August 26, 2016 1:54 PM

Inside the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI)

(GERMANY OUT) Hepburn, Audrey *04.05.1929-20.01.1993+Schauspielerin, NL/GB- in dem Film 'Fruehstueck bei Tiffany'(Breakfast at Tiffany's'), Regie: Blake Edwards- 1960 (Photo by ullstein bild/ullstein bild via Getty Images)

This year Australian Fashion Film Awards partners with the Australian Centre for the Moving Image for the first ever public screening of the official selection from the submitted films.

“A unique institution at the heart of Melbourne’s iconic meeting place, Federation Square, the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) celebrates, explores and promotes the moving image in all its forms – film, television, games and digital culture.

Through award-winning Australian and international exhibitions, films, festivals, live events, creative workshops, education programs and resources, ACMI provides unsurpassed ways to engage with the moving image.”

ACMI Visit Melbourne
Image: Visit Melbourne

James Nolan is ACMI’s resident Fashion on Film curator – over the years he’s programmed everything from films about Chanel, Jean Paul Gautier, Alexander McQueen, Marc Jacobs and the seasonal shorts by Loic Prigent. James’ Instagram is here.

James Nolen Photographer: Gerry Nelson
Photographer: Gerry Nelson

We sat down with James Nolan for a Q&A:

Tell us a bit about your role at ACMI.
I am part of the stylishly compact film programming team here at ACMI and I look after programming for kids and families, as well as Australian cinema, the odd event screening and retrospectives and the bi-annual look at fashion on film.

What’s the best part of your job?
Dreaming up what we are going to screen next!

What’s a typical day in the life of James Nolen?
Check out my interview in The Design Files where I talk about my routine!

What can you tell us about this year’s MSFW Fashion on Film program?
This Melbourne Spring Fashion Week we decided to focus on one design house rather than cover several. I was really excited when I heard that Matthew Miele was making a documentary on Tiffany & Co, and even more pleased with the end result! The film is a revelation and feels very modern. And because we were screening this new documentary, we just couldn’t leave out Audrey Hepburn and Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and all those Givenchy dresses!! And of course the AFFA Screening is part of the MSFW program.

Breakfast at Tiffanys
What is your most memorable ACMI program?
Gosh! That is tricky! One that comes to mind was our screening a couple of years ago of a documentary on the Australian born photographer Robyn Beeche, A Life Exposed. Robyn was a trailblazer Aussie, and shot a lot of Vivienne Westwood’s early runway shows, as well as many other dramatic fashion shoots. Robyn, who passed away last year was here at ACMI for the screening along with the documentary’s maker Lesley Branagan and Kirstie Clements, the former editor of Vogue Australia hosted the post screening discussion. A great meeting of minds.

Your Instagram profile gives us a glimpse into another side of you – photographer. How long have you had an interest in photography?
I have always loved taking photos. I loved that subject at school and my parents bought me a beautiful Pentax 35mm camera when I was a teen. I had almost forgotten how much fun it was and then Instagram and decent camera phones came along and reminded me what I had been missing out on. Now I can’t stop.

What do you love most about fashion film?
I don’t think I will ever be a fashion designer or work for a great fashion house, so fashion documentaries in particular give me access to behind those incredibly exclusive closed doors. Seeing how Iris van Herpen creates her unique 3D garments or going behind the scenes of a Rick Owens show with Mademoiselle Agnès is such a priviledge, and a buzz!

There has been a huge increase in the number of brands creating fashion films and video content. Why do you think this is?
Partly technology. People can shoot and edit from their smartphone. Also film is a powerful way to communicate whatever it is you want to convey about your brand.

Where do we find out more info on the upcoming programs at ACMI?
Just google ‘ACMI Tiffany’ or go to

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