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Who Nicole Rinaldi Is

Nicole Rinaldi is a filmmaker who shines at bringing authentic visuals to vulnerable stories. She’s resourceful- she took an old watercolor set and construction paper and turned it into a short that became an official selection at Animayo, an Academy Qualified festival.


She’s either the most polite punk you know or the most grunge librarian you’ve ever met. The culmination of her bookworm tendencies, she completed the BFA program at Emerson in three years, becoming the youngest to do so.


She’s a garden weed that cracks concrete- thriving where it’s unexpected for her. She also loves that metaphor for her work: taking inner conflicts and desires and bringing them to the surface. She takes her below-the-line experience in cinematography and production into an interdisciplinary approach to directing and design. 


Her work visualizes inner conflicts and the stories we tell ourselves through poignant, symbolic imagery and design. Most illustrative of this is “When the Wolf Comes Home”, where the film’s color palette is derived from bruising. The lighting and design of the film depict growth and setbacks in the healing process for a dysfunctional family.


As a designer, she has worked on features and shorts, ranging from 1600's period pieces to a  storybook village, to even a grimy motel built in an AFI lecture hall. Nicole is drawn to films that allow her to elevate the narrative by integrating psychological elements into her design. For instance, in the Panavision New Filmmaker’s Grant Film, The Chosen One, she utilized vertical lines and pinstripes to emphasize how trapped the protagonist felt in his current world. 

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Photo of Nicole Rinaldi
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Really About 

- Nicole considers herself a "Milkshake Afficianado" because she has a milkshake maker at home she likes to experiment with

- Currently Watching: Cruel Summer, The Floor is Lava, and Better Call Saul

- Currently Trying to Master: Making the little leaf on lattes, after finally figuring out how to froth oat milk

- Currently Working On: A Pilot about AP Comp Sci Nerds navigating Senior year based on her experiences as an AP kid with a learning disability.



Other Cool Facts



-WINNER- Best Music Video- Prospector Int'l Film Festival 2022-

-WINNER- Best in Block "The Good Dad"- Blackbird Film Festival 2021

-WINNER- Best Music Video- NYLIFF 2021-

Nominated for The Heart and Soul Award- Blackbird Film Festival 2021

Nominated for Best Animated Film- NYLIFF 2021

Nominated for Best Short Direction, Best Dramatic Short- NYLIFF 2020

Nominated for The Powerful Voice Award- Blackbird Film Festival 2020

Nominated for Outstanding Single-Camera Direction- EVVY Awards 2020

Nominated for Outstanding Design for Film and Studio (3X)- EVVY Awards 2019

D&AD New Bloods: The Portfolios Winner

Emerson College's Nominee for the Student Kodak Awards, across both undergraduate and graduate levels

Placed into Advanced Production Design in College without having to take pre-requisite classes


Gold Key Honor Society Member

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