Steven Ball
Marie Craven
Solrun Hoaas
Daryl Dellora

Melbourne independent filmmakers

Leo Berkeley
Giorgio Mangiamele
Michael Buckley
Moira Joseph

Ian Dixon
b. November 30, 1966, Adelaide, Australia.

BIOGRAPHY:   Ian has worked as writer, director and actor, including, film, commercial television and international theatre (he took over from Guy Pearce to play the lead role in Grease). He studied Drama, Cinema Studies and English Literature as well as filmmaking at the VCA where he is completing his PhD in the films of John Cassavetes. Ian’s films have won directing awards internationally. Ian is currently writing a screenplay funded by Film Victoria (Captivity Captive with novelist Rodney Hall). Ian has also been funded to write feature films for the AFC. Ian’s directing credits include Wee Jimmy (half hour drama for SBS - won director commendation at San Francisco International Film Festival), The Raptor Detail (short), Cut (VCA major film - won Gold at Australian Cinematographers Society Awards). Ian has had extensive training as a director including Film Victoria/AFC-assisted traineeships on Neighbours (he went on to direct further episodes), Blue Heelers (directed significant portion of episodes), Horace and Tina (directed scenes). He has written two novels and has worked as a lecturer in Filmmaking at the VCA, Monash and Melbourne University, RMIT, SAE Institute. He has moved on to full time lecturing at Holmesglen Institute and Qantm College, and occasionally Open Channel Film School. He works as an independent producer/director and has been assistant to the Artistic Director of the Australia Korea Foundation for the Department of Foreign Affairs. His debut feature film Crushed (writer/director/producer) screened at Cinema Nova in 2008/2009.

Ian Dixon

Ian’s acting work can be viewed on City Homicide, Blue Heelers, Martial Law, Guinevere Jones, Heartbreak High, Struck by Lightning, Shadows of the Heart, etc.

These are just some of the films that have influenced Ian’s directing work: Touch of Evil: Orson Welles, The Conformist: Bernardo Bertolucci, A Woman Under the Influence: John Cassavetes, The Silence: Ingmar Bergman, Persona: Ingmar Bergman, The Elephant Man: David Lynch, Lost Highway: David Lynch, Silence of the Lambs: Jonathan Demme, Rosemary’s Baby: Roman Polanski, Vampyr: Carl Th. Dreyer.

CRITICAL OVERVIEW:   Having had training as an actor and continuing to love theatre, I naturally gravitated to the work of Welles, Bergman and Cassavetes, although I believe theatrical device is most effective when placed in the realm of cinema. The influence of Cassavetes’ tough, actor-based realism has allowed me to plumb the visceral depths, especially within the process of improvisation (even if only in the writer’s mind). I consider formal structural elements in screenwriting, especially when hand-in-hand with improvisation (during rehearsal, not shooting) to be paramount. I can therefore concentrate on blending formalism/expressionism with the pure, raw "energy" of performance.


Thematically, I am drawn to darker subjects, usually in the realm of sexual taboo, yet "values" associated with "love" attract me most. As Martin Sheen once said: "God dwells in darkness" and, to me, driving through darkness to the spiritual potential beyond is not only obsessive, it is crucial to our survival. This was the case with my feature film Crushed (80 mins, 2008), which blends a lyrical style with the "returning repressed" in the form of teacher-student sexual relations. One reviewer commented: "Ian Dixon's profoundly character-driven masterpiece never gives an easy answer to this question, but instead takes us on an intimate journey into female friendship. The detail of the work blew me away. The camera caught the actors tenderly in very intimate close-ups, often moving in an almost musical way with the conversation. It is obviously a film made with love" (Janet Watson Kruse, 2008).

My next film Aquarium (approx. 90 mins) is a Psychosexual Thriller. The film has been years in development and takes the more terrifying leap into parent-child relations: a revenge story in which the adult daughter of an abuser seeks retribution for her Father’s past sins. The style is lyrical and mysterious, set within the Melbourne Aquarium, where a nightmarish poeticism plays out. The drama is hard-hitting: Hannibal Lecter (2001) with an underwater Piano Teacher (2001). This is a journey into the unconscious: an eerie world where sharks sleep in our dreams.

Captivity Captive (approx. 90 mins, co-written with award-winning author Rodney Hall), a period murder mystery, promises the darker side of love in similar fashion.

In short, the oppositions of lyricism and viscera, formalism and raw performance continue to fascinate me.

- Ian Dixon, April 2009

See also All the Juice from Crushed


Wee Jimmy
Wee Jimmy

Cut (1998, 12 mins, 16mm, drama)

His Dark Secret Love (1998, 3 mins, 16mm, horror)

Thanatos (writer/director) (1998, 4 mins, SP Betacam, drama)

The Raptor Detail (1999, Draft funding, AFC)

Wee Jimmy (2000, 26 mins, DigiBeta, drama for SBS)

Family Business (2004, 50 mins, DV)
(writer/director, co-written with Rodney Hall)


Dark and Dark and Silent (2005, 12 mins, DV, dance film)
(co-director, with choreographer Delia Silvan)

Crushed (2008, 80 mins, DigiBeta, drama)

When I Grow Up I Want to be White (2008, 10 mins, HD, comedy)
(co-director /script editor - with Agatha Yim as co-director and lead actress)

Major screenings or awards:


    Selected into 1999 Murphy’s Cork International Film Festival (Ireland)

    Won Gold at 1999 Australian Cinematographers Society Awards

    Runner up "most courageous film production" VCA 1998


Wee Jimmy:

    Selected 2001 St Kilda Film Festival

    Selected 44th San Francisco International Film Festival
    Certificate of Merit Winner at Golden Gate Awards


    Screened: Cinema Nova (2008, 2009)

When I Grow Up I Want to be White:

    Selected Human Rights Film Festival 2008.

    Winner Open Channel Pitching Competition (Agatha Yim)

Crushed can be purchased by contacting the filmmaker.


Wee Jimmy: Purchase through Ronin Films / San Francisco Film Society awards

Ian Dixon’s PhD on John Cassavetes


Screen Australia on Crushed

Screenwriting Introduction: OPEN CHANNEL

Advanced Screenwriting: OPEN CHANNEL



Love Your Work

© Ian Dixon, April 2009.

Contact Ian Dixon
Fire Horse Films 4/389 Barkly St, Elwood VIC 3184 +61 3 9537 7701 Mob: 0402 147 107

Agent: JM Agency 143a Chapel Street Prahran, VIC Australia +61 3 9530 2150

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Melbourne independent filmmakers is compiled by Bill Mousoulis