Karen Pearlman

Karen Pearlman

Personal Info

  • Birth Name: Karen Pearlman
  • Date of Birth: 30, Νοε -0001


Dr Karen Pearlman is a director, with Dr Richard James Allen, of the critically acclaimed Physical TV Company (http://physicaltv.com.au), based in Sydney, Australia. They create dramas, documentaries and dance films informed by scholarly research into the history and future potential of the cinematic medium. Their works have been commissioned or purchased for multiple broadcasts by ABC and SBS-TV in Australia, and picked up for broadcast in China, Europe and on cable TV in the USA. Their screen productions have travelled to over 300 film festivals or public screenings on five continents, including the most selective and prestigious dance film festivals in the world. They have garnered over 90 nominations or awards and many have attracted grant funding or support through government or philanthropic arts funding bodies.

Dr Karen Pearlman writes, directs and edits screen productions and she researches and writes about screen culture and creative processes.

Her 2019 film, ‘I want to make a film about women’ won Best Documentary at the St Kilda Film Festival, placing it on the international long list for an Academy Award. Karen was awarded Best Director in a Short Documentary at the 2020 Australian Screen Directors Guild Awards, Best Director at the inaugural CinefestOz Short Film Awards (2020), the Award for Creative Achievement at the Brisbane International Film Festival and Special Mention at the 2020 Sydney Film Festival’s Dendy Awards for the film's ‘ambitious and masterful mix of forms.’ Karen’s 2018 documentary, ‘After the Facts’, was honoured with an ASE Award for Best Editing, after its screenings at the Sydney International Film Festival, the Adelaide International Film Festival, the Perth Revelation Film Festival and the Antenna Documentary Film Festival. Her 2016 film, ‘Woman with an Editing Bench’, won the Australian Teachers of Media ATOM Award for Best Short Fiction, the Australian Screen Editors' Guild (ASE) Award for Best Editing in a Short and six other film festival awards. ‘...the dancer from the dance’, a 2014 documentary made with the Sydney dance community, and directed and edited by Karen, won two Audience Choice Awards at the World of Women (WOW) Film Festival, and was a finalist at the Australian Dance Awards for Outstanding Achievement for Dance on Screen and the Atom Awards for Best Documentary.

Karen is a senior lecturer in Screen Production and Practice at Macquarie University, the 2020 Australian Research leader in Film. She and her colleague Dr Iqbal Barkat won the 2019 Australian Award for University Teaching Citation, and Karen is proud to supervise up and coming researchers in creative practice. Before joining Macquarie, Karen held the post of Head of Screen Studies at AFTRS for 6 years. A leading theorist, speaker and writer on the art of film editing, she is the author of ‘Cutting Rhythms, Intuitive Film Editing’ (now in its 2nd edition with Focal Press) and well-known around the world for her YouTube series ‘The Science of Editing’ created with This Guy Edits (over 1 million views).

Before taking up filmmaking, Karen had a distinguished career as a professional dancer - performing on the Opera House stages of the world with Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company and other leading New York dance companies, as well as co-directing, with Richard James Allen, two other critically acclaimed dance companies, That Was Fast and Tasdance. She holds a Doctorate of Creative Arts from UTS, MAs in filmmaking from AFTRS and UTS, and a BFA in Dance from NYC’s Tisch School of the Arts.

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