Gary Friedman is a puppeteer, animator and film-maker, who initially developed international adult-education puppetry and film projects based on HIV- AIDS, Democracy, Corruption, Abuse and Prisons work starting in the eighties.
Brought up in Apartheid South Africa, Friedman unleashed his puppets on the streets in Cape Town, 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. 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 South African’s first democratic election in 1994. 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, Australia. As a recent convert to Stop-Motion, after working for fifty years in the world of puppetry, Friedman discovered the links between the two arts fascinating and extraordinary. The vital roles of breath and performing without human language, as well as using humour to tackle socio-political issues have always been the signature elements of his work.