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Nicole Guillemet's career in the arts began in 1984 when she became General Manager of the Utah Repertory Dance Theatre, the nation's oldest modern dance company. Subsequently, she joined the Sundance Institute where she assumed many leadership roles including Co-Director of the Sundance Film Festival, Vice President of the Institute and Founder/Director of the Documentary Film Program. Over the course of several years, she guided the Festival's emergence as the preeminent American showcase for new, independent cinema. In her capacity as Director of the Sundance Documentary Film Program, Guillemet founded the House of Docs at the Sundance Film Festival, developed a pilot program for documentary film at the Sundance Producer's Conference and organized tours of documentary films to community centers on both coasts. To help support the next generation of filmmakers, she founded the Gen-Y Studio at the Festival and the Gen-Y Documentary Summer Camp.

A long-time advocate of the arts in local communities, Guillemet is co-founder, president and artistic director of the Salt Lake City Film Center. Its mission is to give local audiences access to the range of new films one generally finds only at film festivals. The Center brings filmmakers to its screenings and sponsors panel and community discussion of issues related to the films.

In June of 2002 Guillemet was named director of the Miami International Film Festival. The Festival, which celebrates its twentieth anniversary in 2003, is the premiere showcase for world cinema in South Florida, with a strong emphasis on Ibero-American film. In parallel with the Festival, Guillemet has founded Encuentros, a forum and mini-market dedicated to the discovery, support and distribution of new work by filmmakers from Spain, Portugal and Latin America.