Bio Long Version
Bill Bennett is a writer, producer and director of feature films and documentaries.
In a career spanning more than thirty years, he’s made sixteen feature films, four dramatized documentaries and five feature length documentaries.
He started his career as a journalist, at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. He worked in news and current affairs, including This Day Tonight and Four Corners. He later worked as a producer and director of documentaries on A Big Country, and the Channel Seven prime time documentary series, The Australians.
He then spent a couple of years working for the top rating Channel Seven nightly current affairs show, Willesee at Seven – and in 1979 won a Logie for Television Reporter of the Year. The Logie is Australia’s highest award in television. He later directed a two hour special for Sixty Minutes, hosted by Ray Martin, which won a Logie for Most Outstanding Documentary.
He then moved into independent film production. His first film, made in 1985 and called A Street to Die won him three Australian Film Institute nominations, for Best Film, Best Director, and Best writer. His second film, Backlash made a year later, was invited into Official Selection at the Cannes Film Festival, and subsequently was released theatrically in the US through the Samuel Goldwyn Company.
Bill is perhaps best known for his cult outback thriller, Kiss or Kill, which was nominated for 12 AFI awards, winning him Best Film and Best Director. The film also won Australian Film Critics Circle Awards for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Writer. Bill has personally been nominated twelve times for AFI Awards.
Other prizes include Best Picture at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival (A Street to Die), Special Jury Award at the Taormina Film Festival (Backlash), Best Picture at the Film Noir Film Festival in Italy (Kiss or Kill), Creative Achievement Award at the Montreal World Film Festival (Kiss or Kill) and Best Picture, Audience Awards at the Palm Springs Film Festival (Spider & Rose), and at the Hawaii Film Festival (In a Savage Land.)
He’s had two films in Official Selection at the Cannes Film Festival, four films at the Toronto Film Festival, and a gala screening at the New York Film Festival – amongst other prestige festival showings. He’s had three major retrospectives – at the Chicago Institute of Art’s Film Centre in the US, at the Hof Film Festival in Germany, and at the Mumbai Film Festival in India. His films have been distributed through most of the major Hollywood studios, including Warner Bros, Paramount and Universal.
Most recently he’s produced and directed the widely acclaimed theatrical feature documentary PGS – Intuition is your Personal Guidance System.
Bill is also an Adjunct Professor of Screen Studies at the Queensland University of Technology – and as an author has a trilogy of Young Adult novels, called Palace of Fires published by Penguin Random House.
His other books include The Way, My Way – his memoir of walking the Camino de Santiago, as well as the book adaptation of PGS the movie.