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"If done the right way, these kinds of opportunities can literally change lives.” Sosays tech entrepreneur Prayah Narula of gig labour, a growing phenomenon and employment path that promises flexible hours, independence and open recruitment to workers around the world. From delivering food, to transporting passengers, to tagging images online, millions of people—including those who might otherwise be unable to find work in more conventional environments—are being drawn to gig employment, task by task, for the chance to do any job that pays.


Despite its utopian potential, the reality of the gig economy is something far less auspicious. Work conditions are frequently dangerous, pay often fluctuates with-out notice, and workers can effectively be fired at the push of a button. In The Gig is Up, Vancouver-based director Shannon Walsh offers an unflinching look at the impact gig work is having around the world. Spanning global networks from rural Florida to Lagos, Nigeria (with many ride shares and food services in between), gig workers of all backgrounds share their stories through candid interviews, while tech experts and academics provide critical commentary on an industry now worth over 5 trillion USD—and growing.


As the global pandemic rages on and our collective reliance on online shopping and delivery services becomes increasingly a part of daily life, it’s more import-ant than ever to reflect on the labour that goes unseen. Derek Thompson of The Atlantic has described the emergence of app-based utilities like Uber as “convenience maximalism,” which begs the question: What does life look like for the people providing these services? DOXA is proud to open our 20th annual festival with this courageous film that reveals how the magic of today’s technology and its selling points might not be magical at all, and that asks us to consider the true cost of convenience.


Save the date: A Q&A with director Shannon Walsh and special guests will be live streamed on Friday, May 7th at 7:00 PM. Register here: https://buff.ly/3xzC4sj


This film will have a special DOXA Drive-In screening at the PNE Amphitheatre on May 13th at 9:00pm. For more information about DOXA Drive-In, click here. To purchase tickets for the Drive-In, click here.

  • Year
    2021
  • Runtime
    89 minutes
  • Country
    Canada
  • Director
    Shannon Walsh
  • Producer
    Ina Fichman, Luc Martin-Gousset
  • Editor
    Sophie Farcas-Bolla
  • Sound Design
    Sylvain Bellemare
  • Music
    David Chalmin