such as CGTN and SABC. Recently, she directed a series of 10 short films highlighting the work and concerns of various activists across South Africa – one of these films was shortlisted as a Top Ten Finalist for the Discovery Channels’ Don’t Stop Wondering Awards and was shown on the Discovery channel. Her first feature-length documentary WHISPERING TRUTH TO POWER, about the last year in office of former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela, won the Special Jury Award at Hot Docs Int Film Festival in Cananda, the Bronze Stallion prize at FESPACO, Best Documentary at Jozi FF and at Best Documentary by Jury at the Luxor African FF, and has shown at over 30 festivals around the world including the Sydney Film Festival, Sheffield Film Festival, Movies That Matter – The Hague, AFI- United States. It is currently on an outreach tour in Southern Africa.