Zach Polis is a writer, filmmaker, and photographer. He is St. Albert’s Poet Laureate, acting as a literary and cultural ambassador to the Greater Edmonton Area. In 2018, he was the recipient of an RBC Emerging Artist Award. This year he attended Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity’s spoken word residency.
He’s also got style - Zach has been featured in the Street Style section of British Vogue, the “Best Of” for Vogue Italia’s PhotoVogue, and Teen Vogue described his style as brilliant.
As a filmmaker and photographer, Zach works for many multinational corporations and Alberta municipalities. Zach has participated in cinematography workshops and discussions at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity with Fabian Wagner (cinematographer for Game of Thrones), Sean Savage (camera operator for Game of Thrones), and Stephen Campanelli (camera operator for Clint Eastwood). In 2016, he did the same, including conducting interviews with Mitch Dubin (camera operator for Steven Spielberg), and Dave Thompson (camera operator for The Hunger Games series). Zach has also photographed Andrew Simpson (wolf trainer for Game of Thrones) and his wolves, including the wolves that appear in Alejandro González Iñárritu’s film, The Revenant. Zach’s photos have been published on Vogue Italia’s PhotoVogue, curated by Alessia Glaviano (Brand Visual Director) and her editorial team. His photography and poetry are currently on display as public art with the City of Edmonton as part of YEGCanvas.
Zach composed music and sound design elements for Hong Kong-based video game/ art installation Bad Trip by Alan Kwan, which was featured in Fast Company, Discovery Canada’s Daily Planet, and WIRED (Italia Edition) and has exhibited internationally in China, Australia, Austria, Germany, Argentina, and Canada.
Zach graduated from the University of Alberta with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Drama and Creative Writing (with distinction). Zach studied playwriting with Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott and Marty Chan (one of the Alberta Foundation for the Arts’ 25 most influential artists) and has received scholarships and awards in playwriting, poetry, acting, Japanese studies, and outstanding academic excellence (top 1.5% of the student body university-wide, or roughly 420 of 28,000 undergraduates enrolled). He has also studied and performed improv theatre in New York City at the Magnet Theater.
In 2018, as part of STARfest, Zach hosted a literary conversation with Patrick deWitt to discuss his Giller-nominated novel, French Exit and the Jacques Audiard-directed film adaption of The Sisters Brothers, which stars John C. Reilly and Joaquin Phoenix.
Zach has performed in New York City, Tokyo, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, and across Alberta, as well as on CBC Radio multiple times. He has also performed on the CBC Centre Stage at the Edmonton Poetry Festival. Zach has been featured three times in New Trail, the University of Alberta's alumni magazine, which reaches 250,000 university-educated readers around the world. He has been a shortlisted candidate for the City of Edmonton’s John Poole Award for Promotion of the Arts. This year he was a shortlisted candidate for the Government of Alberta’s first Alberta Artist in Residence. His artistic work has been supported by the Edmonton Arts Council, Alberta Foundation for the Arts, and Canada Council for the Arts.