Master of Screen Arts – Directing, 2014
Vanessa Gazy is a writer and director. She completed a Bachelor of Arts (Media and Communications) at the University of Sydney before studying directing at AFTRS, winning the school’s prestigious Kenneth B. Myer Award for Exceptional Talent upon graduation.
Vanessa has since been nominated for an Australian Directors Guild award and two Australian Writers Guild (AWGIE) awards. Her short films Foal, Highway and Shiloh have screened at over thirty film festivals including the BFI London Film Festival, Warsaw International Film Festival, Palm Springs Shortfest, Melbourne International Film Festival and Fantastic Fest.
She produced Matthew Lessner’s short film Chapel Perilous, which won Sundance 2014’s Short Film Audience Award, and co-produced Lessner’s feature Automatic at Sea, which premiered at Slamdance in 2017. Her feature adaption of Highway received 2018 Screen Australia development funding.
Vanessa’s first television series Eden, an eight-part Australian drama for Stan which she created, premiered in 2021. Her follow up series Echoes is now streaming on Netflix and stars Michelle Monaghan as Leni and Gina, identical twins that swapped lives since they were children. Formerly Id, the story began as a one-page outline workshopped through Screen Australia and Endemol Shine Australia’s Smart like a Girl: ROAR writing initiative in 2017.
Vanessa is a recipient of an ADG/Screen Australia Commercial and Content Mentorship with Scoundrel Films and is represented by Grandview LA and WME.
Shooting Foal, my MA short film, in the bush outside of Canberra. I fell in love with filmmaking then. The shoot was the culmination of months of intense work at school under the guidance of an extremely impressive cast of teachers, supervisors and mentors. The whole experience made me want to do this work forever.
I’m still early in my career, but when I think about my highlights so far, I think about the feelings that have accompanied my favourite collaborations. I deeply enjoy the community of filmmakers that surrounds me both at home and abroad, and I get a thrill out of the special and intense magic that can happen when several creative minds focus on a single idea.