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Phoebe Hart is an Australian filmmaker, lecturer and intersex rights activist, born with Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome. Hart lectures in film, television and digital media at the Queensland University of Technology,[1] and is principal of Hartflicker, a video and film production company.[2] She is known particularly for her autobiographical road trip movie, Orchids, My Intersex Adventure.

Phoebe Hart
OccupationFilmmaker and lecturer
Known forFilmmaker

Early lifeEdit

Hart describes how she was told she would never menstruate nor have children, but the reasons were not discussed and the topic was taboo. When Hart was 17 years of age, her mother told her the family secret, that Hart had testes in her abdomen. Hart was pressured into a gonadectomy (sterilization), and in the documentary she faces the traumatic emotional scars from that operation and the secrecy associated with it.[2][3] During the shooting of her auto-biography, her parents initially refused to be filmed.[3][4]


Hart completed her film studies at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in 1995.[5] She has been involved in the children's programme Totally Wild, Network Ten’s documentary unit, and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Race Around the World and Fly TV.

In 2009, Hart was awarded her doctorate from Queensland University of Technology, of which Orchids was a central element of her doctoral studies.[5] This documentary took six years for the principal documenters (sisters Phoebe and Bonnie Hart) to film, using a variety of cameras including semi-professional digital cameras, domestic VHS camcorders, and Super 8.[3] She describes the work as a means of helping young intersex people to come to terms with their bodies:[6]

One of the goals I had in telling my own story in a documentary and publically [sic] revealing me as intersex to a global audience was to change minds and show how our lives are not so unlike anyone else. In particular, I wanted to create a positive frame for young people with intersex variations, who I hoped would not have to go through what I experienced. I had to hide who I was from others, and was constantly terrified of being excluded for the monster and freak I had come to believe I was.

Hart is also a former president of the Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome Support Group Australia.[7]

Selected bibliographyEdit


Peer-reviewed journalsEdit

  • Hart, Phoebe (March 2013). "Orchids, intersex and the auto/biographical project". Studies in Documentary Film. 7 (1): 79–91. doi:10.1386/sdf.7.1.79_1. ISSN 1750-3280. Retrieved 27 August 2016.
  • Hart, Phoebe (June 2016). "Writing characters with intersex variations for television". Journal of Screenwriting. 7 (2): 207–223. doi:10.1386/josc.7.2.207_1. ISSN 1759-7137. Retrieved 27 August 2016.

Books and book chaptersEdit

  • "Making orchids – Gardening an intersex experience on videotape [In German - Orchideen Züchten. Eine inter Erfahrung auf Film]", a contribution to the book Inter: Erfahrungen intergeschlechtlicher Menschen in der Welt der zwei Geschlechter, edited by Elisa Barth, in 2013. Other notable contributors include Mauro Cabral, Sally Gross, and Del LaGrace Volcano.[12][13]
  • "All Of Us", a resource for schools produced by the Safe Schools Coalition Australia. Hart appears in a video[14] and in a teachers' Unit Guide.[15]

Editorial worksEdit


Hart has received multiple awards and academic honours for the documentary Orchids, My Intersex Adventure and also academic commendation for a related thesis entitled "Orchids: Intersex and Identity in Documentary". She is a Robson Fellow of the Ormond College, University of Melbourne.[1]

Personal lifeEdit

Hart and her husband desired to start a family, and adopted a child. Hart's infertility and the stress of the adoption process strained their marriage.[2]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Queensland University of Technology. "Dr Phoebe Hart : Awards and recognition". Queensland University of Technology. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d "First Hand Films 'Interview with Phoebe Hart". ATOM Awards. Melbourne, Australia. Retrieved 26 October 2010.
  3. ^ a b c "Film Synopsis". Orchids, My Intersex Adventure. 3 October 2010. Retrieved 26 October 2010.
  4. ^ "Phoebe Hart". TEDx.
  5. ^ a b c d "Government biography of Phoebe Hart". Queensland Government, Office for Women. 14 April 2009. Retrieved 26 October 2010.
  6. ^ Hart, Phoebe (7 October 2015). "My intersex body: more than an object of fascination or repulsion to be 'fixed'". The Independent.
  7. ^ "What's new with the AISSG Australia?". Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome Support Group Australia.
  8. ^ ""Orchids, My Intersex Adventure"". 3 October 2010. Retrieved 26 October 2010.
  9. ^ "ATOM Award, Winners, 2010". Retrieved 25 October 2010.
  10. ^ "Researchers explain the science of sex". Murdoch Children's Research Institute. 17 October 2013.
  11. ^ "Roller Derby Dolls, Documentary Telly Guide Synopsis". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 1 September 2009. Retrieved 25 October 2010.
  12. ^ Barth, Elisa, ed. (2013). Inter: Erfahrungen intergeschlechtlicher Menschen in der Welt der zwei Geschlechter (in German). Berlin: NoNo Verlag. ISBN 978-3-942471-03-9.
  13. ^ Hart, Phoebe (9 December 2014). "Making orchids – Gardening an intersex experience on videotape [In German - Orchideen Züchten. Eine inter Erfahrung auf Film]". Queensland University of Technology. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  14. ^ Phoebe's Story- All Of Us (YouTube)
  15. ^ Safe Schools Coalition Australia (2015), All Of Us: Unit Guide

External linksEdit