Steven Ball
Marie Craven
Solrun Hoaas
Daryl Dellora

Melbourne independent filmmakers

Leo Berkeley
Giorgio Mangiamele
Michael Buckley
Moira Joseph

Timothy Spanos
b. Upper Ferntree Gully, Melbourne, Australia.

BIOGRAPHY:   Timothy Spanos was born in Upper Ferntree Gully in Victoria and grew up in the nearby suburb of Boronia where he lived for his first 23 years. He went to a performing arts school in Box Hill where he began writing and making short films including one about a woman who thought she was turning into Nana Mouskouri. He eventually graduated in Drama and Media. In the 1990s Spanos worked as a reporter on a music series for RNTV called Black & White, where he interviewed 90s euro pop dance acts.


Upon his return to Australia, he enrolled in film school and secretly made over fifteen short films which screened in festivals and television throughout the world. In 2004, he wrote, directed and produced a feature film called Prisoner Queen. Set in 1997, Prisoner Queen starred Jude Kuring as an actress battling leukaemia and Tim Burns as her son who begins to believe he is living in various TV shows. The film was released in New Zealand, Germany, France and Ireland. Prisoner Queen screened at The Academy Twin Cinema in Sydney and The ACMI cinemas in Melbourne. Spanos' second feature film Nancy Nancy, a homage to B-Grade Trash Cinema, was a black comedy about Stockholm syndrome. The film was released in 10 states in the USA and won Best Comedy Feature Film at The Atlanta Film Festival. It was released on DVD in Australia in February 2012.

In 2005, he gathered a company of actors together and began collaborating and making feature films with them. In 2007 he released Moonlight & Magic, about two punk bandits who commence a crime spree in rural Victoria . It starred Spanos muse Tim Burns, Maxine Klibingaitis and Elspeth Ballantyne. The film was also awarded Best Comedy Feature at The Atlanta Film Festival, making Spanos a recipient of the same award two years in a row. Maxine Klibingaitis was awarded Best Supporting Actress for her role as a diabetic bandit at The Melbourne Underground Film Festival. Spanos's fourth and most commercially successful film, Boronia Boys, about two trash and treasure salesmen from the suburbs was released in Australia in 2011 through Metro Cinemas and within two weeks became the highest grossing Australian independent film to screen there. Boronia Boys was listed in the Top 5 films screening in Melbourne for two weeks. Spanos was proclaimed by The Age newspaper as "the unsung hero of Australian Independent cinema". He followed Boronia Boys with a sequel in 2012 titled Boronia Backpackers which was filmed in 20 countries including The Netherlands, Egypt, Greece, Sweden, Italy, Spain and Poland.

In 2013 Spanos, completed and released The House Cleaner starring Chantal Contouri, Carla Bonner, Rey Pearce and Delilah. The film was awarded the Special Jury Prize at The Melbourne Underground Film Festival and was ranked Number 3 in The Age newspaper Top 10 films of the weekend. Nancy Nancy, Prisoner Queen and Boronia Boys were commercially released on DVD in 2012 through Bounty Films, and are available on VOD platforms through Amazon.

Spanos has in recent years embarked on a new trilogy of crime related comedy films set in the last three decades of the 20th Century. Sizzler '77 (2015) and Throbbin' 84 (2017) see two detective inspectors on a quest to apprehend a chameleon criminal. Both films have been received awards for their lead and supporting actors when screened as Closing Night Films at the Melbourne Underground Film Festival. The final film in the trilogy will be set in 1994.

Moonlight & Magic

CRITICAL OVERVIEW:   Timothy Spanos humorously explores the shift between the old and the new and invites the observer to join his characters on a somewhat philosophical journey, exploring the relationship between individual and environment, both politically and socially. Escapism is repeatedly communicated via a series of metaphorical play offs between each character, living on the fringes of a society that seems empty, seamless and at times futile. Choosing to avoid the clash between the Australian past and present, these colourful and instinctually basic characters depart from the mainstream and embark on their own self created journeys, seeking enlightenment through rebellion, discovery, freedom and independence. 

