Justin Kurzel

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Justin Kurzel
Justin Kurzel Cannes 2015.jpg
Kurzel at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival
Born (1974-08-03) 3 August 1974 (age 46)
OccupationFilm director, screenwriter
Years active2005–present
(m. 2002)

Justin Dallas Kurzel[1] (/kɜːrˈzɛl/;[2] born 3 August 1974) is an Australian film director and screenwriter.

Early life[edit]

Kurzel was born in Gawler, South Australia to a family of immigrant roots, his father hailing from Poland and his mother from Malta.[3] His younger brother, Jed Kurzel, is a blues rock musician who has scored most of Justin's films. Kurzel is married to actress Essie Davis.[4]


In 1999 he was awarded a Mike Walsh Fellowship. His film debut was the Australian short film Blue Tongue (2004).[5] His feature film debut was Snowtown (2011), for which he won the AACTA Award for Best Direction. Though controversial for its violence, the film was generally praised and holds an 84% on Rotten Tomatoes with the critic consensus: "It's a bleak and brutal endurance test, but for viewers with the strength and patience to make it to the end, Snowtown will prove an uncommonly powerful viewing experience."[6]

His 2015 film adaptation of William Shakespeare's Macbeth was selected to compete for the Palme d'Or at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival.[7]

In 2016, Kurzel directed Assassin's Creed (2016), based on the video game franchise of the same name.[8]

Kurzel directed True History of the Kelly Gang in 2018, adapted from Peter Carey's 2001 Man Booker Prize-winning novel of the same name, written from the viewpoint of legendary Australian bushranger and outlaw Ned Kelly.[9] The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and will be released in Australian cinemas in 2020.[10]

Kurzel will direct multiple episodes of Apple TV's television adaptation of the 2003 novel Shantaram.[11]


Year Title Notes
2004 Blue Tongue Short film
2006 You Am I: Friends Like You Music video
2011 Snowtown AACTA Award for Best Direction
Film Critics Circle of Australia Award for Best Direction
Nominated—Inside Film Award for Best Director
2013 The Turning Episode: "Boner McPharlin's Moll"
Nominated—AACTA Award for Best Direction
2015 Macbeth Nominated—British Independent Film Award for Best Director of a British Independent Film
Nominated—Cannes Film FestivalPalme d'Or
2016 Assassin's Creed
2019 True History of the Kelly Gang
TBA Nitram


  1. ^ "Justin Dallas Kurzel". Directors Guild of America. Retrieved 29 December 2018.
  2. ^ "Justin Kurzel for LET THE EVIL GO WEST by Carlos Rios". The Black List. 12 December 2016. Retrieved 26 August 2020.
  3. ^ Conrad, Peter (October 2015). "An eye for tyrants". The Monthly. Retrieved 10 January 2017.
  4. ^ Quinn, Karl (1 May 2013). "Snowtown's Kurzel to direct Fassbender, Portman in big-screen Macbeth". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 29 December 2018.
  5. ^ "Blue Tongue". Stockholm Film Festival. Archived from the original on 24 March 2017. Retrieved 29 December 2018.
  6. ^ "The Snowtown Murders". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
  7. ^ "The 2015 Official Selection". Cannes Film Festival. 15 April 2015. Archived from the original on 18 April 2015. Retrieved 16 April 2015.
  8. ^ Vejvoda, Jim (29 April 2014). "Michael Fassbender's MacBeth Director to Helm Assassin's Creed Movie". IGN. Ziff Davis, LLC. Retrieved 29 December 2018.
  9. ^ White, James (6 July 2015). "Justin Kurzel Developing True History Of The Kelly Gang". Empire (film magazine). Archived from the original on 14 July 2015. Retrieved 9 September 2015.
  10. ^ Groves, Don (9 August 2019). "Justin Kurzel to direct TV drama series for Apple". Inside Film. Retrieved 27 August 2019.
  11. ^ Quinn, Karl (15 August 2019). "Apple TV+ series Shantaram is go, with Kurzel but without Depp". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 27 August 2019.

External links[edit]