Nick Torrens has long been one of Australia’s foremost filmmakers. His idiosyncratic, award-winning documentaries and co-productions have covered subjects in Australia, Asia, Africa, Europe, the USA and Canada and have screened at international Film Festivals, in cinemas and on international television.
Torrens is a founding member and former National Chairman of the Australian International Documentary Conference, he has commissioned documentary for the SBS Television Network, conducted film development programs for the South Australian Film Corporation, the Pacific Film and Television Commission and the Queensland Documentary Association, designed and directed courses for the Australian Film Television and Radio School, taught documentary history and practice, acted as mentor for emerging filmmakers and worked to enhance the profile and sense of community among documentary practitioners.
In 2005-6 he was Director of HEADLANDS, Australia’s first National Documentary Ideas Development Laboratory. He chairs international forums, develops and assesses projects for federal and state film agencies, conducts Master Classes and seminars in documentary technique and gives documentary presentations, including to the Australian Graduate School of Management, the Victorian College of the Arts, the Australian Film Television and Radio School and the Australia-China Business Council, where he has twice been invited to address the Annual General Meeting.
Recent awards include Best Documentary from The Film Critics Circle for China’s 3Dreams, the Best Documentary Series award from both the AFI and the Australian Directors Guild for Liberal Rule: The Politics that Changed Australia, and the Most Creative Production Award from the First Xi’an International Festival for TECHNO TRIBAL.
His much-awarded documentaries over 30 years observe ordinary & extraordinary people in different parts of the world, and examine the forces that shape their lives.
Among them are
CHINA’s 3DREAMS: In her search for a meaningful existence, LEI uncovers China’s hidden history – and finds that her entire generation’s mages of their past are false…
China’s 3Dreams has sold out many cinema sessions in Australia and France. In March 2015 it won the Film Critics Circle Award for Best Documentary (http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/newslocal/inner- west/filmmaker-nick-torrens-wins-best-documentary-at-2014-film-critics- circle-of-australia/story-fngr8h4f-1227287737703) won a Best Documentary nomination at the Sydney Film Festival and a Best Direction nomination by the Australian Directors’ Guild.
Festivals to date: Sydney Film Festival, Canberra International Film Festival, FIPA Film Festival, Biarritz France, Lasalle Festival international du documentaire en Cévennes, France, Ecrans de Chine, European Festival of Chinese Documentary Paris, Rome, Saarbrücken, Turin, Milan, Human Rights Human Dignity International Film Festival, Myanmar, World Film Festival Singapore and BOFA Film Festival, Launceston. It was one of 6 international finalists from 26 countries at the American Insight Annual Free Speech Awards, Philadelphia 2015.
Screening events with discussion panels have been held at The Australian Centre for China in the World (at the Australian National University) and at Sydney University in a joint initiative of The Sydney University China Studies Centre, the Comparative and International Education Network and the Sydney Ideas Group.
LIBERAL RULE: THE POLITICS THAT CHANGED AUSTRALIA. A landmark television series that analyzes Australia’s recent political history and features former Prime Minister John Howard, his key cabinet ministers and the nation’s leading political historians, social scientists, economists and authors. SBS Television network.
LIBERAL RULE won both major 2010 awards, the AFI Award for Best Documentary Series, and the Australian Directors’ Guild Award for Best Direction
THE MEN WHO WOULD CONQUER CHINA
Winner Best Documentary, Film Critics Circle of Australia 2004, Best Editing, AFI Award 2004. Best Documentary Dendy Award Sydney Film Festival, Chicago International Documentary Festival, Shanghai TV Festival, CNEX Beijing and Taipei, Tri-Continental Film Festival South Africa and New Zealand Film Festivals among others; ABC and international television.
A candid, personal study of west-east capitalism; a New York banker and his Hong Kong partner search for the perfect mix of economic & political opportunity in China.
Vis à vis: TECHNO TRIBAL
Best Creative Work, 1st Xi’an International Festival 2010, Best Documentary Feature, DownUnder International Film Festival 2004, Best Documentary finalist, Montréal Présence Autochtone 2004, Planet IndigenUS Toronto 2004, Sydney Indigenous Arts Festival 2004, SBS network and international release.A one-hour co-production with Yerosha Productions inc in New York. Two indigenous performance artists from Australia and the United States embark on a journey via a satellite video link, comparing their worlds and their work.
RUNNING FROM THE GHOST
Paris Cinéma du Réel, Margaret Mead Festival in New York, Australian International Documentary Conference, Melbourne Film Festival; TEN Network & international television
Shows how British colonial perspectives controlled the lives of Hong Kong’s people. An observational parable.
TO GET RICH IS GLORIOUS
International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, Sydney FF, New Zealand Film Festivals; ABC & international TV.The second in a long-term series documenting the lives of Hong Kong residents: a wealthy Chinese entrepreneur shares his strategies and his identity-dilemmas, and together with his millionaire New York partner, tries to make the most of the “Golden Era” in China.
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Torrens is currently attending Film Festivals with China’s 3Dreams and is developing a project on Water and the City, a French-German television series.
Feature article in Metro magazine on the films of Nick Torrens – a condensed Masters thesis by SHEILA DUNCAN: METRO 143- Sheila Duncan article