Steven Ball
Marie Craven
Solrun Hoaas
Daryl Dellora

Melbourne independent filmmakers

Leo Berkeley
Giorgio Mangiamele
Michael Buckley
Moira Joseph

David King
b. January 31, 1955, Melbourne, Australia.

BIOGRAPHY:   David King was a member of the Melbourne Filmmakers Co-Operative in the mid-1970s when - inspired by the likes of Jean-Luc Godard, Vilgot Sjöman, François Truffaut, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Ingmar Bergman, and Federico Fellini - he began making student films on black and white 16mm with a borrowed spring-wound Bolex, a shaky tripod, and a handful of photoflood lights.

Following this, he briefly became a professional cameraman, shooting promotional, educational, and horse racing films throughout Victoria.


In the 1980s, he freelanced as a scriptwriter for the ABC, penning four episodes of the Awgie Award-winning young peoples' television series, Home, which subsequently sold to networks all over the world.

Around this time, he collaborated with Brian Jones on the privately-funded independent low budget erotic rock'n'roll comedy Coming Of Age which was released through Greg Lynch Film Distributors and subsequently through Golden Lion.

Dystopic Overload - Nemesis

He also received Government funding to develop a 13-part young people's sci fi television series called The Parallax Factor, and had a feature film treatment for an erotic psychological thriller accepted for development by a New York-based distribution company. Unfortunately, neither project was produced.

During the early 1990s, David worked primarily as a journalist, writing a wide range of features and news articles for newspapers and magazines before returning to independent film/video-making in 1995 with the ultra-low budget educational documentary, Getting Together.

In Brisbane, he revived a semi-commercial film/video-making career by producing and directing a series of innovative ultra-low budget community service announcements, promotional, corporate, and educational videos for non-profit organizations. Although working for clients, he had total freedom to create, write, produce, and direct the projects as he saw fit.

David returned to dramatic film/video-making in 1999 with the short film Enigma (Digital Betacam, 16 mins) followed in 2002 by The Job (DVCam/MiniDV, 15 mins) which has now screened at 14 international film festivals in the UK, Europe, the Middle East, and Canada.


A keen advocate of ultra-low budget guerilla-style film/video-making, he completed his first independent feature length project, the quasi sci fi film PURGE in 2009.

On completion of PURGE, David embarked on a seres of short expeimental videos which he called 'Dystopic Overload'. The images and sound were taken from PURGE but used in a toally abstract, non-narrative fashion, exploring visual/aural ideas and techniques David was unable to explore in a narrative feature film.   
The four experimental videos are: Program Failure, Interrogation, Withdrawal, and Nemesis.
Dystopic Overload gained immediate acceptance, being screened at the Peel Your Eyes exhibition in Geelong, the Short Cut film/video screenings in Melbourne, Exploding Cinema in London, on Art television in France, and was the only Australian work of video art to be included in the 2012 Cologne International Videoart Festival which screened it at numerous festivals and venues around the world, including the Museum of Experimental Art in Mexico City.

Buoyed by this success, King transformed the 15-minute ENIGMA into a 69-second rapid-fire abstraction called What If You Woke One Day...? and The Student into a five minute mult-layered dream titled Infatuation with a specially-composed score from US-based composer Ronnie Minder.
Imaginarium of the Unknown Traveller

In 2015 David began shooting footage around the Bellarine Peninsula with a newly-acquired HD action camera. Realising the footage was going somewhere, he continued shooting with a Sony A3000 and developed the footage into what is now the award-winning experimental art film EXIT.

By 2017, King realised he had lost interest in narrative filmmaking. He relished the freedom of being “a one man band with no schedules to worry about”.

He shot, edited and created the visual effects for To The End of Time, a fantastical work of video art commissioned by Geelong After Dark with music by Geelong composer Joseph Stanaway.

This was followed by the short experimental horror film Expunged from Collective Memory which predicted authoritarian abuses of power during a pandemic, and which won Best Editor award for King and Best Music award for Spanish composer Juan de la Encino at the 2017 Hell Chess Film Festival in Madrid..

The same year, King shot the abstract video art work Apocryphal Journey during a single train trip to Melbourne. The video has since screened in galleries and video art programs around the world.

In 2018, King made Lost In A Borgesian Labyrinth, an attempt to film the mind of an unknown character who is eternally lost in a scrubland/library and obsessed with the literary works of Jorge Luis Borges.

Lost In A Borgesian Labyrinth

Also in 2018, he created and curated the Animation + Experimental + Avant Garde film program for the North Bellarine Film Festival. Screening in the Victorian seaside town of Portarlington, this program showcased films from all over the world and drew audiences from Adelaide, Melbourne and other parts of regional Victoria.

