About the artist
Filmmaker Nora Niasari has been practicing as a writer and director since 2010. A seasoned maker of short documentary and narrative films, her work has been screened at festivals across Australia and internationally, including Melbourne International Film Festival, Brisbane Asia Pacific Film Festival, Beirut International Film Festival and the Human Rights Film Festival of Barcelona. Nora holds a Master of Film and Television (Narrative) from the Victorian College of the Arts.
Nora was selected to undertake a six-week writing residency at the Can Serrat International Art Residency in Spain. The residency offered Nora the chance to develop her storytelling and screenwriting craft in a supportive and focused environment, and she utilised the time to focus on completing the first draft of her debut feature film script.
The time, space and inspiring creative environment at Can Serrat allowed me to develop my screenwriting craft whilst fostering connections with creative professionals from around the world.
Notably, Nora completed the first draft of her debut feature film screenplay. This represents an and exciting and important step in her filmmaking career, having already successfully completed a number of short films and documentaries.
The highlight was doing a public read through of the opening scenes of my screenplay to a room of writers from around the world, both from Can Serrat and a partner residency that visited that day. After six weeks of isolated writing, it was extremely gratifying to read those words aloud to an audience and receive a positive response from writers from completely different cultures to my own. I felt a wonderful connection with complete strangers through storytelling. It gave me confidence moving forward and ultimately, a great affirmation that my story had universal elements and a wide reaching audience.
Due to the intensive nature of the residency, Nora strengthened her levels of productivity and work ethic by setting herself strict weekly writing deadlines, which allowed her to have 120 pages completed by the end of the six-week period. In addition to achieving this professional and creative milestone, Nora embraced the chance to connect with other international artists and writers. The time and space also afforded Nora the chance to reflect on her creative practice, which led to some vital personal revelations.
The residency was located in an old house situated in a very picturesque part of the Catalan countryside, near the Montserrat Mountains. The beautiful natural surroundings allowed for special moments of respite, which I believe are integral during the writing process.
Nora is approaching producers and script development labs, with a view to taking her screenplay to the next stage. She is also in the process of writing and directing another short film and directing a feature-length documentary, while working as a Teaching Associate at Monash University.