David Michôd

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David Michôd
David Michôd & Mirrah Foulkes 2012 (1).jpg
David Michôd with his wife, actress Mirrah Foulkes 2012
Born (1972-11-30) 30 November 1972 (age 45)
Sydney, New South Wales
Nationality Australian
Education Sydney Grammar School
Alma mater University of Melbourne
Occupation Film director, screenwriter, film producer, actor
Years active 2000–present

David Michôd (/ˈmɪʃ/;[1] born 30 November 1972) is an Australian film director, screenwriter, producer and actor.[2][3][4] He is best known for directing the critically acclaimed 2010 film Animal Kingdom and the 2014 film The Rover. He also co-wrote Hesher.

Education and early career[edit]

Michôd was educated at Sydney Grammar School before moving to Melbourne to study arts at the University of Melbourne. After working for the Victorian Department of Education he decided to attend film school while in his mid-20s. He later served as editor of Inside Film magazine, serving in the role between 2003 and 2006.[3][5][6]


Early career: Short films and documentaries[edit]

Michôd began his directing career in short films, with Ezra White, LL.B. in 2006 being one of the first to make an impact.[7] In 2007 Michôd's next short film Crossbow, a coming-of-age drama was premiered at Venice Film Festival and received positive response from critics.[8][9] After that the film compete at number of film festivals and earned good reviews. The film also screened at Sundance Film Festival and won Australian Film Institute Award for Best Screenplay in a Short Film.[10][11]

Next year, in 2008 Michod directed another short film Netherland Dwarf, which was also screened at Sundance Film Festival and Berlin International Film Festival and earned positive reviews from critics.[8][12][13][14] The same year, Michod co-directed Solo, a documentary film with Jennifer Peedom. It features the journey of Australian adventurer Andrew McAuley who went on a solo kayak crossing from Tasmania to New Zealand.[15][16] The documentary received positive response on its release, Empire Online gave film five stars and said "As a tribute to a man – and man's – insatiable search for adventure, it's unforgettable."[17] In 2009, Michod directed Inside the Square, a 30-minute behind-the-scene documentary on the making of 2008 film The Square directed by Nash Edgerton.[18][19]

Feature films[edit]

Animal Kingdom[edit]

In 2010 his debut feature film, Animal Kingdom was released. The film received overwhelming critical acclaim and received several awards and nominations.[3][5][20][21][22] In his review of the film for Time Out, Dave Calhoun compared him to Martin Scorsese that "He brings a big dose of Scorsese to Melbourne in telling of a fictional crime family."[23] J.R. Jones of Chicago Reader praised him by saying that "Writer-director David Michôd creates a densely textured moral universe that makes good on his metaphoric title."[24] While Bill Goodykoontz in his review for The Arizona Republic said that "The naturalistic style Michod employs adds to the sense of dread. Is there no way out of this existence? To whom would it appeal?"[25]

The film became the third highest grossing Australian film at the Australian box office for 2010, with a worldwide box office gross of US$5,775,563.[26]

The Rover[edit]

Michod's next film, a futuristic Western entitled The Rover with Guy Pearce and Robert Pattinson.[27][28] Filming began on 29 January 2013 in Southern Flinders Ranges, Australia and ended on 16 March 2013 in Marree, north of Adelaide, Australia.[29][30] The film had its premiere out of competition in Midnight screening at 2014 Cannes Film Festival on 18 May 2014.[31][32] Todd McCarthy of The Hollywood Reporter, said that "David Michod’s follow-up to his internationally successful debut with the Melbourne gangster saga Animal Kingdom is equally murderous but more pared down to basics, as desperate men enact a survival-of-the-meanest scenario in an economically gutted world reduced to Old West outlaw behavior."[33]

The film had a limited release on 13 June 2014 in New York City and Los Angeles before expanding wide on 20 June 2014 in the United States.[34][35][36]

War Machine[edit]

