tobie openshaw

Tobie Openshaw is a South African-born DOP/producer/editor/photographer who has been working in visual media for over 20 years. He has filmed and traveled from desert to city to jungle, in Africa, Europe, the US, and Asia-Pacific.

He has a day job teaching video production at a private high school in Taipei, while continuing to do personal video and photo projects. A few times a year he gets to shoot for channels such as Discovery, National Geographic, Al Jazeera, BBC or Sky. His most recent work was an insert on funeral pole dancers in Taiwan for National Geographic’s Taboo series.

He collaborated with photojournalist Kloie Picot on the documentary film “Shots that Bind – Palestinian Photojournalists in Nablus” which subsequently won the Best Cinematography (Documentary) award in the New York Independent Film & Video Festival.

Tobie has become internationally-known for his long-running work documenting the unique betelnut-girl culture of Taiwan. Recognized as an expert on the subject, his work is featured in photo exhibitions, short films, and numerous websites and publications. The LA Times has published his photos, and 2 were included in the groundbreaking Thames & Hudson publication, “High Society – Mind-altering drugs in history and culture”. He is currently compiling a book of photographs showcasing almost 10 years of work on the subject.

Tobie’s current passion lies with the marginalized indigenous people of Taiwan, with several documentary and other projects in the works, and he is also a proponent of using social media for social change.


Betelnut girls NanKan 007

Betelnut girl Taoyuan 09

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