Nicole Prowell Hart is a Boston-based documentary filmmaker who works with both traditional narrative and more experimental idioms. Nicole’s first feature, Losing LeBron, premiered at the 2013 Atlanta Film Festival and is distributed by Devolver Digital Films. Produced by Maria Menounos and co-directed with Allyson Sherlock, this documentary examines the impact of NBA star LeBron James’ departure from the city of Cleveland. Additional film projects include Black Box, an experimental, hand-processed film, which premiered at the 2014 Athens International Film and Video Festival, and Happy Hunting, which premiered at the 2009 New Hampshire Film Festival.
Nicole’s educational and non-profit clients include the Jacob Burns Film Center, MIT, Emerson College, Harvard University, and filmmakers Ross McElwee and Sarah Jane Lapp. Her educational projects have screened at the Smithsonian Institution’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York. She received her Master of Arts and Master of Fine Arts degrees from Emerson College in Visual Media Arts, and was one of the first recipients of Emerson’s Media Art Fellowship for her MFA studies. She also holds a filmmaking certificate from FAMU/Prague.
Nicole has served on the board of Women in Film & Video/New England, and is a member of both Connect the Docs and the University Film and Video Association. She currently is a Teaching Fellow at Harvard University, and teaches media production at Cambridge Rindge & Latin School in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
“Nothing has really happened unless it has been described,” Virginia Woolf once said to a friend. I use film as the medium to describe and overcome experiences in my life that are too emotionally challenging to articulate into words.
As a child and an aspiring writer, the poets Walt Whitman, Sylvia Plath, and Billy Collins moved me to celebrate the miniscule, the ordinary, and the unnoticed. Now, as a filmmaker in both documentary and experimental forms, I look to the works of Ross McElwee, Frederick Wiseman, Albert Maysles, Su Friedrich, Miranda July, Kathryn Ramey, and Lynne Sachs – filmmakers who strive to unearth the epiphany in the everyday, whose works endow purpose and meaning to everything that surrounds us. This is reflected in my work, from a sun’s rays through window shades during magic hour, to a train ride along the coastline to the desolate landscapes of ghost towns.
My work often deals with familial relationships, childhood complexities, womanhood, and the need to return to nature – my own, or that of the individuals I meet when walking through city streets with a camera in my hand. I make films to remember, and to reconcile. Working with 16mm film, a medium that represents times past, I investigate the intricacies of memory, and use visual textures such as hand processing and ambient sound layers to further explore these ideas. The process of creating these visual ruminations often brings me some sense of control over my past, and I hope that my films will offer my audience an opportunity to reflect, and to find solace, as I have found in making them.