Angela Shelton (born December 5, 1972 in Asheville, North Carolina) is an American film actor, screenwriter, and documentary producer, best known for the film Tumbleweeds and the documentary Searching for Angela Shelton.
After her parents divorced, Shelton lived with her father, step-mother, step-brother, and step-sister in North Carolina. She and her siblings were sexually molested by her father and step mother and eventually removed from their care and placed in foster care.
Shelton was a co-screenwriter (with then-husband Gavin O'Connor) and executive producer for the 1999 film Tumbleweeds, based upon her experiences with her serial-marrying mother, to whom she was returned after being in foster care. She also has acted in the films Comfortably Numb (1995), The Shrink Is In (2001), The Big Time (2002, made for television), and The Safe Side (2004, instructional video).
On television, Shelton has appeared in Pacific Blue, Chicago Hope, and Becker.
In 2001, Shelton undertook the production of a documentary in which she travelled the United States interviewing 40 of the 76 eponymous women whom she found while searching the Internet.
Shelton found that many of the women whom she interviewed had either been raped, beaten, or molested. Shelton, inspired to document her quest to find the women and to catalogue their traumas, 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.
Shelton chose to promote and distribute the film independently, notably appearing in 2004 on the American television programs 48 Hours and The Oprah Winfrey Show. Since 2004, 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. After its initial 2004 release on DVD and VHS, the film was re-released in 2006 as a special edition DVD, containing previously unseen footage and video of Shelton's public speeches. That same year, it aired on the cable television channel Lifetime, as part of their campaign to end violence against women.
The film won 12 awards, including audience awards for best documentary at the 2004 Asheville and Austin Film Festivals. The mayor of Asheville, proclaimed November 6th 2004 Angela Shelton Day.
In view of the acclaim received by her documentary, Shelton founded the "Angela Shelton Foundation" to support financially and link discursively worldwide domestic and sexual abuse prevention organizations. The Angela Shelton Foundation store was recently opened, 100% of the proceeds go to the foundation. Various apparel and merchandise are available to purchase.
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