John Duigan

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John Duigan
Born (1949-06-19) 19 June 1949 (age 72)
Alma materUniversity of Melbourne (1973)
OccupationFilm director, screenwriter
Years active1975–present
Spouse(s)Nammi Le
ChildrenJake Le Duigan

John Duigan (born 19 June 1949) is an Australian film director and screenwriter. He is mostly known for his two autobiographical films The Year My Voice Broke and Flirting, and the 1994 film Sirens, which stars Hugh Grant.


Duigan was born in Hartley Wintney, Hampshire, England to an Australian father, and emigrated to Australia in 1961. He is related to many Australian performers, being the brother of novelist Virginia Duigan (wife of director Bruce Beresford) and uncle of Trilby Beresford.[citation needed]

Duigan studied at the University of Melbourne, where he resided at Ormond College and graduated in 1973 with a master's degree in Philosophy. While at university, he worked extensively as an actor and director in theatre, and acted in a number of films (including Brake Fluid, Bonjour Balwyn and Dalmas).[1]

He began directing films in 1974, with early successes including Mouth to Mouth, winner of the Jury Prize at the Australian Film Institute (AFI) Awards and Winter of our Dreams, for which he won an Australian Writers' Guild award for Best Screenplay. His 1981 film Winter of Our Dreams was entered into the 13th Moscow International Film Festival.[2]

The multi-award-winning mini-series Vietnam followed in 1987; it was one of Nicole Kidman's first major roles. Subsequently, Duigan worked in the United States and Europe, returning to Australia to make Sirens, winner of Best Film at the St. Petersburg Film Festival.[3]

In the United States, he directed Romero, starring Raul Julia, which won the Humanitas Award,[4] and Lawn Dogs, winner of numerous prizes in European festivals.[5] In England he directed The Leading Man, from a screenplay by his sister Virginia, The Parole Officer with Steve Coogan,[6] and in Canada/France/UK Head in the Clouds with Charlize Theron and Penélope Cruz, winner in Canada of four Genie Awards and Best Film at the Milan International Film Festival.[7][8]

Between 2005 and 2010, he took time off from the film industry to work on a book on secular ethics, returning to Australia to direct Careless Love in 2011/12.[7]

In 2011, actress Thandiwe Newton accused Duigan of grooming and sexually abusing her, starting at the age of 16, while she was working on Flirting. [9] [10]





  1. ^ theaustralian
  2. ^ "13th Moscow International Film Festival (1983)". MIFF. Archived from the original on 7 November 2013. Retrieved 31 January 2013.
  3. ^ "ICFF | John Duigan". Retrieved 29 June 2017.
  4. ^ "John Sacret Young". The Humanitas Prize. 16 November 2016. Archived from the original on 20 December 2016. Retrieved 29 June 2017.
  5. ^ Mason, M. S. (16 September 1997). "And the Prize Goes to ... Movies With a Spiritual Dimension". Christian Science Monitor. ISSN 0882-7729. Retrieved 29 June 2017.
  6. ^ "Film of the week: The Parole Officer | Reviews | Film". Retrieved 29 June 2017.
  7. ^ a b "ABC Classic FM - Midday - John Duigan - film director and screenwriter". ABC Classic FM. Retrieved 29 June 2017.
  8. ^ Holden, Stephen (17 September 2004). "Glittery Glamour and Idealism Do Battle in World War II Europe". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 29 June 2017.
  9. ^ "Thandie Newton Opens Up About Surviving Sexual Assault as a Teenager". Harpers Bazaar. Retrieved 30 September 2021.
  10. ^ "In Conversation: Thandie Newton". Vulture. Retrieved 30 September 2021.

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