Tony Ayres

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Tony Ayres
Born (1961-07-16) 16 July 1961 (age 62)
Years active1992–present
AwardsAACTA Award for Best Children's Television Series
2013 Nowhere Boys
Inside Film Award for Best Director
2007 The Home Song Stories
Berlinale "Teddy" for Best Feature Film
2002 Walking on Water
Australian Film Institute Award for Best Direction
2007 The Home Song Stories
Best Screenplay (Original or Adapted)
2007 The Home Song Stories

Tony Ayres (born 16 July 1961) is an Australian showrunner, screenwriter, director in television and feature film. He is most notable for his films Walking on Water and The Home Song Stories, as well his work in television, including working as the showrunner on The Slap and teen adventure series Nowhere Boys.

Early life[edit]

On 16 July 1961, Ayres was born in Portuguese Macau (now in China).[1] In 1964, Ayres' mother married an Australian sailor and migrated her family to Perth, Western Australia.[2]

In 1972, when Ayres was 11 years old, his mother died by suicide. She was a nightclub singer.[2][3]

Ayres' stepfather died of a heart attack four years after the death of his wife, and two days before he was due to remarry.[2][4] Ayres and his older sister briefly lived with their stepfather's former fiancée, before being placed in the care of Ayres' history teacher.[2] They then moved to Canberra, ACT with their guardian, whom Ayres' sister later married.[2] Ayres' 2007 film The Home Song Stories is loosely based on this early period of his life.[3]


Ayres attended Ardross Primary School and Applecross Senior High School, later studying photography and printmaking at the Australian National University in Canberra, before working as an exhibition curator. He later completed postgraduate studies in film and video at the Swinburne Film and Television School (now the University of Melbourne Faculty of VCA and MCM School of Film and Television) in Melbourne, Victoria.[1][4]


In feature films, Ayres' first feature Walking on Water won the "Teddy Award" at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2002 and won 5 AFI awards. His second feature film, The Home Song Stories, also premiered at the Berlin Film Festival and won 24 Australian and international awards including 8 AFI Awards.

Ayres was the showrunner and director of the eight episode miniseries The Slap, which won five AACTA Awards, including Best Miniseries or TV Movie, and was nominated for a BAFTA and International Emmy. His other credits include producing the comedy series Bogan Pride with Rebel Wilson, and directing the telemovie Saved. Ayres was the showrunner for the ABC3 show Nowhere Boys, as well as executive producer on Old School and Devil's Playground.

Personal life[edit]

He is openly gay.[2]



Title Year Credited as Notes
Director Producer Writer
Double Trouble 1992 Yes No Yes Documentary short film
Exposed 1997 Yes No No Short film
Mrs. Craddock's Complaint 1998 Yes No Yes Short film
China Dolls 1998 Yes No Yes Documentary film
Sadness 1999 Yes No No Documentary film
Walking on Water 2002 Yes No No
The Home Song Stories 2007 Yes No Yes
Lou 2010 No Yes No
Miss South Sudan Australia 2011 No Yes Yes Documentary film
The Turning 2013 Yes No No Segment: "Cockleshell"
Spine 2013 No No based on an idea Short film
Cut Snake 2014 Yes No No
Nowhere Boys: The Book of Shadows 2016 No executive Yes
Ali's Wedding 2017 No executive No


The numbers in directing and writing credits refer to the number of episodes.

Title Year Credited as Network Notes
Creator Director Writer Executive
Six Pack 1992 No No Yes (1) No SBS TV Anthology series
Under the Skin 1994 No No Yes (1) No SBS TV Anthology series
Naked: Stories of Men 1996 No No Yes (1) No ABC Anthology series
The Violent Earth 1998 No No Yes (3) No Nine Network Miniseries
Saved 2009 No Yes No No SBS TV Television film
The Slap 2011 No Yes (2) No No ABC1 Producer
Nowhere Boys 2013–18 Yes No No Yes ABC3
Producer (series 1)
Executive producer (series 2–4)
Glitch 2015–19 Yes No No Yes ABC TV
Stateless 2020 Yes No No Yes ABC TV
Clickbait 2021 Yes No Yes (5) Yes Netflix Limited series
Fires 2021 Yes No No Yes ABC TV Anthology series
Denotes television series that have not yet been aired

Executive producer-only[edit]

Title Year Network Notes
The Last Valley 2005 ABC Documentary film
Two Men & Two Babies 2008 SBS TV Documentary film
Anatomy 2009–13 ABC1 Docuseries
Producer (series 1–2)
Executive producer (series 3: 1 episode, series 4)
The Straits 2012
Underground: The Julian Assange Story 2012 Network Ten Television film
Next Stop Hollywood 2013 ABC1
Old School 2014
Devil's Playground 2014 Showcase
The Slap 2015 NBC Miniseries
Maximum Choppage 2015 ABC2
The Family Law 2016–17 SBS Series 1–2
Wanted 2016–18 Seven Network
Seven Types of Ambiguity 2017 ABC TV
Creamerie 2021 TVNZ OnDemand Web series


Title Year Network Notes
Bogan Pride 2008 SBS TV
Barracuda 2016 ABC TV Miniseries


Tony Ayres won the award of Best Dramatic Feature at the 2015 Byron Bay International Film Festival for the film Cut Snake.


  1. ^ a b Prints and Printmaking, Australia entry for Tony Ayres
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Going beyond the pale". The Age, 4 April 2003.
  3. ^ a b "Writer and director Tony Ayres". ABC Queensland, 10 August 2007.
  4. ^ a b Williams, Gail (28 July 2007). "Tortured lives". PerthNow. Retrieved 13 June 2019.

External links[edit]