Most prominently represented in Moonlight & Magic we follow two oddball characters on their search for a “new empire of thought”. This humorous observation delves into the chaotically emotional relationship between two individuals who cannot understand nor accept the socially indoctrinated purpose of contemporary Australian culture. Visually, Spanos atmospherically applies a series of selected colours to illuminate his films, presenting the Australian landscape as an innovatively rich kaleidoscopic backdrop. This creates a playfully vibrant stage by which these child like characters desperately clutch to their own particular social values and ideals, however curiously, timidly and apprehensively poking their heads into a new Australian culture.

Utilising black humour to investigate issues regarding contemporary Australian cultural ideas, Timothy Spanos draws from the past, comedically reflecting on and reviving the forgotten political and social milestones from the 70s and 80s. A somewhat nihilistic approach to current issues such as multiculturalism, feminism, indigenous culture and the excessive use of environmental resources creates a claustrophobic sense of regret, sadness and the need to repair and revive. A happy ending won’t be found in an external sense however, is revealed internally as each character resolves, concludes and assesses their own place in a changing world.

"The refreshing body of work by Timothy Spanos presents as a beautiful and honest, well crafted mix of prose and visual inspiration. This multiple award winning independent filmmaker is successfully able to write, direct, perform in, produce and edit by creating a significant feature film offering with safety, strength and trust for his staple ensemble cast and crew. As a professional actor of over 20 years, I know working with Tim that I will feel love and trusted. Tim is quite extraordinary. As an artist he stays true, clear and clever by way of his self financed films. Tim both emotionally and artistically successfully pays homage to the art form of storytelling."

- Maxine Klibingaitis, Actor

Sizzler ’77 TRAILER (2015)
Throbbin' 84 TRAILER (2017)


Prisoner Queen

Psychedelic Playboy (1996, 5 minutes, Super 8, mini DV)

Bog (1996, 3 minutes, Super 8, mini DV)

Vicious Mink (1997, 28 minutes, Super 8)

Vixen (1997, 8 minutes, mini DV)

Black Lindy, White Lindy (1998, 12 minutes, mini DV/Super 8)

The Little White Boat (1998, 5 minutes, Super 8)

Nicholas Dickmuncher (2000, 7 minutes, 16mm)

Crayfish (2000, 8 minutes, mini DV)

Nancy Nancy

Chrysalis (2002, 10 minutes, mini DV)

I Love You ... Plop! (2004, 5 minutes, HDV)

Prisoner Queen (2004, 87 minutes, HDV)

Miss Mouskouri (2006, 8 minutes, HDV)

Nancy Nancy (2006, 92 minutes, HDV)

Moonlight & Magic (2007, 90 minutes, HDV)

Boronia Boys (2008, 90 minutes, HDV)

Boronia Backpackers (2012, 96 mins, HDV)

The House Cleaner (2013, 93 mins, HDV)

Boronia Boys

Sizzler ’77 (2015, 93 mins, HDV)

Throbbin' 84 (2017, 95 mins, HDV)


Best Film - The Melbourne Underground Film Festival Best
Lead Actor, Tim Burns - The Melbourne Underground Film Festival
Best Supporting Actor, Alan King - The Melbourne Underground Film Festival
Best Screenplay - The Melbourne Underground Film Festival

Best Lead Actor, Tim Burns - The Melbourne Underground Film Festival
Best Lead Actress, Mercia Deane-Johns - The Melbourne Underground Film Festival
Best Supporting Actor, Alan King - The Melbourne Underground Film Festival
Best Supporting Actress, Leonie Lee - The Melbourne Underground Film Festival


Special Jury Prize 2013 - The Melbourne Underground Film Festival

Best Guerrilla Film 2011 - The Melbourne Underground Film Festival

Best Comedy Feature 2007 - The Atlanta Underground Film Festival
Best Supporting Female Actor, Maxine Klibingaitis - The Melbourne Underground Film Festival

Best Horror Film - The Melbourne Fringe Film Festival 2000
Best Film - The Trasharama Film Festival 2001

Best Film - The Trasharama Film Festival 1999

The House Cleaner TRAILER (2013)


Moonlight & Magic review, Atlanta Underground Film Festival, Creative Loafing, 2007.

Moonlight & Magic review, Atlanta Underground Film Festival, Life with Movies and Maxxxxx, 2007.

Contact Timothy Spanos

Back to Melbourne independent filmmakers index page

© Timothy Spanos, November 2017.



Melbourne independent filmmakers is compiled by Bill Mousoulis