About Michael Farrell

Michael Farrell is a nationally respected documentary film-maker, photographer, artist, writer and educator.

He began making photographs and assembled objects in the late 1960s during his college years in the Fine Arts Department at Indiana University.  After earning a Master’s degree in Visual Communications and Film-making in Chicago at the Institute of Design he moved to Lincoln, Nebraska in 1972 to work as a film-maker at the Nebraska ETV Network (now NET Television), Nebraska’s statewide public broadcasting network.  He is a forty-seven year veteran in public broadcasting, 45 of which have been spent in production in Nebraska and the Great Plains.



Mug-Shots--Lake-Agnes-CU Web



During the Seventies and Eighties Michael created a large body of very personal work in photography, drawing, collage and assembled objects.  The work was not shown publicly until his first one-person exhibit in 1991 at the University Place Art Center (now the Lux Center for the Arts).


Since then his work has been seen in exhibitions at and is included in the collections of the Museum of Nebraska Art, the Joslyn Art Museum, the Great Plains Museum, the Wyoming State Museum and the Sheldon Art Museum.   His work has been shown in several regional venues in neighboring states and is included in a number of private collections across the country and in Canada and Mexico.  He is a recipient of the Nebraska Arts Council’s Individual Artist Fellowship.


Michael’s personal website:    http://www.michaelfarrell.com/

His Faculty position at UN-L:    http://alec.unl.edu/alec_faculty_new

Great Plains Documentary:    http://www.netnebraska.org/basic-page/television/great-plains-americas-lingering-wild

Platte Basin Time-lapse Project:    http://www.plattebasintimelapse.com/


In television his areas of specialization include history and humanities documentaries as well as programs about diverse topics such as rural and environmental issues, the fine arts, opera, ballet, jazz and blues. His most recent award-winning production was Great Plains -America’s Lingering Wild produced in partnership with acclaimed conservation photographer Michael Forsberg. The two hour program is in national distribution through PBS and will be distributed internationally in 2014. Other noteworthy projects include In Search of the Oregon Trail, which has been aired three times on prime-time national public television and was one of the top ten most-watched PBS programs in its premiere year of 1996. His 90-minute special The Platte River Road won the coveted National Cowboy Hall of Fame award in 1992.


Along with Michael Forsberg, Farrell is the co-creator of the Platte Basin Time-lapse Project which, through forty-five individual time-lapse cameras and the associated website, documents and educates the public about the complex uses of the water in the 90,000 square mile basin which is the life-blood of parts of Colorado, Wyoming and Nebraska.


Between 1998 and 2009 Michael Farrell lead the NET’s forty member TV production team managing an annual budget of close to $3 million in local, regional and national projects. He is also currently an Assistant Professor of Practice in the Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communications Department at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where he teaches digital imaging and story-telling, as well as advanced documentary production, and oversees an intern program as a part of the Platte Basin Time-lapse Project, that brings students into NET to work with television and media professionals.