Robert Connolly

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Robert Connolly
Born 1967
Sydney

Robert Connolly (born 1967) is a film director, producer and screenwriter based in Melbourne, Australia.[1]

Connolly is best known as the director and writer of the feature films Balibo, Three Dollars and The Bank, and the producer of the high-profile Australian films Romulus, My Father and The Boys.

Career[edit]

Connolly's first feature film as producer, The Boys, had its world premiere in Competition at the Berlin International Film Festival in 1998. It was nominated for 13 AFI Awards including Best Film, and won awards for Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress. In 1998, Connolly was named by Variety as one of the 10 best emerging producers in the world.[2]

Three Dollars, The Bank and The Boys have a strong political agenda and have been released in Australia as a DVD box set along with the documentary The Political Arena exploring the social and political strands of the films.[3]

In 2007 Connolly and Arenafilm's John Maynard together produced the period immigration drama Romulus, My Father, directed by Richard Roxburgh (also an Australian actor), starring Eric Bana and Franka Potente. The film won four Australian Film Institute Awards (AFI) including Best Film, and Connolly has also garnered AFI Awards for writing The Bank and Three Dollars.

In 2008, Connolly published a white paper outlining his views on all that could be improved about the Australian film industry.[4]

In 2009, Connolly directed Balibo, which he co-wrote with David Williamson. The film examines the politically fraught deaths of Australian-based journalists the Balibo Five and Roger East during the Indonesian invasion of East Timor in 1975. John Maynard produced the film, which starred Anthony LaPaglia in the lead role of East. Balibo was the first feature to be shot in East Timor.[1]

Indonesia continues to maintain that the Balibo Five died accidentally in crossfire as its troops battled East Timorese Fretilin rebels, a version of events accepted by successive Australian governments. But the film depicts the young journalists, who were working for Australian TV networks and presumed their nationality afforded them protection, being slaughtered on the orders of Indonesian military chiefs to prevent news of the invasion reaching the world.[5]

Connolly refuses to apologize for his film's hardline stance, stating that an Australian coroner found in 2007 that the journalists were executed as they tried to surrender to Indonesian forces. "It's quite clear the journalists were murdered," Connolly said. "The current Indonesian and Australian (Government) point of view that they were killed in crossfire is quite frankly absurd. I'd imagine the film will be confronting because it represents something contrary to the official view."[6]

Connolly is Melbourne based, having relocated to set up the Arenafilm Melbourne office in late 2006.[3] He has been definitive about his political approach to filmmaking, saying "Without a doubt, in recent times, the political agenda of the work is what drives us. We feel a responsibility to use cinema to put a blow torch to contemporary Australia and contribute to some discussion or debate about where we're headed. That's what I find most rewarding about it."[2]

Connolly has screened his films at over 30 international film festivals including the Toronto International Film Festival and San Sebastian Film Festival. He received a Centenary Medal for services to the Australian Film Industry in 2001.[7]

Connolly has been appointed to the new board of Screen Australia.[8]

Connolly also worked and influenced the development of the game Warco that could be used to train journalists to work and report in war torn regions.

Filmography[edit]

Year Film Director Producer Writer Notes
1998 The Boys
NoN
FCCA Award for Best Film
Nominated — AACTA Award for Best Film
2000 The Monkey's Mask
NoN
2001 The Bank
NoN
NoN
AACTA Award for Best Original Screenplay
Newport Beach Film Festival Jury Award for Best Director
Newport Beach Film Festival Jury Award for Best Screenplay
Palm Springs International Film Festival - Best Director Award
Portland International Film Festival - Audience Award
Nominated — AACTA Award for Best Direction
Nominated — BAFICI Award for Best Film
Nominated — FCCA Award for Best Director
Nominated — FCCA Award for Best Original Screenplay
Nominated — Inside Film Award for Best Direction
Nominated — Inside Film Award for Best Script
2005 Three Dollars
NoN
NoN
AACTA Award for Best Adapted Screenplay
Montreal World Film Festival - Special Mention
Montreal World Film Festival - Grand Prix des Amériques
Nominated — FCCA Award for Best Adapted Screenplay
2007 Romulus, My Father
NoN
NoN
AACTA Award for Best Film
Nominated — FCCA Award for Best Film
2009 Balibo
NoN
NoN
AACTA Award for Best Adapted Screenplay
ADG Award for Best Direction in a Feature Film
São Paulo International Film Festival - Audience Award for Best Foreign Feature Film
Nominated — AACTA Award for Best Direction
Nominated — FCCA Award for Best Director
Nominated — FCCA Award for Best Screenplay
Nominated — Inside Film Award for Best Feature Film
2012 Underground: The Julian Assange Story
NoN
NoN
Telemovie
AWGIE Award for Best Telemovie Adaptation
2013 The Turning
NoN
NoN
Segment: "Aquifer"
Nominated — AACTA Award for Best Film
Nominated — AACTA Award for Best Direction
Nominated — AFCA Award for Best Film
Nominated — Asia Pacific Screen Award for Best Film
2015 Paper Planes
NoN
NoN
NoN
AACTA Award for Best Original Screenplay
FCCA Award for Best Children's Film
Jerusalem Film Festival - Cinematheque Young Critics Club Award for Best Children's Film
Nominated — AACTA Award for Best Film
Nominated — AACTA Award for Best Direction
Nominated — AACTA People's Choice Award for Favourite Australian Film
Nominated — ADG Award for Best Direction in a Feature Film
Nominated — AWGIE Award for Best Writing in a Feature Film - Original
Nominated — Berlin International Film Festival - Crystal Bear
Nominated — FCCA Award for Best Film
Nominated — FCCA Award for Best Script/Screenplay
Nominated — Seattle International Film Festival - Films4Families Youth Jury Award
TBA The Shipkiller
NoN
Announced

References[edit]

External links[edit]