THE GIG IS UP
Poster for film, "The Gig is Up" with woman on phone surrounded by deliveries
THE GIG IS UP
Poster for film, "The Gig is Up" with woman on phone surrounded by deliveries
Uncovering the real costs of the platform economy through the lives of people around the world working for companies like Uber, Amazon and Deliveroo

THE GIG IS UP

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CPH: DOX 2021 | DOC NYC 2021

Labor • Economics • Poverty • The Wealth Gap • Technology • Global Studies • Global Economy 

Date of Completion: 2021 | Run Time: 88 minutes​​ | Language: English, Mandarin & French with English & French subtitles | Captions: Yes | Includes: Transcript | Director: Shannon Walsh | Producer: Ina Fichman

From delivering food and driving ride shares to tagging images for AI, millions of people around the world are finding work task by task online. The gig economy is worth over 5 trillion USD globally, and growing. And yet the stories of the workers behind this tech revolution have gone largely neglected. Who are the people in this shadow workforce? THE GIG IS UP brings their stories into the light. Lured by the promise of flexible work hours, independence, and control over time and money, workers from around the world have found a very different reality. Work conditions are often dangerous, pay often changes without notice, and workers can effectively be fired through deactivation or a bad rating. Through an engaging global cast of characters, THE GIG IS UP reveals how the magic of technology we are being sold might not be magic at all.

Variety | Review By Jessica Kiang
"Galvanizing and moving"

The Hollywood Reporter | Review By Sheri Linden
"A devastating reality check."

Film Inquiry | Review By Matthew Anderson
"The Gig is Up paints a simmering, sobering picture of the global gig economy."

Marketplace | Review By David Brancaccio
"The film’s arc brings us right up to the start of the pandemic and documents the fight for legal reform of gig work in California, a reminder that this story of stark disconnects is still unfolding before our eyes."

Big Apple Reviews | Review By Harvey Karten
"Employers rarely if ever see them, so the human touch in that regard is out. These are gig workers, members of the huge platform economy, so-called independent contractors, which is merely a euphemism for 'you’re on your own.' They are not appreciated as human beings by either owners or the people they serve."

Upcoming on Screen
"The Gig is Up doesn’t hold back any punches as it paints a rather grim picture of the exploitation of workers. She has made a simmering documentary that should be a very stark wake-up call for those aware of what life is like for these workers."

CineEuropa | Review By Vladan Petkovic
"Walsh has managed to fit a huge amount of information into 88 minutes of running time, and the way she tells the story not only clearly maps out the mechanism of this pseudo-economy, but also emotionally connects the viewer to the very human stories of the gig workers."

NOW Magazine | Review By Julia Mastroianni
"Walsh has created a cohesive and convincing film, weaving together stark images that foreshadows an over-reliance on digital platforms. Her film collects heartrending stories that convey the urgency of the workers’ rights issue infiltrating our smartphones."

POV Magazine | 
Review By Pat Mullen
"A true eye-opener about the human costs that fuel our everyday conveniences, The Gig Is Up leaves audiences with a tough question."

Stir Vancouver | Review By Adrian Mack
"Vancouver-based director Shannon Walsh’s The Gig Is Up adds fine detail to the picture, looking at the 'platform economy' and its sick cousin, ghost work, in which millions of stressed-out and screen-addicted workers sacrifice their souls on the altar of transhumanism as they scramble to complete the 'human intelligence work' that computational AI cannot, often for pennies, at least as often (if you’re outside the US or India) for Amazon gift cards."

Movie Pie | Review By Pie Pal Vickie
"Walsh’s insightful, intelligent film pulls back the curtain on the social, financial and psychological hardships endured by the unseen, often exploited workforce toiling to make life easier for so many."

REQUEST A GOOD TALK WITH FILMMAKER SHANNON WALSH
Director of THE GIG IS UP

 

Shannon Walsh has written and directed the award-winning feature documentaries, THE GIG IS UP (2021), Illusions of Control (2019), Jeppe on a Friday (2013), À st-henri, le 26 août (2011), and H2Oil (2009), as well as numerous short films and VR works. Shannon's films have been broadcast and theatrically-released internationally, played in over 100 film festivals globally, and screened in museum spaces, including the Venice Biennale and the Pompidou Centre in Paris. As a writer, she has published in a range of research areas, largely focused on South Africa, where she has often lived and worked. She has authored more than 35 journal articles and book chapters, and co-edited the book, The Ties that Bind: Race and the Politics of Friendship in South Africa (Wits University Press 2017). Shannon is an Associate Professor at the University of British Columbia. Previously she spent three years as Assistant Professor at the School of Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong. She was a Wall Scholar at the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies from 2017-2018. She is a 2020-2021 Guggenheim Fellow.