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|Born||Richard David Wolstencroft
23 April 1969
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
|Education||La Trobe University, Ivanhoe Grammar School|
|Notable work||'Pearls Before Swine'|
Richard Wolstencroft (born 23 April 1969, aka Richard Masters) is an Australian filmmaker, film festival director, former nightclub promoter, writer, cinema critic, cultural and political commentator. He is the founder and director of the Melbourne Underground Film Festival (MUFF), and the 17th edition will be presented in September 2016.
The son of David William Wolstencroft, he grew up in Lower Templestowe, a middle-class suburb of Melbourne, and attended Templestowe Heights Primary School, followed by Ivanhoe Grammar School. Wolstencroft began making short films at age 11 in 1980, starting with clay and action figure animation. He was given a home video camera around 1982 and started shooting low fidelity short films.
Around 1984, he met mentor Mark Savage at a Super 8 film group and together they made the low-budget zombie short film "Undead", with Savage directing and Wolstencroft starring. He then co-produced and acted in Savage's Marauders in 1986, one of the first video feature films ever made in Australia.
Wolstencroft co-directed his first feature Bloodlust with collaborator Jon Hewitt in 1990 which went on to become a cult hit and has recently been featured in Michael Adams book "Showgirls, Teen Wolves and Astro Zombies". Adams points out that Bloodlust had many of the same obsessions as the oeuvre of Quentin Tarantino and he notes it was released 2 years before Reservoir Dogs. Adams acted in the film as "Stoned Hippie."
In 1992 Wolstencroft founded the Hellfire Club, a BDSM-themed nightclub that operated in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and other states for many years. In 1996 he began work on his second feature film Pearls Before Swine, a project completed over three years and starring Boyd Rice. In 2000, the film was submitted to the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF), but was not selected. In response, Wolstencroft founded MUFF and, as of 2013, the festival has remained an annual event.
His fourth feature was The Beautiful and Damned, based on the novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald. The film is a modern adaptation, the first ever attempt of any of Fitzgerald's work, and stars Ross Ditcham, Kristen Condon, Norman Yemm, John Brumpton, Paul Moder, Peter Christopherson and Frank Howson, among others. The film was previewed at the 10th Melbourne Underground Film Festival and played at The Australian Film Festival in 2010. The US premiere of The Beautiful and Damned was held at the 10th F. Scott Fitzgerald Festival in Baltimore, US in October 2009. He shot a war documentary in Uganda in July 2009, called Heart of Lightness, with Ebony Butler.
Between 2009 and July 2012, Wolstencroft shot a feature documentary on Michael Tierney and the contemporary Los Angeles, US adult film scene called "The Last Days of Joe Blow". The film is on the 2013 MUFF program.
As of August 2013, his latest narrative feature project is an adaptation of the famous William Butler Yeats poem "The Second Coming". The film is a portmanteau film made up of seven stories. Shooting began in Thailand in October 2010 with Tierney, in addition to many underground 'superstars', and is scheduled for completion in two parts 2014/15.
Wolstencroft has acted in several films. He was credited as both actor and producer in Marauders, and also acted in Savage's Defenceless, as well as many of the director's early short films. He also appears in Andrew Leavold's Lesbo A Go Go, Nicolas Debot's Extremism Breaks my Balls and Stuart Simpson's El Monstro Del Mar.
Wolstencroft's writings have appeared in a variety of publications, including Fatal Visions, Filmnet and Fangoria Magazine (issue 162). He is written about in Linda Jaivin's book "Confessions of an S&M virgin" and Jeff Sparrow's censorship investigation "Money Shot".
He also maintains a blog, entitled 'Idea Fix', since January 2008. The blog's 'About' section explains: "Inspirations: Idee Fixe (french) – A fixed idea. or…A need for Ideas. ID Fix. Fixed Identities. A shot of Ideas. Fixing up Ideas. Setting thought in its place. etc."
In addition to MUFF, Wolstencroft founded the 'Bloodfest Fantastique' film festival, dedicated to horror and science fiction cinema. The festival opened at a venue in St Kilda, Melbourne, Australia on 10 June 2011 and was a one-off event.
Wolstencroft is known for his controversial writings on politics and contemporary events. He is interested in many progressive, Left and Right Wing and controversial ideas, including advocacy of free speech. For example, he attempted to screen a David Irving documentary at MUFF in 2003; he screened the Larry Clark film Ken Park; and he successfully screened L.A. Zombie at 1000 Pound Bend in 2010. His writings on politics, art and society are featured on his 'Idea Fix' blog and other sites.
- Avrille Bylok Collard (9 August 2013). "Melbourne Underground Film Festival Announces Dates". Beat. Furst Media Pty Ltd. Retrieved 11 August 2013.
- Richard Wolstencroft (January 2008). "About Idea Fix". Ideas Fix - The Blog. Wordpress.com. Retrieved 11 August 2013.
- Mike Everleth (20 June 2011). "2011 Bloodfest Fantastique: Award Winners". Underground Film Journal. Underground Film Journal. Retrieved 11 August 2013.
- Indie Film Nation Video Interview with Richard Wolstencroft on MUFF and The Beautiful and Damned
- Richard Wolstencroft at the Melbourne independent filmmakers website.
- Richard Wolstencroft at the Internet Movie Database
- The 1st MUFF Manifesto written by Wolstencroft in May/June 2005
- Last Days of Joe Blow directed by Richard Wolstencroft