Dr. Karen Pearlman

presents 3 short films


Woman with an Editing Bench (2016, 15 minutes) 

Woman with an Editing Bench  is a stylised bio-pic about Elizaveta Svilova, the editor of Man with a Movie Camera, wife and lifelong collaborator of Dziga Vertov.

After the Facts (2018, 5 minutes)

Synopsis: Editors are powerful.  They are also usually invisible.   Most editors in early film were women.  This short documentary looks at how they wielded power and how their work was made invisible.

Digital Afterlives  (2018, 5 minutes)

Synopsis:In this short dancefilm a man in white angel shoes gets multiplied and manipulated through all the dimensions of infinite black.


Dr Karen Pearlman

Dr Karen Pearlman writes, directs and edits screen productions and she researches and writes about screen culture, feminist film histories, distributed cognition and creative processes.

Karen’s 2016 film, Woman with an Editing Bench, won the national ATOM Award for Best Short Fiction, the Australian Screen Editors‘ Guild (ASE) Award for Best Editing in a Short and 6 other film festival awards. Her 2018 documentary ‘After the Facts’ was also 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.

Karen is a senior lecturer in Screen Production and Practice at Macquarie University. Before joining Macquarie, Karen held the post of Head of Screen Studies at AFTRS for 6 years. She is the author of Cutting Rhythms, Intuitive Film Editing (now in its 2nd edition with Focal Press). Before taking up filmmaking, editing and film studies, Karen had a distinguished career as a professional dancer – performing on the Opera House stages of the world and directing two dance companies.

Karen’s current research is into distributed cognition, creative practice and feminist film histories.  She is working with collaborators on developing a framework for understanding expertise in creative practices of filmmaking as an instance of distributed cognition. We are proposing that this framework offers new ways of recognising the creative and intellectual work of historical women in film and, by extension, possibly in many other social and cultural domains. The aim is to re-position women’s input into the development of film form, moving away from historicising it as ‘helping’ or ‘assisting’, and theorising particular women in early film as engaged participants in the embodied and embedded cognitive processes that generate creative ideas.



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