Nicolette Freeman holds BAs from University of Technology Sydney (UTS), and The Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS), where she specialised in cinematography. Nicolette’s graduating film at AFTRS, Letters of Sylvia Plath, was a winner in the 1985 Greater Union Awards at the Sydney Film Festival, and a finalist that year at the AFI Awards.
Since graduating in the mid 1980’s, Nicolette has shot many acclaimed drama and documentary films, including Road to Nhill, the first feature film directed by her film school colleague, Sue Brooks.
After graduating from film school Nicolette produced and co-directed the documentary, Eclipse of the Man-Made Sun. This hour-long film (screened on ABC Television in 1991) uses a visually rich palette of archival and experimental imagery to examine the language and symbolism of nuclear energy and weapons. It was widely screened and awarded at international film festivals, including the highly regarded Amsterdam Documentary Film Festival, the San Francisco Film Festival and the Yamagata Documentary Film festival
Throughout this period Nicolette taught film production at UTS, between her production commitments. In the early 90’s Nicolette moved to Melbourne where she continued her work as Director of Photography for local filmmakers such as Sarah Watt, Sue Maslin and John Hughes.
Nicolette continued her involvement in screen education with teaching appointments at Melbourne University, RMIT , and Open Channel. In 1998 Nicolette accepted a teaching position in film production at the VCA's Film School, where she worked casually until a full-time appointment in 2006.
In 1995 Nicolette participated, as a cinematographer, in the inaugural Indigenous Narrative Drama Visual Storytelling Workshop. This A.F.C. initiated filmmaking workshop for indigenous directors led to the series of films known collectively as From Sand to Celluloid.
Nicolette has judged for the Australian Film Institute (AFI) Awards and for the Dendy Awards for short film at the Sydney Film Festival. She has also worked with the Victorian TAC (Transport Accident Commission) on awarding young filmmakers the opportunity to make short films to address motor vehicle accident injury and fatality for young people.
In 2000 Nicolette produced and co-directed Leaping Off the Edge (screened on SBS Television in 2001) follows Melbourne’s innovative Women’s Circus, as they prepare for their annual season of performance. Leaping Off the Edge tells the story of the circus’s beginnings as a therapeutic vehicle for survivors of sexual assault and how the circus has grown over its ten year life.
During 2004 / 05 Nicolette directed and co-produced a 2 part documentary series. The Lifestyle Experts (screened on SBS Television 2006) follows frantic, time-poor families who call in professionals to help them re-balance work and family life. The series meets the two newest breeds of personal aides, the Lifestyle Manager and the Life Coach.
Nicolette has completed a Masters by Research (Film and Television) at the VCA, producing a documentary film entitled How the World is Made, looking at poetic form in the documentary film. Her current research interests are in sound design in documentary film, and the representation of the female actor in space, from a cinematographic and story point of view.
In January 2013 Nicolette was appointed as Head of the VCA School of Film and Television.
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Honours, Awards and Fellowships
Eclipse of the Man-Made Sun (co-writer / director) Winner, Bronze Apple Award, War and Peace Category
Eclipse of the Man-Made Sun (co-writer / director) Winner, Best Short Film, Science Category
Letters of Sylvia Plath (writer / director) Winner, General Section, Greater Union Awards
Senior Lecturer In Film And Television
Victorian College Of The Arts
Master of Film and Television (by Research)
University of Melbourne
Bachelor of Communications (major: media production)
University of Technology Sydney
Bachelor of Film and Televison (major: cinematography)
The Australian Film Television and Radio School