Academic Profile

Academic Profile

Ms Nicole Midori Woodford

Lecturer, School of Art, Design and Media

Ms Nicole Midori Woodford

Nicole Midori Woodford is a Singaporean film director, writer and editor. She is an alumnus of Berlinale Talents at the Berlin International Film Festival as well as the Asian Film Academy at the Busan International Film Festival in 2010, at which she was awarded a prize for Outstanding Performance by renowned Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami.

As a director, Nicole works with Zhao Wei Films extensively and was commissioned to direct the short Ordinary for the 28th SEA Games which chronicled the rise of Singapore’s football legend Fandi Ahmad. Prior to this, she co-founded a film production studio in Singapore and over the span of three years, was involved in spearheading commercial and independent works.

Her short film For We Are Strangers made its world premiere at the 20th Busan International Film Festival and competed in the Wide Angle Short Film Competition. Permanent Resident, another short film, was selected to compete in the Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival 2018. It investigates the paradoxes of the Singaporean modern identity through the gaze of a middle-aged woman and a manmade monolith.

Nicole is also part of an initiative, 15 SHORTS, spearheaded by Blue3asia and National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre featuring films made about untold stories of ordinary people during Singapore’s nation-building years in the 80s and 90s. She wrote and directed the short film Waiting Room inspired by her interviews with Tommy Yu. Her latest short film, Tenebrae, which is part of Astro Malaysia's omnibus film, was dedicated to one of the surviving monoliths of Singapore's architectural heritage, the Pearl Bank Apartments which is slated for demolishment. She explores the identity of the landscapes as well as the residents of the spaces that reside in a volatile cityscape that is subject to relentless redevelopment.

Nicole’s debut feature film project, You Are There, produced by Jeremy Chua of Potocol Films was selected in the inaugural edition of SEAFIC lab (Southeast Asian Fiction Lab), a feature film script lab in Thailand. Her project was awarded two awards, clinching the Open SEA Fund award and the SEAFIC-TFL award in conjunction with the Torino Film Lab. The same project was also selected at Torino Film Lab's FeatureLab program in 2018 and was awarded the Co-Production award. You Are There explores the history of land and trauma of people as well as the emotional narrative that transcends boundaries and borders.
Research Interests
Nicole’s works and research seek to explore the myriad parallels between people in Asia and Southeast Asia using cinema as well as the space between the mundane and the profane.

As a filmmaker, she manipulates the day to day gestures of characters within her films and ritualises them while juxtaposing them alongside the uncanny. Her perspective focuses on the female psyche and how trauma is translated to the cinematic form featuring female protagonists. Nicole is also interested in melding works with influences from the horror genre as a means to translate the psychological journeys of such characters.

In her feature film project, Nicole investigates these complex emotions of a person’s departure from his or her life due to trauma, using spirituality as a means of discourse and catharsis for the characters in the film.

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