Steven Ball
Marie Craven
Solrun Hoaas
Daryl Dellora

Melbourne independent filmmakers

Leo Berkeley
Giorgio Mangiamele
Michael Buckley
Moira Joseph
 
     


Stephen Amis
b. November 21, 1966, Melbourne, Australia.

BIOGRAPHY:   Cutting his teeth on childhood super-8 epics, Stephen graduated from Swinburne Film & Television School and later wrote, produced and directed two low-budget T.V. features, See Jack Run (1991, Nine Network) about a boy struggling with illiteracy, and The Alive Tribe (1996, Showtime) a farce about environmental decay. He released the romantic comedy feature, The Real Thing (2000), starring Kate Fischer (Arclight, Universal Pictures) and followed up with the steam-punk sci-fi fantasy, Virus (2005), starring Kerry Armstrong and John Stanton, about the emancipation of women in the 1800s. He then made the sci-fi comedy feature, The 25th Reich, (2013, Monster Pictures, Lightning Entertainment), a tongue in cheek homage to Sam Fuller, WWII movies and classic creature-features, which explores in subtext out of control fascism and ideology.
 

More recently, Stephen produced and directed, The BBQ (2018),  starring Shane Jacobson (Kenny), Magda Szubanski (Babe), Manu Feildel (MKR), Julie Zemiro (Rock Wiz) and Nicholas Hammond (The Sound of Music/Lord of the Flies). The BBQ was released wide across Australia into over 300 cinemas.

Stephen is also an award-winning cinematographer, shooting a wide range of productions including the Australian comedy hits, Funky Squad, Frontline, and A River Frontline. He is a twice-nominated AACTA (Australian Academy Award) Cinematographer, including for his work on the documentary, Dr Sarmast’s Music School, shot in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Stephen also established with Tait Brady the Australian theatrical distribution company, LABEL, which released, James Cameron’s Deepsea Challenge, Brothers’ Nest (SXSW 2018), and Hounds of Love (Venice Film Festival, 2017).

Stephen recently (2018) finished the conservation feature, Defend, Conserve, Protect, narrated by Dan Aykryod (Ghostbusters, The Blues Brothers), which was very much a passion project and he hopes the film makes a small but significant difference to the world.



CRITICAL OVERVIEW:   Stephen Amis' work as film maker (writer, director and producer) is a beguiling blend of social commentary, whimsy, and love for B-grade Hollywood movies. It’s derring-do writ large and something rare in Australian cinema.

 
 
The Real Thing

From his early no-budget and sandshoe-string films - See Jack Run, The Alive Tribe, to more recent fully funded features like The Real Thing, and the ambitious, CGI-laden, Virus and The 25th Reich, Stephen imbues his story-lines with rich subtext and a sensibility which heads straight for the heart ... via the funny-bone.

His work tackles subject matter including: overcoming problems of illiteracy; battles against environmental destruction; the need to shun cultural imperialism; the right for a woman's voice to be heard; man’s diabolical egotism on display when pursing absolute power; are just some of themes which resonate with a modern audience. Comedy/tragedy, naturalism/stylized imagery, contemporary drama/sci-fi all sit comfortably alongside each other.

Stephen Amis’ singular filmic vision offers a both poignant and entertaining audio-visual ride.

Angelo Salamanca, March 2013

The 25th Reich TRAILER (2013)
The 25th Reich MAKING OF (2013)


FILMOGRAPHY:

 
go to The 25th Reich website

Burning Daylight (1986, 40 mins, Super 8)
Writer / Producer / Director

Full Circle (1987, 16 mins, video)
Writer / Producer / Director

Façade (1988, 20 mins, 16mm)
Writer / Producer / Director

Burning Daylight (1989, 22 mins, 16mm)
Writer / Producer / Director

See Jack Run (1991, 93 mins, col, 16mm)
Co-Writer / Producer / Director

The Alive Tribe (1996, 97 mins, col, Super 16mm)
Co-Writer / Producer / Director

The Real Thing (2000, 105 mins, col, 35mm)
Co-Writer / Producer / Director

Virus (2005, 15 mins, Super 16mm)
Co-Writer / Co-Producer / Director

The 25th Reich (2013, 85 mins, RED 4K)
Writer / Producer / Dire
ctor
website

Defend, Conserve, Protect (2018)
Co-Writer / Director

The BBQ (2018)
Co-Writer / Director


SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY:

 
 
directing The Real Thing

"On Location" by Matt Preston, Encore; March 27-April 9, 1995; pp 17-19

"Alive Tribe" by Michael Kitson, Cinema Papers; July 23, 1997; pp 22-23

"Something Amis" by Stephen McKenzie, Melbourne Weekly; Feb 4-10, 2001; pp 10-11

"What Kate did next" by Adam Zwar, Herald Sun; Jan 28, 2001; pp 4-6 & 27

"Franklin protests destined for film" by Sue Bailey, The Mercury; Dec 13, 2002 p 3


Stephen Amis and Angelo Salamanca, November 2018.

Contact Stephen Amis

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Melbourne independent filmmakers is compiled by Bill Mousoulis