Pamela Nice is an independent filmmaker and theater director currently living in Washington,DC, whose recent documentaries have focused on increasing understanding between Americans and Arabs. In Letters from Cairo (2003), which won the Worldfest Houston Bronze Award for international documentaries, she interviewed Egyptian artists and intellectuals about their views of the U.S. and their own culture. Dreaming in Morocco (2007) interviewed Moroccans aged 18-30 about their hopes and dreams. Both were intended for American audiences, and have been shown at film festivals in Montreal, Toronto, Washington, DC, Houston and Orlando, among others; at educational conferences such as the Middle Eastern Studies Association (MESA); and on American and Australian television. Nice also writes and directs multimedia dance/theatre/film productions and has extensive experience in theatre. Her work has been funded by Fulbright and Jerome Fellowships, Minnesota State Arts and Metropolitan Regional grants, and the National Endowment for the Arts. She has lived in Morocco and Egypt, has been a film critic for Al Jadid Magazine—a review of Arab arts and literature-- and has taught theater, Arab film, and Arab literature at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota.
Awards and Fellowships
• Best Drama Audience Award, 2015 Capital Fringe Festival, Washington, DC for "It's What We Do": A Play about the Occupation (playwright/director)
• Artist Initiative Grant, Minnesota State Arts Board, 2008, for filming of “Desert in the Coffeehouse”
• Artist Initiative Grant, Minnesota State Arts Board, 2006, for post-production on “Dreaming in Morocco”
• Fulbright Scholar to Morocco (2004-05) to teach at the national theatre institute (ISADAC) and shoot the documentary, “Dreaming in Morocco”
• Minnesota State Arts Board Career Opportunity Grant (2003) to complete filming of “Letters from Cairo” in Egypt
• IFP Access Grant (July, 2002) to edit “Letters from Cairo”
• Jerome Foundation Travel and Study Grant to Egypt, to research film (2000)
• Malone Fellowship to Syria (Summer, 2000)
• UMAIE Travel Grant to Egypt (January-February, 1998) for study of contemporary Egyptian arts
• Metropolitan Regional Arts Council grant recipient (1994, 1995, 1996 and 1997) for productions for Theatre Lagniappe
• First place winner of Minnesota One-Act Play Festival (1991 and 1993)
• Best Director Award MN One-Act Play Festival (1991)
• Fulbright Fellowship to study acting at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (1972-73)
Selected Filmography (Screenwriting, Directed Films and Videos-- also directed all of the works below)
• Dreaming in Morocco (2007) Filmed, directed and content-edited this 26:40-minute documentary about the dreams of young Moroccans. Was optioned for broadcast by MNTV for the 2007-08 season. Selected for 2007 Middle Eastern Studies Association (MESA) Film Festival in Montréal. Also selected for Bridge Fest (2008),The Global Peace Film Festival, and the Bayou City Inspirational Film Festival, in Houston (2008).
• Letters from Cairo (2003) Filmed, directed and content-edited this 35-minute documentary. Filmed in 2002-03 in Cairo, Egypt. It was finished with the help of a Minnesota State Arts Board Grant, a Jerome Foundation Travel Grant and IFP/Mpls.-St. Paul Access Grant. It was first shown at the film festival of the Middle Eastern Studies Association (MESA) conference in November, 2002. Because of this showing, the documentary was requested for two national Middle East Resource Centers: one housed with MESA at the University of Arizona, and the other at Chapel Hill, NC. Also shown as part of the Intermedia Arts series, “Warriors and Peacemakers” (2003) in Minneapolis.
• Let Her (2001) Wrote, directed, filmed and edited this short independent film, which depicts three different views of a woman’s response to a letter her lover has written to her. Shown at Low Voltage Film Festival (St. Paul, 2002) and Indie Film Fest (Mpls., 2002).
• La Virtud Negra (2000) —Wrote stage and video script, and co-directed production, which was a film noir adaptation of the 16th century Spanish play, La Celestina. Collaboration with Zorongo Flamenco Dance Company.
• Frida Kahlo (1996 )—Wrote and directed a twenty-minute video that was part of stage production, Sadja, by Zorongo Flamenco Dance Company, in which a talk show host interviews a psychotic woman who thinks she is Mexican artist Frida Kahlo.
Theatre Directing Experience
--Collaborated on the direction and script development of The Opposite Program, a play by Moroccan playwright Zakaria Lahlou, and presented at the Institut Superior d’Art Dramatique et Animation Culturelle (ISADAC--Rabat, Morocco--June, 2005) during Fulbright Fellowship. Also collaborated on English translation of the play, published in December, 2005, by the Moroccan Cultural Studies Center.
--20 years professional experience in Twin Cities theatres, including the Guthrie Theater, Minnesota Opera, and History Theater; director and writer for theatre/dance/film works with three local dance companies: Kathak Indian Dance Company (Sister India—2003), Zorongo Flamenco (several productions--1993-2000) and Jawaahir Middle Eastern Dance Company (Umm Kalthoum—2004).
Theatre Lagniappe (St. Paul, MN): Artistic Director (1993-98)
I was the co-founder and Artistic Director of this professional theatre company. Our mission was to present contemporary international plays, and to work with local human rights groups when possible. Always Together (Anca Visdei)—Romanian—1997; Love and Anger (George Walker)—Canadian—1995; Death and the Maiden (Ariel Dorfman)--Chilean –1994. Death and the Maiden was cited as “The Best of 1994” in year-end reviews in the Star Tribune and Twin Cities Reader.
Education: London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (on Fulbright Fellowship); Ph.D. in Theatre Arts (University of Minnesota) with dissertation on Tom Stoppard
Critical Commentary on Nice’s film and theatrical productions: