Diploma Directing, 1979
Tasmania-based filmmaker Rolf de Heer has written or co-written thirteen original and adapted screenplays that have been made into feature films, and probably more than thirteen that haven’t. He has directed (in one case, co-directed) fourteen and a half feature films of various budgets and genres, mostly from screenplays he has written/ co-written himself. De Heer has also produced and co-produced fifteen fictional feature films and four feature documentaries.
Early career highlights include Dingo with Colin Friels and Miles Davis; Bad Boy Bubby, a multi-prize winner at the Venice Film Festival; The Quiet Room and Dance Me to My Song, both selected for Competition at Cannes.
More recent highlights include Venice selection The Tracker (and de Heer’s first collaboration with David Gulpilil); Ten Canoes, a prize winner at Cannes; The King Is Dead!, voted most popular film at an obscure French film festival, brought back the following year by public demand and again voted most popular film (it doesn’t happen very often); and Charlie’s Country, for which David Gulpilil won a Best Actor prize at Cannes.
Being able to make some films that were allowed to fail, without judgement, and working with an extremely motivated and knowledgeable bunch of collaborators—my fellow students.
Somehow, my career has been a rolling set of highlights, none of which I care to showcase at the expense of any of the others. It’s a continuing privilege, being able to make films.