Sam Voutas

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Sam Voutas
Born Canberra, Australia
Occupation Actor, film director, screenwriter,

Sam Voutas is an Australian actor and independent filmmaker. He is best known for writing and directing Red Light Revolution, China's "first sex shop comedy"[1] which was nominated for Best Unproduced Screenplay at the 2008 Australian Inside Film Awards,[2] showcased at The Santa Barbara International Film Festival and won the audience award at The Terracotta Far East Film Festival. Voutas played Durdin in Lu Chuan's acclaimed[3] City of Life and Death, a Chinese film about The Rape of Nanjing. The film won Best Director (Lu Chuan) and Best Cinematographer (Cao Yu) Awards at the 4th Asian Film Awards in 2010.[4] Voutas wrote and directed the documentary The Last Breadbox,[5] featuring Beijing taxi drivers in the run-up to the 2008 Olympic Games.


Voutas was born in Canberra, Australia[6] and is of Greek ancestry.[7] His mother is from Melbourne and his father Anthony is from Kastania.[6] While his mother was an official in the Australian Public Service, the family lived in China from 1986 to 1989. Voutas returned to China in 2005 and speaks Mandarin fluently.

He graduated from The Victorian College of the Arts.

Red Light Revolution was originally written in English, translated into Chinese, then that version was re-translated to reflect the Beijing slang hua.[7] It was released in China on Tudou in 2011, with producer Melanie Ansley commenting that "We wanted to make a film that might have challenged censors, and if that was the case we were shutting ourselves off from television and cinema. I think the internet offers a place for stuff that takes a little more risk." It won the People's Choice Award at the Singapore International Film Festival's Silver Screen Awards in 2011.

Voutas has spoken in interviews[2] about film censorship in China, saying "I'd love to keep making movies [in China], my dilemma is whether a script can be passed by the censors without having its wings clipped. My fear is that increasingly censors are the directors of films, and that directors and producers, fearing cuts, then self-censor themselves from the get-go. That's an environment that isn't too conducive to creativity in general. So perhaps my next film will be about censors themselves and the final cut will run exactly zero seconds long."


Year Film Role
2002 The Last Breadbox Director/Writer
2004 Crash Test 171096/Sala
2006 Shanghai Bride Director/Editor
2006 Watch Me Actor (Taku the freak boy), Writer/Editor/Producer
2007 Dragon Sons Phoenix Daughters (TV) Director
2008 Foreign Devils Actor (Zach)
2009 City of Life and Death Actor (Durdin) (as You Sima)
2009 Gasp Actor (Nick)
2009 'New Beijing: Reinventing a City Cinematographer
2010 Walking the Dead Actor (Charles)
2010 East West Rain aka Dong feng yu – China (original title) Actor (Voice of Smith)
2010 Tiger Team – Der Berg der 1000 Drachen Camera
2010 Red Light Revolution Actor (Jack Deroux), director, writer, editor
2011 Legend of Jie Zhenguo Actor (Van Der Sa) as You Sima
2012 Roulette City Cinematographer
2012 The Amazing Race: China Rush (TV series) Camera operator
2014 (in production) Empires of the Deep Actor (Papos)
2014 (filming) False Colours Actor (Warren)


  1. ^ "Sex, toys, action! Comedy spotlights China's adult shops -". Retrieved 2013-09-29. 
  2. ^ a b Colwell, Jessica (11 November 2011). "Interview: Director Sam Voutas discusses Red Light Revolution, sex toys, and the Chinese film industry". Shanghaiist. Retrieved 2013-09-29. 
  3. ^ "City of Life and Death". The Times. 16 April 2010. Retrieved 2013-09-29. 
  4. ^ "City-of-Life-and-Death - Cast, Crew, Director and Awards -". 23 September 2013. Retrieved 2013-09-29. 
  5. ^ "The Last Breadbox (2002)". Retrieved 2013-09-29. 
  6. ^ a b "Sam Voutas: A Fellow Greek Makes it in China". 2 March 2011. Retrieved 2013-09-29. 
  7. ^ a b Edwards, Dan (1 January 1970). "Revelling in the Red Light Revolution: An Interview with Sam Voutas | Dan Edwards". Retrieved 2013-09-29.