On 14 April 2014, it was announced that Michôd will write and direct The Operators, based on the 2011 best seller of the same name by Michael Hastings. The film will be jointly produced by Plan B Entertainment, New Regency and RatPac Entertainment, with Brad Pitt attached to star.[37][38] It was later retitled as War Machine. In March 2017, Netflix released a teaser trailer for the film in which Brad Pitt is playing a thinly veiled version of Stanley A. McChrystal. Hastings wrote the Rolling Stone article that revealed the friction between McChrystal’s staff and then President Barack Obama’s and would ultimately lead to McChrystal losing his job. Pitt’s character is named McMahon. [39]


In the 2012 Sight & Sound Poll of the greatest films of all time Michôd chose Apocalypse Now, Alien, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, Funny Games, Magnolia, Network, Sunset Blvd., The Thin Red Line, Taxi Driver and Werckmeister Harmonies as his top ten picks.[40]






Recurring collaborators[edit]

This chart lists every actor who has appeared in more than one film directed by Michod. Anthony Hayes and Mirrah Foulkes are Michod's most prolific collaborator, having appeared in four of his films.


  • David Michôd was honored along with Joel Edgerton and Teresa Palmer for their work in international roles with the coveted 2011 Australians in Film Breakthrough Award.[51]
Year Award Category Nominated work Result
2000 Tropfest Best Screenplay (with Christopher Benz, Peter Curry, Louise Gartland and Sally Isaac) Noise Won[52]
2007 Melbourne International Film Festival Film Victoria Erwin Rado Award for Best Australian Short Film Crossbow Won[53]
Australian Film Institute Awards (AFI) Best Screenplay in a Short Film Won[54]
Fitz Best Short film Awards Best Film (with Angie Fielder and Polly Staniford) Won[55]
2008 Flickerfest film festival Best Director Won[56][57]
2009 Best Australian Short Film (with Angie Fielder and Polly Staniford) Netherland Dwarf Won[58][59]
Aspen Shortsfest Best Drama Won[60][61]
Banff Mountain Film Festival Best Film (with Jennifer Peedom) Solo Won[62]
Festival du Film Voyage & Adventure, Montreal Canada Grand Prix (with Jennifer Peedom) Won[63]
Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival Grand Jury Prize (with Jennifer Peedom) Won[63]
Hory a Mesto Festival in Slovakia Grand Prize (with Jennifer Peedom) Won[63]
2010 Edinburgh Mountain Film Festival Best Film (with Jennifer Peedom) Won[64]
Prague International film festival Grand Prix (with Jennifer Peedom) Won[63]
Australian Directors Guild Best direction in a stand-alone documentary (with Jennifer Peedom) Won[65][66]
Best Direction in a Feature Film Animal Kingdom Won[66]
Satellite Awards Best Director Nominated[67]
Film Critics Circle of Australia Best Director Won[68]
Best Screenplay (Original) Won[68]
Australian Writers' Guild Major Award Won[69][70]
Feature Film Screenplay (Original) Won[69][70]
Boston Society of Film Critics Awards Best New Filmmaker Runner-up Nominated
New York Film Critics Circle Best First Film Won
Sundance Film Festival World Cinema Jury Prize: Dramatic Won[71]
Stockholm International Film Festival Best Screenplay Won[72]
Inside Film Awards Best Director Won[73]
Best Screenplay Nominated[73]
Chicago Film Critics Association Awards Most Promising Filmmaker Nominated[74]
Australian Film Institute Awards Best Direction Won[75]
Best Screenplay Won[75]
2013 Australian Film Institute Awards Best Short Fiction Film (with Mirrah Foulkes and Michael Cody) Dumpy Goes to the Big Smoke Nominated[76]
2014 Sydney Film Festival Official Competition Award: Best Film The Rover Nominated[77]
AACTA Awards Best Direction Nominated[78]
Australian Film Critics Association Best Director Nominated[79]


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External links[edit]