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AFI research collection
Name Diana Nettlefold
Birth Year 0000
Death Year 0000
Country Unknown
Comments Di Nettlefold is probably one of the most enduring independent filmmakers in Tasmania and what is perhaps most remarkable about her production career is that it is based wholly in Tasmania, as a location for her films, as a source of production crew and as a source of production funding and investment, not only for her short 16mm productions but also for her 35mm feature, 'de Vil's tas Mania' (1992).

Her career began as a stringer for Channel 9 News in Launceston and Devonport in the early 1960's. In 1963 she moved to Hobart and began her 'Outdoor Games' (also called 'Children's Games') series of short films which included 'Time for Haike' (1967), 'Hide and Seek' (1973) and 'Statues' (1968). These films were mainly self-funded and short on 16mm. Nettlefold had realised by this stage that she didn't want to continue making documentary style films which had been her professional training, but instead wanted to entertain people, and especially children. Her aim with the Outdoor Games series was to capture on film children playing universal-type games and that these films could them act as an inspiration for the child audience to go out and play the games themselves. These films were made with little or no dialogue, which became Nettlefold's trademark and a major selling point for her films:

"I first did it with the Outdoor Games series which demonstrates how to set up and play a chosen game, and I though it would be something children all over the world could enjoy."

During this period Nettlefold also made the short film 'Upon Reflection'- a film shot entirely looking at the reflections of two music students by a lake, which won an ACS Golden Tripod for Cinematography. This film was one of few Di Net Films to receive government funding- $1400 from the Government in Tasmania.

In 1974 Nettlefold embarked on the ambitious short film series 'By Hook or By Crook.' The series starred her two sons, Stuart and Sam. In the first installment of the series, Stuart aged nine years and Sam aged nine months, are left behind whilst their parents travel overseas. The film, shot on 16mm, covers the efforts of Stuart to take his baby brother and travel to their Grandmother's house in the country. The series, several episodes of which have won international children's film awards, contains thirteen installments shot over approximately 12 years and each episode follows the general themes of parental abandonment and the bond between brothers.

In order to fund the 'By Hook or By Crook' series, Nettlefold taught art and filmmaking and covered the cost of each installment (approx. $8000 for each 26 min 16mm film) with few grants or sponsors. She also earned funds by road-showing the films around Tasmanian schools, sometimes accompanied by Alistair Matheson of Impala Films, another Tasmanian independent filmmaker. Throughout the 1980's she worked on the script and investment for Di Net Films' feature film 'de Vil's tas Mania.' In 1992 the period-esque feature finally went into production with the help of 42 private investors (39 of which were Tasmanian-based) and 52 sponsors from within the Tasmanian community. De Vil's tas Mania received no government funding whatsoever and is quite possibly one of the few feature films to be made in Tasmania completely independent of government funding or influence.

Di Nettlefold still lives and works in Hobart, Tasmania. She is currently working on an autobiographical film script which she hopes to direct in the future.

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