Warwick Thornton gained international recognition when his feature film debut Samson and Delilah (2009), which he wrote, directed and shot, won the Cannes Film Festival’s…
Warwick Thornton is an internationally renowned director, screenwriter and cinematographer. Born and raised in remote Alice Springs, Warwick perfected his trade at Australia’s prestigious film school AFTRS. Both of his short films Nana and Greenbush premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival – Nana winning the Crystal Bear for Best Short Film. Following the success of these films, Warwick began work on his first feature Samson and Delilah – a confronting look at the relationship between two young Aboriginal teenagers in Alice Springs. The film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 2009, winning the Caméra d’Or. Samson and Delilah collected many other awards including Best Feature Film at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards, the AFI awards, and the Film Critics Circle awards. Next, Warwick completed his feature The Darkside, a film which presents well know Australian actors retelling Indigenous ghost stories. This became Warwick’s third film invited to premiere at the Berlin
International Film Festival. Following this, he directed the opening segment of Tim Winton’s The Turning and the opening segment of Guillermo Arriaga’s Words With Gods, which was invited to premiere at Venice in 2014. Warwick is also widely regarded for his work as a cinematographer. His work as DOP on the 2012 hit musical The Sapphires once again highlighted Warwick’s ability to present diverse and exciting Indigenous stories. He worked again with director Wayne Blair on Septembers of Shiraz starring Adrian Brody and Salma Hayek. Warwick was named Northern Territory Australian of the Year in 2010, and was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award at Imaginative, Canada in 2015. In 2017, he premiered his documentary We Don’t Need a Map about Australia’s connection to the Southern Cross, and Sweet Country, which won awards at Venice and Toronto film festivals.
The Asia Pacific Screen Academy expresses its respect for and acknowledgement of the South East Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. We pay our respects to the Traditional Owners of country, including the custodial communities on whose land works are created and celebrated by the Asia Pacific Screen Awards. We acknowledge the continuing connection to land, waters and communities. We also pay our respects to Elders, past and emerging. We recognise the integral role Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and First Nations peoples continue to play in storytelling and celebration spaces.