5 Minutes with Nikki Comninos

5 Minutes with Nikki Comninos

  • Tell us about yourself – who are you and what do you do?

I am an editor and sometimes director, I have worked across many genres but documentary is my firm fave. I also have one toe in academica and completed my Ph.D. focusing on home video, personal history and memory at WITS so I sometimes teach and supervise at academic institutions. I enjoy the collaboration that filmmaking brings and have earned the nickname ‘comrade supercuts’.

  • What are you currently up to? Are there any exciting projects ongoing?

At the moment I’m trying to keep hopeful and forward-looking in today’s brutal new world. I am thankful for my continued work in documentary and current affairs. My ongoing, longer term, projects include working on the third film in a triptych of shorts with Jyoti Mistry (the second of which just premiered at the Berlinale), a feature documentary (also cut into three episodes for TV) about Dulcie September with Enver Samuels and, of course, the background work of every filmmaker – the R+D of one’s own projects. 

  • What’s your best project/work to date?

Ah, that would seem like picking a favourite child! I have enjoyed all the films I have had the opportunity to work on and have been very lucky with my positive experiences so far. I think each project offers a moment to explore the craft of storytelling in nuanced ways, I enjoy learning about the world through my work. I would say the work I like the best is seated in our socio-political world, working with Anita Khanna and Rehad Desai has been a very edifying experience of that, and most recently I thoroughly enjoyed editing a invigorating piece for them about evictions in Lawley during Lockdown. 

  • Who or what inspires you?

Community inspires me and I am grateful for industry organizations like the editors guild (SAGE) of which I have been on the exec for years, as well as SWIFT and the DFA. I think it is through sharing, community, collaboration and cooperation that we find the most success in the industry – but also in our lives. 

  • When you’re not working, what do you like to do?

I am an enthusiastic reader and spend a lot of time on my kindle. I also have a beautiful dog and his glee on walks is contagious so I try to do that as much as possible too. 

  • Finally, what tips or advice could you give to other documentary creatives, just starting out or to the most experienced creatives needing a bit of encouragement?

Stay curious about the world – that is what keeps me going. Keep in touch with news and new ways of understanding old problems. Think about the future, but don’t forget to stay present. Walk your dog – you’ll find respite, an idea, a solution…