December 5, 1972 |
Asheville, North Carolina, United States
|Occupation||Screenwriter, actress, producer|
|Spouse(s)||Gavin O'Connor (1995–1996; divorce)
Abe Ingersoll (?–?; divorced)
Karl Aurel Kail (m. 2012)
Angela Shelton (born December 5, 1972) is an American screenwriter, actress, and documentary film producer, best known for the film Tumbleweeds and the documentary Searching for Angela Shelton, which she wrote, directed, and edited. She is the author of the book Finding Angela Shelton: The True Story of One Woman's Triumph over Sexual Abuse.
Shelton was a co-screenwriter (with then-husband Gavin O'Connor) and executive producer for the 1999 film Tumbleweeds, based on her experiences with her serial-marrying mother, to whom she was returned after being in foster care.
She has acted in the films Comfortably Numb (1995), The Shrink Is In (2001), The Big Time (2002 television movie), The Safe Side, a 2004 instructional video, and Beautiful Dreamer (aka Daysleeper) (2009). On television, Shelton has appeared in Pacific Blue, Chicago Hope, and Becker.
Searching for Angela Shelton
After her parents divorced, Shelton lived with her father, stepmother, stepbrother, and stepsister in North Carolina. She and her siblings were sexually molested by her father and stepmother, and were eventually removed from their care and placed in foster care. The events in her childhood inspired her to make a documentary.
In 2001, Shelton undertook the production of a documentary in which she travelled the United States in an effort to interview 40 of the 76 women who shared her name, whom she found while searching the Internet.
Shelton found that many of the women whom she interviewed had either been raped, beaten, or molested. Inspired to document her quest to find the women and to catalogue their traumas, she rented a motor home and spent 57 days traversing the United States, spending nearly $300,000, some of which was donated by personal friends and family and professional contacts. Shelton also confronted her father, her own abuser, during the production of the film, meeting with him on Father's Day 2001 to discuss her molestation. It took three years and three different editors to complete the film. In the end Shelton edited the film herself.
Since then, in an effort to bring attention to domestic violence, especially when perpetrated against women and children, Shelton has travelled the United States speaking at colleges and universities and film festivals.
Shelton now presents the film and gives speeches at colleges and universities across the country in an effort to end violence against women.
- Newport Beach Festival - Best Independent Documentary
- Durango Film Festival - Audience Award
- Asheville Film Festival - Best Documentary
- Sonoma Valley Film Festival - Audience Award
- Zoie Fest - Best Documentary
- Memphis International Film Festival - Best Documentary
- Austin Film Festival - Best Documentary
Angela Shelton Foundation
In response to the acclaim received by her documentary, the Angela Shelton Foundation was established in 2003.
Shelton created the Survivor Manual as a way to help abuse survivors and their loved ones find healing. The site houses Shelton's articles, videos, and new submissions by others who share Angela's vision of a better world.
The Angela Shelton Foundation has since been dissolved and is no longer active.
Shelton donated the foundation's assets to the 501C3 Darkness to Light in an effort to have her work in the trauma and recovery movement continue to reach more people as she went back to her writing and filmmaking career.
The Survivor Manual is still running, and donors are directed to Darkness to Light.
Finding Angela Shelton
In April 2007, she released her book, Finding Angela Shelton: The True Story of One Woman's Triumph over Sexual Abuse. The book is not based on her movie, although it does run parallel to it. In it, Shelton shares how making the film forced her to face her past. She wrote the book to call for a healing revolution after seeing so many people in pain. The movie breaks the silence and the book breaks the cycle.
In 2009, Shelton released a revised second edition on Amazon called Finding Angela Shelton Recovered with an additional chapter explaining all that happened since she made her film and why she went back to writing more fun things. It has a new cover.
- Angela Shelton was presented with the Voice of Courage award from Darkness to Light.
- Angela was also presented with the Humanitarian Award from the Cultural Enrichment Committee at Umpqua Community College in Oregon.