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Amiel Courtin-Wilson was born and raised in Melbourne. His parents Peter Wilson and Polly Courtin are both artists. He made his first film at age 9 and at 17 won the Longford Nova Award at the 1996 St Kilda Film Festival. At age 19, Courtin-Wilson wrote, directed and produced his debut feature documentary Chasing Buddha about his aunt Robina Courtin, a Buddist nun. The film premiered at Sundance Film Festival in 2000.
Since the beginning of his career Courtin-Wilson has been involved in the Australian arts, directing work for Opera Australia and Chunky Move contemporary dance company, screening his films at the National Gallery of Victoria and Art Gallery of New South Wales and exhibiting as a visual artist. He directed numerous short films and music clips for musicians such as the Avalanches and Mix Master Mike. He has contributed to national and international film and art magazines and journals and lectured at universities across Australia as well as overseas. In 2008 Amiel formed a Melbourne based production entity Flood Projects with an aim to foster collectivist and artist-driven film making practice in Australia.
Amiel’s second feature documentary Bastardy, about an indigenous actor and petty burglar Jack Charles, was released in Australia in 2009 to critical acclaim and won several notable awards. In the same year his short documentary film Cicada had an international premiere at Cannes Film Festival as part of Directors’ Fortnight in 2009.
His dramatic feature film debut Hail premiered internationally in competition at the Venice Film Festival (Orrizonti, 2011). The film explores the relationship between ex-prisoner Daniel P Jones and his long term partner Leanne Letch. The film is notable for its expressionistic use of visuals as well as employing a primarily non-professional cast, most of whom – including Daniel and Leanne – feature as themselves. It screened at festivals around the world including Rotterdam, Istanbul, Karlovy Vary and Munich, winning The Age Critics Award for best Australian feature at the Melbourne International Film Festival.
In 2012 Courtin-Wilson directed film sequences that featured in the critically acclaimed East Timorese theatre production Doku Rai.
Awards and nominations
- 2000 Sundance International Film Festival – Official Selection Chasing Buddha
- 2000 Sydney Film Festival – Winner Rouben Mamoulian Award for Chasing Buddha
- 2000 Sydney Film Festival – Winner Dendy Award Best Documentary for Chasing Buddha
- 2000 IF Awards – Winner Best Australian Documentary, Nominated Best Director for Chasing Buddha
- 2009 Directors' Fortnight Cannes Film Festival – Official Selection Quinzine des Realisateurs Cicada
- 2009 St Kilda Film Festival – Winner SBS Television Award for Cicada
- 2009 Australian Film Critics Circle – Winner Best Documentary Jury Prize for Bastardy
- 2009 ATOM Awards – Winner Best Documentary Human Story for Bastardy
- 2009 Australian Film Institute Awards – Nominated for Best Documentary, Best Direction, Best Editing for Bastardy
- 2009 Sydney Film Festival – Nominated Best Documentary for Bastardy
- 2009 Asia Pacific Awards – Nominated Best Documentary for Bastardy
- 2010 Clermont Ferrand International Film Festival – Official Selection Cicada
- 2010 FIFO International Documentary Film Festival – Winner Grand Jury Prize for Bastardy
- 2011 68th Venice International Film Festival (Orrizonti) – Official Competition Hail
- 2012 Fantasia International Film Festival – Winner Sequence Jury Prize Best International for Hail
- 2012 Melbourne International Film Festival – Winner Age Critics Award Best Australian Feature for Hail
- 2015 Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) awards – Winner Byron Kennedy Award for outstanding creative enterprise in film and television
- Ruin (2013) writer, director, producer
- Hail (2011) writer, director, producer, co-editor
Feature documentary films
- Catch My Disease (2011) director, cinematographer, producer, editor
- Bastardy (2009) writer, director, producer, cinematographer
- Chasing Buddha (1999) writer, director, producer
- Tag (2010)
- Cicada (2009 short documentary)
- On the Other Ocean (2006)
- Adolescent (2003)
- Stranglefilm (2001)
- & It’s POLITIkAL (2001 short documentary)
- Melbourne 2:36AM (2001)
- Persona in the Home (2001 short documentary)
- Islands (2000 short documentary)
- Re:constitution (2000 short documentary)
- Cosmonaut (1998)
- Mix Master Mike – Live (1998 music clip)
- Living with Mental Illness (1998)
- Avalanches ‘Rolling High’ (1997 music clip)
- Bubble Choke Squeak (1997)
- Charlie’s Toy Meets Madeline Moritz (1995)
- Numb (1995)
- "Profiles- Amiel Courtin Wilson". Rotterdam Film Festival. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
- "Spotlight on Amiel Courtin-Wilson – Director". Offscreen Magazine. 2 April 2012. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
- Bunbary, Stephanie (20 May 2009). "From St Kilda to Croisette". Melbourne: The Age,. Retrieved 20 September 2012.
- "Newsletter 2000 Chasing Buddha". Urban Cinephile. Retrieved 12 September 2012.
- "Chasing Buddha | Archives | Sundance Institute". History.sundance.org. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
- Amiel Courtin Wilson. "Solo Exhibition "Trying to Coax a Lion out of my Chest"". Utopian Slumps Gallery, Melbourne. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
- Body, Alice (13 July 2009). "Amiel Courtin-Wilson: An interview and an open casting call for Hail". The Thousands. Retrieved 25 September 2012.
- Buckmaster, Luke (22 July 2009). "Bastardy Film Review". Crikey. Retrieved 29 August 2012.
- "Quinzaine des Réalisateurs". Quinzaine-realisateurs.com. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
- 'Australian film wins prize in Venice', The Age, 8 September 2013 http://www.theage.com.au/entertainment/movies/australian-film-wins-prize-in-venice-20130908-2tdnr.html
- "Hail – Movie info: cast, reviews, trailer on". Mubi.com. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
- Power, Liza (11 August 2012). "From the Wild Zone". The Age (Melbourne). Retrieved 13 October 2012.
- "The Australian Film Institute | Ceremony Winners". Afi.org.au. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
- "Australian Short Films at Clermont-Ferrand 2010". YouTube. 19 January 2010. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
- "La Biennale di Venezia – Hail". Labiennale.org. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
- "A RAGING SUCCESS ACROSS THE BOARD FOR FANTASIA'S SWEET 16th EDITION + FINAL PRIZES ANNOUNCED " Fantasia 2012 News". Fantasiafestival.com. 10 August 2012. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
- Hawker, Philippa (17 August 2012). "Critics hail 'a damaged love story' with film prize". The Age. Retrieved 26 September 2012.