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Leigh Richards

Masters of Film and Television: Directing, 2007

Leigh is a director and writer based in Sydney. He was born in Apartheid-era South Africa and emigrated with his family to Australia as a teenager to avoid conscription or ‘National Service’ as it was called at the time.

Leigh studied English, History, and finally Film. He graduated with a Masters in Directing from AFTRS and was the recipient of that year’s European Union Film Award – travelling to the San Sebastian International Film Festival.

Leigh has written and directed several short films. He is also an alumnus of the Berlinale Talent Campus, and has spent the last ten years working predominantly in TV commercials and online content, while also developing and directing projects for TV and the web in genres as diverse as sketch comedy and arts documentary.

Leigh has freelanced and worked with a wide range of production companies and agencies, creating content for brands such as Weet-Bix, Samsung, Uncle Tobys, Aldi, Commonwealth Bank, AMF Bowling and Volkswagen, The Smith Family, Vinnies, Royal Flying Doctors Service and Red Cross.

As well as directing, Leigh writes, edits, shoots and draws. He also lectures part-time in film at the University of Technology, Sydney.



There were many amazing experiences for me during my two years at AFTRS. If I had to pick one, it was probably the frenzied insanity of our first two weeks on campus as everyone underwent orientation in the form of a program called ‘Story Is King’, under the wildly passionate supervision of John Lonie and [the late] Billy Marshall-Stoneking.



Stepping on to set on my first decently-budgeted television commercial as a director is hard to beat. The ad hardly set the industry ablaze, but it was for an organisation I am passionate about – and I got to work with one of my favourite DOPs (fellow AFTRS graduate Marden Dean).