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This letter deals with a procedure to obtain polymer-dispersed liquid-crystal films by photopolymerization of nematic emulsions. The major advantage of such a procedure is that homogeneously micron-sized liquid-crystal droplets in an organic monomer matrix can be obtained before polymerization takes place. The electro-optical changes induced in nematic emulsions by the polymerization of the fluid matrix are reported. The effects due to the application of an external field during the polymerization process on the resulting films are also discussed. © 1999 American Institute of Physics.