Bill Bennett (director)

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Bill Bennett
Born 1953 (age 61–62)
Occupation Film director, film producer, screenwriter
Years active 1983–present

Bill Bennett (born 1953) is an Australian film director, producer and screenwriter.

He dropped out of Medicine at Queensland University in 1972 and joined the Australian Broadcasting Corporation as a journalist. During a ten-year career as a journalist he won Australia's top TV award, the Logie (Australia's Emmy) for Television Reporter of the Year, and then later for Most Outstanding Documentary. This led him to feature films.

Bennett has directed 16 feature films since 1983. His film Backlash was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 1986 Cannes Film Festival.[1] Three years later his film Malpractice would be screened in the same section at the 1989 festival.[2]

His films have been nominated for more than 40 Australian Film Institute Awards, (Australian "Oscars") and Bennett himself has received 12 nominations for writing, producing or directing. He won AFI awards for Best Film and Best Director for his thriller Kiss or Kill.'

Internationally he has won the Crystal Globe for Best Picture at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival, Best Picture at Italy's Noir in Festival, Best Picture (Audience Award) at the Palm Springs and Hawaii Film Festivals, Critics Prize at the Taormina Film Festival, and numerous other awards. His films have screened in Official Competition at the New York Film Festival, at Toronto, Montreal (Winner of Creative Achievement Award), London, Berlin, Taormina, San Sebastian, and others. His film Backlash screened at the New York Museum of Modern Art's New Films New Directors Festival.

Bennett has had three major international retrospectives; in the US (Chicago's Institute of Art Film Centre), Germany (Hof Film Festival) and in India.

Since 2011 he has been an Adjunct Professor of Creative Industries (Screen Studies) at Queensland University of Technology. He is currently working on a thriller about honour killings to be shot in India, and a feature-length film on intuition.


Bennett was born in London of Australian parents and brought up in Brisbane. He studied journalism and got a cadetship with the ABC in 1972. He spent two years working in Adelaide on This Day Tonight then went to work for Mike Willesee in Sydney. He then worked on The Big Country and The Australians before moving into feature filmmaking with A Street to Die (1985).[3]

Selected filmography[edit]

  • A Street to Die (1985) (feature film): writer/producer/director
  • Backlash (1986): writer/producer/director
  • Dear Cardholder 1987 (feature film): writer/producer/director
  • Jilted (feature film 1988): writer/producer/director
  • Malpractice (1989): writer/director
  • Mortgage (feature film 1990): writer/director
  • The Banjo & The Bard (drama documentary 1991): writer/producer/director
  • Last Man Hanged (drama documentary 1992) producer
  • Spider & Rose (feature film 1994): writer/director
  • Two if by Sea (feature film 1995): director
  • Kiss or Kill (feature film 1996): writer/producer/director
  • Cut (feature film 1998): writer (uncredited)/producer
  • In a Savage Land (feature film 1999): writer/producer/director
  • Tempted (feature film 2000): writer/producer/director
  • The Nugget (2002): writer/producer/director
  • Deck Dogz (feature film 2003): producer
  • Uninhabited (2010): writer/producer/director


  1. ^ "Festival de Cannes: Backlash". Retrieved 12 July 2009. 
  2. ^ "Festival de Cannes: Malpractice". Retrieved 2 August 2009. 
  3. ^ David Stratton, The Avocado Plantation: Boom and Bust in the Australian Film Industry, Pan MacMillan, 1990 p54

External links[edit]