icon icon

Elissa Down


Elissa’s assured debut feature, The Black Balloon, starring Rhys Wakefield, Gemma Ward, Luke Ford, Erik Thomson and Toni Collette, won the Crystal Bear for ‘Generation 14plus’ Best Feature Film at the Berlin Film Festival. The film received over thirty awards including six AACTA awards including Best Film, Best Direction and Best Screenplay, as well as accolades from the Australia Directors’ and Writers’ Guilds, Asia Pacific Screen Awards and Rotten Tomatoes.

The Honor List, Elissa’s second feature film starring Meghan Rienks, Sasha Pieterse, Karrueche Tran and Arden Cho, had its premiere as the opening night film at the Bentonville Film Festival. The crew on this Lionsgate film was 60% female. In 2020, Elissa completed her third film Feel the Beat, starring Sofia Carson and produced by Susan Cartsonis. This family dance film was an international hit being the third most streamed movie on Netflix for the month of June, as well as being the 18th most watched movie of the year on the platform.    

Elissa teamed with Netflix once again by directing the Ivy + Bean fiction series (Ivy + Bean, Ivy + Bean – The Ghost Who Had To Go and Ivy + Bean – Doomed to Dance) based on the New York times best selling books by Annie Barrows. Introducing Keslee Blalock as Ivy and Madison Skye Validum as Bean, this movie series stars Emmy and Tony award winning and Academy Award nominated talents such as Jane Lynch, Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Nia Vardalos. Ivy + Bean – Doomed to Dance was nominated for a Children & Family Emmy for Best Fiction Special and Ivy + Bean – The Ghost Who Had To Go was nominated for Best Musical Direction. Elissa was also nominated for her direction for Doomed to Dance at the Australian Directors’ Guild awards.

Recently Elissa directed While The Men Are Away for SBS which she is also an executive producer. This eight part dramedy series stars Michela de Rossi, Phoebe Grainer, Max McKenna, Jana Zvedeniuk, Matt Testro, Benedict Hardie and Shaka Cook. This series was nominated for an AACTA award for Best Mini-series and the SPA (Screen Producers Australia) for Telemovie or Miniseries Production of the Year. Other work from Elissa includes writing and directing the seven-part drama series, Confess based on the New York Times best selling by Colleen Hoover and directing a Season Three block on one of Australia’s most successful dramas, Offspring.

Elissa is also developing a number of projects that shes set to direct, among them; The Kiss Quotient  based on the novel by Helen Hoang to be produced by Kristen Burr, The Golden Age based on the award winning novel by Joan London that reunites Elissa with The Black Balloon producer Tristram Miall, the romantic comedy Mr&Mrs Montague, the bio-pic of infamous Third Reich director Leni Riefenstahl, as well as the English re-make of the Danish movie Walk with Me.