Gary Friedman

Fund My Work

My Sessions


The Mask Maker - Premiering Thursday November 11th

‘The Mask Maker’ tells the story of the use of masks throughout the ages, from caveman till today. The mask and puppet go back to the beginning of our history. Here is a short story about man’s relationship to the mask through his reincarnation from lifetime to lifetime.

The music was, once again, composed and performed by Sydney-based musician – composer, Lynette Smith and a huge thanks, once again, goes out to our consultant Sydney-based cinematographer, Sidat de Silva.

Animator and film-maker, Gary Friedman, developed international adult-education puppetry and film projects based on HIV-AIDS, Democracy, Corruption, Abuse and Prisons work.

Brought up in Apartheid South Africa, Gary unleashed his puppets onto the streets to take on the regime’s harsh suppression in 1980. ‘Puns en Doedie’ (Puppets Against Apartheid) used satire to reflect the news and views of the people on the streets for six years.

In 1987, Friedman studied ‘Puppetry for Film and Television’, with Muppet-master Jim Henson. After many years of producing ‘Puppets Against Aids’ internationally, Friedman co-produced a voter education television series for the South African Broadcasting Corporation, using the puppet to educate viewers about voting, prior to the first democratic election in South Africa in 1994.

His puppet interviewed President Nelson Mandela and other political leaders for his ‘Puppets for Democracy’ television series. This was followed by ‘Puppets in Prison’, an education program in South African prisons.

After 20 years of educational projects, mainly in Africa, Friedman took on the production of a daily education program for the South African Broadcasting Corporation “School TV”.

In 2001, Friedman took up residency in Australia and became an international Puppetry-in-Education consultant, while at the same time producing documentary and stop-motion animation films. Today he teaches puppetry and stop-motion animation at schools and universities around the world and in-between, creates short stop-motion films in his studio in Melbourne.

He currently lives in Melbourne, Australia with his wife, Sharon and two boys, Idan (11 years) and Kiki (8 years).