Steven Ball
Marie Craven
Solrun Hoaas
Daryl Dellora

Melbourne independent filmmakers

Leo Berkeley
Giorgio Mangiamele
Michael Buckley
Moira Joseph

Janos Zoltan
b. October 7, 1966, Budapest, Hungary.

BIOGRAPHY:   Janos Zoltan had followed his childhood dream and became a sport commentator-producer in his native country in 1992.

After working as a presenter, reporter, and editor at the Hungarian Public Television, he found his passion in directing film and video portraits, and especially historically and psychologically compelling, human interest documentaries.  

Janos has been working as an independent documentary filmmaker since 1998. 


After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1990, a new era had started in Hungary, and Media and TV Schools opened their doors.


Although Janos had already obtained a Bachelor's degree at Budapest Business School, he continued his study at the KOS Media School where he was awarded on two consecutive times. One of the awards provided him an apprenticeship at the Hungarian Public TV.  


portrait image ©Joe Kovacs

In 1996 he founded his own film production company and started to produce TV programs and short documentaries. One of his first works was an independently produced documentary TV series about Hungarian emigrants living in the Polynesian islands. Emigration, momentous human decisions and historically significant stories have always been an important core in his films.


Between 2004 and 2006 he worked as a scriptwriter, director and producer on a chronicle about the Hungarian athletes of the Melbourne Olympics in 1956, juxtaposed with the well-known uprising against the Russian invasion of their homeland in the same year.   


In 2008, he emigrated to Australia and started to work as a producer for the Hungarian Program at SBS in Melbourne. During his years at SBS Radio, he also finished two highly acclaimed independent short documentaries, Leave the Stones There…, 48 mins, 2009 and C-2, No Escape from the Old Canoe, 27 mins, 2011.


In 2015 Janos completed a Master's degree of Directing Documentary at the Faculty of Fine Arts and Music at University of Melbourne. His graduate movie Secret Matters, 20 mins, 2015, received the Documentary Best Production and the Overall Best Production Awards, and was nominated as the best documentary in numerous festivals around in Australia.  


Currently he is one of the co-founders of INSPIREFLIX, where he works as a director, editor and cinematographer on their own short documentaries and collaborates on other productions with filmmakers around the world while working as a tutor at JMC Academy in Melbourne, teaching post-production, editing and documentary filmmaking.


He is the co-founder of CineMigrants online film festival.



INTERVIEWER (Documentary Drive): One thing I admire about your approach to filmmaking is the emphasis and value you seem to place on personal narrative and really learning about your subjects—their lives, their histories, their reflections…The result on-screen being these beautifully intimate portraits of individuals who no longer feel like strangers when the film is over. What is your approach going into a film project like Secret Matters and do you follow a particular philosophy that helps guide your decisions as a director?   


Janos Zoltan: It is a difficult question, but the answer is quite simple; I love the participants of my documentaries. That is the most important tool, I suppose. If you are truly interested in someone, the audience will be on the same page. On the other hand, it’s a huge challenge to include someone in your film if you do not like the person, but you need her/him as a participant because it is relevant to your subject. But then again, the same philosophy applies. If the theme of your documentary is your passion and it is really important to you to tell that story and you feel that you are the only one who can do so, it will be a good film and will resonate with the audience as well. But do not waste your time if it does not come from your heart. 

Janos Zoltan Inside the Heart of Secret Matters,
published by Documentary Drive, July 15, 2017.

Secret Matters (TRAILER)
A Man From The Other Side (9 mins, 2016)



Living Thing (12 mins, 2020)


Lively Youngsters (10 mins, 2019)


Army of Love (10 mins, 2019)


The War That Came Home (8 mins, 2018)


Songs of a Refugee (8 mins, 2018)


Seaside (5 mins, 2018)


In Memoriam Gusztav Kovacs (co-directed with Agnes Karlik, 8 mins, 2018)


Stay With Me.. in Australia (27 mins, 2017) 

Original language: Hungarian, Subtitle: None


Secret Matters (20 mins, 2015)

Secret Matters Trailer


A Man From The Other Side (co-directed with Ivan Gaal, 9 mins, 2016)



Soccer in the Cache Memory (4 mins, 2013)


Umbilical (9 mins, 2014).


C-2 - No Escape from the Old Canoe (co-directed with Gabor Marinkas, 27 mins. 2011)

Subtitle: English, Original language: Hungarian


Leave The Stones There … (48 mins, 2009)

Original language :English & Hungarian, Subtitle: English


The Man Who Was His Own Worst Enemy (30 mins, 2015)

Original language: Hungarian, Subtitle: English 


Olympic Dreams and Nightmares (3 x 50 mins, 2006)


Without Borders (3 x 30 mins. 2002)


Internet Sport Cafe (30 x 15mins Interactive Sport Magazine TV Program, 2000)


Tattooed Paradise (5 x 30 mins, TV Documentary, 1998) 

Original language: Hungarian, Subtitle: None

Part One:

Part Three:

Part Four:

Part Five:


Documentary Best Production at VCA (2015, Melbourne, Australia) 

Overall Best Production Awards at VCA (2015, Melbourne, Australia) 

Finalist at St Kilda Film Festival (2017, Melbourne, Australia) 

Finalist at Atom Awards (2016, Melbourne, Australia) 

Finalist at Melbourne Documentary Film Festival (2017, Melbourne, Australia)

Finalist at Warburton Film Festival, Senior Commendation Award (2016, Warburton, Australia) 

Finalist at the Russian International Sport Film Festival (2006, Moscow, Russia) 

Finalist at the Hungarian international Film Festival, aka: Filmszemle

(2005, Budapest, Hungary)

Award for Excellence at Hungarian Television (2007) 

Award for Excellence at the Olympic Committee of Hungary (2008) 

Australian Host Broadcast Award (2000) 

Soccer in the Cache Memory (4 mins, 2013)
C-2 - No Escape from the Old Canoe (27 mins. 2011)

© Janos Zoltan, May 2021.

Janos Zoltan's Vimeo channel

Contact Janos Zoltan

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Melbourne independent filmmakers is compiled by Bill Mousoulis