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Filming the live action animation short film, "Hearts of Stone," on the soundstage.

Bringing Stories to Life

North Star Pictures is the film and video studio conceived and developed by owner & director, Heather Faulkner.

I am a storyteller, and my journey as a creative began at an early age. As a toddler, armed with a ukulele and a love for singing western songs, I embarked on my first artistic career. It was short lived. But this humble beginning marked the start of my lifelong fascination with storytelling in various forms.

My dad introduced me to the world of photography, teaching me how to load a camera and capture moments with his cherished 1958 Contax Zeiss Ikon Continette. Through the lens of this vintage camera, I began to see the world from a different perspective, and my passion for visual storytelling was ignited.

In my late teens, I took a significant step in my creative journey by purchasing a second-hand Canon AE-1 from a quaint shop in Kyoto. This camera became an extension of my voice, enabling me to explore and communicate with the world around me. It served as my passport to the diverse landscapes of the human experience. A few years later, writing and photography allowed me to immerse myself in the vibrant worlds of alt-rock, performance art, and queer culture in Vancouver, where I discovered a hidden realm of self-expression and identity.

 

As I honed my skills, I discovered my passion for photojournalism and documentary work. A few years later, my dedication and effort led me to unexpected places, including the unique cultural crossroads of humanism and capitalism in the newly established Czech democracy of the 1990s, under the leadership of the surrealist playwright, imprisoned human-rights activist, and subsequent president, Václav Havel.

This period of profound change and transition offered a unique canvas for me to document the clash of ideologies, the resilience of the human spirit, and the evolving landscapes of a new society.

Throughout my journey, whether through the rambling cowpoke ballads of my ukulele, the words I’ve written, the still and moving worlds I’ve framed and the ones I’ve imagined, my mission as a storyteller has been to unveil the hidden narratives of our world, to share the beauty, complexity, and diversity that surrounds us, and to celebrate the countless stories that define our human experience.

Experience

Film

Writing, Developing, Directing, Cinematography. 

This is the next big step, thirty years in the making. 

Writer/Director/co-Producer for feature documentary, Lethal Autonomous Weapons on Trial

Cinematographer (DP) for live-action animation short film, Hearts of Stone, directed and written by Umer Chowdhury.

Actor in Rex-Patriates (which wasn’t much of a stretch),  a few commercials and Van Helsing (check the opening scene!) in Czech Republic. I’m better behind the camera…

Photography

Three decades of experience in Social Documentary, Photojournalism, Exhibitions, Photo Editing for Publications, Publishing, BTS, Stills, Portraiture. 

Awards finalist: Czech Press Photo, American Photojournalism, Moran Photography Prize, Photo Circle, Josephine Ulrick and Win Schubert Photography Award and National Photographic Portrait Prize.

Academic Research

15 years of interdisciplinary, collaborative research. Visual ethnography, documentary photography.

Published both traditional research (journal articles, conference papers, books) and creative research outputs (exhibitions, publications, digital content, performance).

Teaching

University undergraduate to PhD supervision.

Fifteen years of award-winning teaching in documentary, photojournalism, and transmedia storytelling as a senior lecturer and program director at QCA, Griffith University.

Industry Engagement

Industry mentor and awards judge

Walkley Nikon Photojournalism Awards Judge (Australia), Society for News Design Judge (international), AIPP Photojournalism Judge (Australia), Guest Moderator for Nikon Walkley Photojournalism Talks (Australia).

Community Outreach

Volunteering & Non-Profit

Board member of SafeGround, an Australian, volunteer-run, not-for-profit organisation that works to eradicate the impacts of explosive remnants of war.

Volunteer photographer for SCAD Australia.

Video Streaming for Brisbane Lightning Australian Ice Hockey League.

 

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