Shay Bentley-Griffin: Georgia's Leading Lady
Shay Bentley-Griffin is one of Georgia’s best-kept secrets. It was Shay, alongside four fellow Georgia Film and Entertainment Advisory Board members, who in 2008 succeeded in getting tax incentives passed that boosted Georgia to the number three state in the US in film production, right behind California and New York.
Not only has Shay been instrumental in revitalizing the economy of Georgia, she has made a significant contribution toward the employment of local actors, launching innumerable careers through her casting company, The Chez Group. A respected powerhouse in the film industry, Shay has cast more than 200 television and film projects, including the highly-acclaimed movies, "Sully," directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Tom Hanks, and “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk,” directed by Ang Lee, to be released in November 2016.
A champion for the acting community, Shay brings to Atlanta regular workshops through Chez Studios, offering industry experts and insider information to aspiring actors.
Shay has served under two governors on the Georgia Film, Music and Digital Entertainment Advisory Board, was appointed as Georgia’s film liaison to Los Angeles, is founder of the Georgia Production Partnership and is a board member of the Rome International Film Festival. She has received numerous industry awards, including the Crystal Obelisk Award from the Casting Society of America, the ‘Icons of the Industry’ award from the Entertainment Society of the Technology Association of Georgia and is a three-time Emmy nominee for her work in casting.
A member of Women in Film International, the Casting Society of America, the Cattlemen’s Association and the Farm Bureau, Shay is at home in rural Georgia, where she resides on the family farm. Her latest project, The Land, is a television series she created pairing her love of farming and film. Stay tuned, as Shay has other big projects in the works that will continue to shine a bright light on Georgia and its $6 billion film industry.
Among Shay’s casting accomplishments:
Sleepless Night (2016), Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk (2016), Sully (2016), Kill The Messenger (2014), Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (2013), The Watsons Go To Birmingham (2013), and the miniseries Coma (2012) produced by Mark Zucker, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (1997), Remember the Titans (2000), and Sweet Home Alabama (2002). She was the Casting Director on eight seasons of In the Heat of the Night (1988-1995) and the Peabody Award-winning series I'll Fly Away (1991-1993). Through her career, she has worked with numerous directors such as Ang Lee, Clint Eastwood, Kenny Leon, Shawn Levy, Adam McKay, Tyler Perry, Sam Raimi, Wes Craven, Jon Avnet, and Edward Zwick.