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Karen Pearlman


Thursday's Fictions

Karen Pearlman is a freelance film editor who cuts drama, documentary and experimental projects.  She has edited many award-winning shorts including Glass Box (best doco Melbourne Film Festival), Unit 52 (Un Certain Regard, Cannes), and No Surrender (Best Experimental Film, ATOM Awards).  She won the ‘Best Editing’ Award from the Fearless Film Festival screening of Interchange.  Films she has edited have screened at numerous film festivals around the world, as well as being broadcast on television.  She recently completed cutting Thursday’s Fictions, the latest Physical TV Project, a dance and drama feature which she also produced.  Thursday’s Fictions won the ATOM Award for Best Experimental, the Gold Medal – Director’s Choice for Artistic Excellence at the Park City Film Music Festival, and the Special flEXiff Award for "film as art".  It was nominated for Best Editing at the Australian Screen Editor's Guild Editing Awards.  Screened at twenty film festivals around the world, Thursday's Fictions had its broadcast premiere on ABC-TV in in 2007 with its next broadcast on August 31, 2008. 

Karen Pearlman and Richard James Allen are founders of The Physical TV Company, which specializes in the creation of dance on screen.   The Physical TV Company and Karen's work in dance on screen originates in her background as a professional dancer and choreographer.  Karen danced in the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company and with Timothy Buckley's Companies before she and Richard formed their own company, That Was Fast, which created a 'cinematic blend of text and dance action' and toured the world from its base in NYC. 

Karen holds a BFA in dance from NYU Tisch School of the Arts.  After an illustrious career as a dancer, she took on intensive professional re-training as an editor and filmmaker.  Karen now holds an MA in editing from the Australian Film, Television and radio School and an MA in Media Arts and Production from University of Technology, Sydney, and she recently completed a Doctorate of Creative Arts at UTS with a thesis called Cutting Rhythms, Ideas about the shaping of rhythm in film editing.  She is using her cross form background to articulate her ideas about editing as a form of choreography; and is continuing her cross form practice by editing not only films but scripts, books and dances.  Cutting Rhythms will be published by Focal Press in the USA in 2009.

Karen has various publications (books, essays and articles) to her credit, on topics ranging from editing to contemporary performance and dance.  The June 2004 issue of Metro Magazine includes an excerpt from Karen’s thesis in the form of an article about rhythm and intuition in the Special Feature Section on Editing, and she wrote a series of three articles on editing for the Dance Films Association published in 2005-06.   Karen is a member of the Australian Screen Editor's Guild steering committee, and she wrote the judging guidelines for the inaugural Australian Screen Editor's Guild Editing Awards in 2006. 

Karen has recently moderated a panel on Documentary Editing for OzDox held at the AFC in Sydney, curated an evening at Sydney Dance Company’s Cinemoves program on editing and dance, and presented papers on editing at the Screendance: The State of The Art Conference at the American Dance Festival in Durham, North Carolina, the Dance on Camera Festival in New York, and at Critical Path in Sydney.  Her most recent editing credit is a full length documentary for Anandi Films director Jeni Thornley called Island Home Country, set to premiere at the 2008 Brisbane International Film Festival.  She is currently editing the fourth installment in the much loved Physical Family Series, the former installments of which are What To Name Your Baby, Sam in a Pram, and Down Time Jaz

Karen has taught at numerous universities, including the University of Technology, Sydney, the Sydney College of the Arts, and University of New South Wales.  She is currently Head of Screen Studies at the Australian Film, Television and Radio School