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Photo of Laura Nix

Laura Nix

MFA Alumni Guest Lecture

March 2, 2020, 6 p.m.
VAF 306 Performance Space, Visual Arts Facility, UC San Diego

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Laura Nix is a director, writer and producer working in non-fiction and fiction. Her short film, WALK RUN CHA-CHA, has been nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Short Subject, after its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival, and winning Best Short at Viet Film Fest. It’s streaming on New York Times Op-Docs. Her feature documentary INVENTING TOMORROW, about teenagers from around the globe tackling environmental issues through science, premiered in the US Competition at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, followed by multiple film festivals worldwide, earning multiple awards including the Grand Jury Prize at Seattle International Film Festival.

In 2018 she was also named a Chicken & Egg Breakthrough Filmmaker,  a prestigious award given annually to five experienced women filmmakers based in the United States who have each been acknowledged for their extraordinary careers in the industry.

Awarded the 2017 Sundance Institute/Discovery Impact Fellowship, Nix also directed THE YES MEN ARE REVOLTING, a comedy about activism and climate change that premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2014, and the Berlinale 2015 and has gone on to play over 85 film festivals internationally. It was theatrically released in North America by the Orchard, and appeared theatrically and on television internationally. Previously she directed the documentary THE LIGHT IN HER EYES, about a Syrian Qur’an school for women, which premiered at IDFA in 2011, was broadcast on thePBS series POV as well as internationally including Al-Jazeera Middle East, and toured the world with Sundance's Film Forward. Nix was also a writer on the Emmy nominated documentary CALIFORNIA STATE OF MIND: THE LEGACY OF PAT BROWN.

She wrote and directed the comedic narrative feature THE POLITICS OF FUR, which played in over 70 film festivals internationally, and won numerous awards including the Grand Jury Prize for Best Narrative Feature at Outfest Los Angeles (2002), and Best Feature at Boston Underground (2003). She has directed music videos for several artists including Sweaters, Rajae el Mouhandiz, and the classical Vienna-based ensemble, Vivante.

In 2001, Nix co-founded the production company Automat Pictures, where she produced and/or directed over 100 presentations, including the feature documentary WHETHER YOU LIKE IT OR NOT: THE STORY OF HEDWIG, which played in over a dozen film festivals in the U.S. and worldwide. Previously she was a member of Oscar-winning filmmakers Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman’s production company Telling Pictures, where she was Associate Producer on THE CELLULOID CLOSET.

Nix’s nonfiction television work has appeared on HBO, PBS, Arte, ZDF, CBC, NHK, Canal +, IFC, New York Times Op-Docs, Planet Green, and the History Channel. She was a MacDowell Colony Fellow in 2006, and a Film Independent and IFP fellow in 2011. She received her MFA in Visual Arts from University of California San Diego, and has served as an adviser to the Hot Docs Blue Ice Fund, East Africa’s Docubox, and is currently a film expert for the U.S. State Department’s American Film Showcase, and a member of the documentary branch of the Academy for Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences.

Her work has received support from the Bertha Foundation, BritDoc, Cal Humanities, Chicken and Egg Pictures, COBO Fund, the Danish Film Institute, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Kendeda Foundation, the Simons Foundation, and the Sundance Documentary Fund. Nix is the owner of Felt Films, a production company based in Los Angeles that produces non-fiction and fiction content, and she is repped for commercials and branded content by Majority Film in Los Angeles.

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Indiewire image credit: Taylor Jewell/Invision/AP/REX/Shutterstock

Presented by ACE, co-sponsored by the Dept. of Visual Arts