Shabier Kirchner
Kirchner on the set of Sollers Point
Years active2010–present

Shabier Kirchner (born 1987/1988)[1] is an Antiguan cinematographer and director based between London, New York, and the Caribbean. He won a BAFTA for his work on Steve McQueen's five-part anthology series Small Axe (2020).[2]

Early life

Kirchner grew up in the Falmouth Harbour area of Antigua island. He also spent some of his childhood in Germany, the home country of his father Bert, who owns Papa Zouk in St. John's.[3] Kirchner had undiagnosed dyslexia and ADHD growing up. Struggling academically, he was introduced to camera work through his father, an underwater photographer and producer, as well as through a school workshop with a Dutch filmmaker.[4] At 18, Kirchner enrolled in an introductory program at a film school in Vancouver before opting to learn through practical experience instead, dropping out with four of his classmates, with whom he made the short film Memoirs of the Blue.[5]


Short film

Year Title Director Notes
2010 Memoirs of the Blue Luke Hansen-MacDonald Also writer and producer
2011 Ugly Diego Siragna Also producer
2014 Wanderer
2015 I Am Selma Yossera Bouchtia
Coke White, Starlight Tristan Patterson
2016 That One Day Crystal Moselle
2018 Dadli Himself Also producer
Leaving Hope Caspar Newbolt
2021 Lizard Akinola Davies

Feature film

Year Title Director
2015 Throuple Phillips Payson
2016 We've Forgotten More Than We Ever Knew Thomas Woodrow
2017 Sollers Point Matthew Porterfield
2018 Skate Kitchen Crystal Moselle
Only You Harry Wootliff
2019 Bull Annie Silverstein
2023 Past Lives Celine Song
TBA Carnation Amiel Courtin-Wilson
Augustown[6] Himself


Year Title Director Notes
2020 Small Axe Steve McQueen Miniseries
TBA Get Millie Black Tanya Hamilton

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Work Result Ref
2020 Independent Spirit Awards Best Cinematography Bull Nominated
Boston Society of Film Critics Awards Best Cinematography Small Axe: "Lovers Rock" Runner-up [7]
New York Film Critics Circle Awards Best Cinematography Small Axe Won [8]
Chicago Film Critics Association Awards Best Cinematography Small Axe: "Lovers Rock" Nominated
Florida Film Critics Circle Awards Best Cinematography Runner-up [9]
Seattle Film Critics Society Best Cinematography Nominated
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards Best Cinematography Small Axe Won [10]
2021 National Society of Film Critics Awards Best Cinematography Small Axe: "Lovers Rock" Runner-up
British Academy Television Craft Awards Best Photography & Lighting: Fiction Small Axe Won
Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards Outstanding Cinematography for a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie Small Axe: "Mangrove" Nominated


  1. ^ Giardina, Carolyn (5 January 2021). "'Small Axe' Cinematographer Steps Into Spotlight With Steve McQueen's Film Series". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 9 May 2022.
  2. ^ McGovern, Joe (3 December 2020). "Steve McQueen Calls His New 'Small Axe' Cinematographer 'a Skater and a Sailor'". The Wrap. Retrieved 9 May 2022.
  3. ^ Uszerowicz, Monica (27 September 2018). ""I Only Want to Tell Caribbean Stories": DP Shabier Kirchner on His Directorial Debut, the Short Film Dadli". Filmmaker Magazine. Retrieved 9 May 2022.
  4. ^ "Interview with Shabier Kirchner". The Citizen. Retrieved 9 May 2022.
  5. ^ Blair, Iain (17 May 2018). "Shabier Kirchner in Top 10 Cinematographers". AntiguaNice. Retrieved 9 May 2022.
  6. ^ Raup, Jordan (30 October 2020). "Small Axe Cinematographer Shabier Kirchner Reteams with Steve McQueen for Directorial Debut Augustown". The Film Stage. Retrieved 9 May 2022.
  7. ^ "BSFC Winners 2020s". Boston Society of Film Critics. Retrieved December 13, 2020.
  8. ^ Lindahl, Chris; Blauvelt, Christian (December 18, 2020). "New York Film Critics Circle 2020 Winners: 'First Cow,' Chadwick Boseman, and More". IndieWire. Retrieved December 18, 2020.
  9. ^ "2020 FFCC Winners" (Press release). Florida Film Critics Circle. December 21, 2020. Retrieved December 21, 2020.
  10. ^ Davis, Clayton (20 December 2020). "'Small Axe' Wins LAFCA Best Picture Despite Not Submitted for Oscars". Variety.