Sydney Filmmaker, Screenwriter and Photographer
As If Productions
MARGOT NASH - BIOGRAPHY
Margot Nash is a Freelance Filmmaker and an Academic. She is currently aVisiting Fellow in the School of Communications at the University of Technology Sydney.
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Margot Nash began her career as an actor in theatre and television. She started out at the Melbourne Theatre Company and then joined the Australian Performing Group at the Pram Factory in Melbourne in the 1970s where she began videotaping shows and taking still photographs. After moving to Sydney she joined the Sydney Filmmakers Co op and began freelancing in the independent film sector.
She has produced, written and directed a number of award-winning short films and documentaries, as well as working as a cinematographer and a film editor. Her first film We Aim To Please about female sexuality, made with Robin Laurie won a Jury Prize at L’Homme Regarde Homme film festival in Paris in 1978. We Aim To Please has been restored by the National Film and Sound Archive and is represented in Screen Worlds, a permanent exhibition about the history of the moving image in Australia at ACMI in Melbourne. Margot was co filmmaker and editor on the 1982 feature documentary For Love or Money about the history of women and work in Australia, which screened at Berlin, Toronto and the Tokyo International Women’s Film Festival. For Love or Money received a UN Media Peace prize in 1985 and in 2010 and 2011 screened in Sydney on International Women’s Day.
Her short documentary Teno won the Jury Prize for Direction and Best Documentary in the ATOM Awards in 1984. Her 1989 short experimental drama Shadow Panic won an AFI Award for Best Cinematography, an ATOM Award for Best Innovative Film and a Red Ribbon for Film as Art at the American Film and Video Festival. It screened internationally at festivals including London, Hawaii and Clermont Ferrand and screened theatrically at the Phoenix Cinema in London supporting Chantal Ackerman’s feature film ‘American Stories’.
In 1994 Margot wrote and directed Vacant Possession, a feature drama about family, racial conflict and the complexities of reconciliation for which she was nominated for Best Directing and Best Original Screenplay in the AFI awards. Vacant Possession screened at a international festivals including Chicago, Hawaii and Asia Pacific and in 1996 won a Speciale Mention du Jury at the Films De Femmes festival in Créteil. In 1999 For Love Or Money, Shadow Panic and Vacant Possession screened as part of a ‘Tribute to Australian and NZ Women Filmmakers’ at Créteil in Paris. In 2005 Margot directed her second feature Call Me Mum for SBS Independent. Call Me Mum screened at local and international festivals including Sydney, Adelaide and Créteil, won two AFI Awards in the telemovie category and was short-listed for the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards and the AWGIEs.
Margot has worked as a consultant and a mentor for Indigenous filmmakers at CAAMA and between 1996 and 2001 she worked in the Pacific running documentary training workshops for Pacific Island women television producers. In 2008 she was a visiting scholar at NIDA and in 2008 and 2010 she was an Artist in Residence in the Bundanon Writer’s Cottage. In 2012 she was the Filmmaker in Residence at Zürich University of the Arts where she began developing a personal essay documentary about her family called The Silences, which she completed in 2015. In 2016 she won and Australian Writers Guild AWGIE Award for the screenplay.
In 20I8 Margot began collaborating with Sydney based Maori performance artist Victoria Hunt. Their award winning short film Take screened at the Sydney Biennale NIRIN in 2020 as well as in local and international festivals including Sydney Film Festival, Imaginative Canada and Tampere in Finland.
Margot worked as a Senior Lecturer in Communications at the University of Technology Sydney from 2000 to 2018 teaching screenwriting. She now holds an Honorary position at UTS and continues to publish as well as pursue new film projects. Since retiring she has focused on industry engagement, digital restorations of her film work and photography. In 2021 she had a major photographic exhibition called Songs for Gaia at Gallery East in Sydney.