He continued curating this program through 2019 and the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 when it went online and drew an enthusiastic international audience. It is believed to be the only program of experimental and avant gade cinema to screen at a regional film festival anywhere in Australia.

King also curates the independent international video art program Eclectic Dreams which began life in 2019 at The Project Space art gallery on the Geelong waterfront and moved to Visual Container TV (Italy) in 2021.

He continues to make experimental films and video art and to collaborate with artists from around the world. His latest collaboration has been with US composer Nick Faust who did the sound design and music for The Imaginarium of the Unknown Traveller (2020), and who is working on sound design for Concerto for Street Lights, due to be released in 2021.

His film writings have appeared in Boardwalk magazine, IF magazine, Metro magazine, and on ScreenHub.

Expunged from Collective Memory (2017, 3 mins)
Imaginarium of the Unknown Traveller (2020, 4 mins)

The Job

CRITICAL OVERVIEW:   Much of David King's film/video-making (often for non-profit organizations) has been concerned with the problems and issues faced by people with disabilities. Even in this field, he sought to create stylish works of art, using split screen, floating text, bluescreen backgrounds, pictures within pictures, and superimpositions. During the late '90s, his community service announcements frequently screened free of charge during prime time on SBS TV whose advertising department described them as: 'Among the best we've seen'.

Only The Job (2002) , PURGE (2009) and the experimental Dystopic Overload (2011) represent his current style and themes as an independent narrative film/video-maker.

Initially concerned with misunderstanding between lovers (The Student, 1975, Enigma, 1999), David now focuses on the alienation of modern and future man, the way economic rationalist policies threaten to destroy the things that make us human - compassion, love, concern for our fellow man, and appreciation of a person's worth regardless of their economic status.

David sees a cold, soulless future where the man is a slave to capitalism, dominated and controlled by technology. With a nod to Japanese anime and the asceticism of Robert Bresson, he seeks to capture the bleak emptiness of such a future with stark lighting, minimal set design, and the complete lack of any earthy colours, or anything organic. This approach can be seen in PURGE. (see also page on PURGE)

Since turning to experimental film and video art, King's focus has broadened to include projects based around technical and thematic experimentation. As both a filmmaker and a curator, he seeks to bring an element of excitement and entertainment to what many audiences regard as 'too hard'.

To The End Of Time (2015, 4 mins)
Lost In A Borgesian Labyrinth (2018, 7 mins)


Reaching for a Dream

As Director:

Daffy (1974, 16 mins, 16mm, black comedy - independent)
Co-writer, Producer, Director, Cameraman.

The Student (1975, 16 mins, 16mm, drama - independent)
Writer, Producer, Director, Co-cameraman.

Imagine It Was You (1997, 30 secs, video, community announcement - PBF Australia)
Writer, Producer, Director, Editor.

Lives are Ticking Away (1998, 30 secs, vidoe, community announcement - Unmet Needs campaign)
Writer, Producer, Director, Editor.


Peter's Break (1998, 30 secs, video, community announcement - Unmet Needs campaign)
Writer, Producer, Director, Editor.

Enigma (1999, 16 mins, video, drama - independent)
Writer, Producer, Director, Editor, Sound Designer.

Reaching for a Dream (2000, 15 mins, video, promotional video - Access Arts Inc)
Co-writer, Director, Editor.

Message Sticks (2000, 5 mins, video, documentary - Access Arts Inc)
Director, Editor.

The Job (2002, 13 mins, video, drama - independent)
Writer, Producer, Director, Editor, Sound Designer.


PURGE (2009, 78 mins, video, semi experimental quasi sci fi feature – independent)
Writer, Producer, Director, Co-cinematographer, Production designer, Editor, Sound designer, Co-vfx artist.

Dystopic Overload series (2010-2012, 3 mins) -
Program Failure

What If You Woke One Day? (2012, 1 min, video, experimental)
Director, Editor.

EXIT (2015, 27 mins, video, experimental)
Director, Editor
Winner - Best Director Award, Hell Chess Film Festival, Madrid, Spain, 2016 .

To The End of Time

Expunged from Collective Memory (2017, 2.40 mins, Experimental film, Colour & Black & White, Stereo)
Winner Best Editor award and Best Music award (for Juan de la Encino) at Hell Chess Film Festival, Madrid, Spain, 2017.

To The End Of Time (2017, 4:30 mins, Video Art project for Geelong After Dark, Colour, Stereo)

Apocryphal Journey (2017, 1.55 mins, video art, colour, stereo)

Lost In A Borgesian Labyrinth (2018, 7.31 mins, experimental film, colour, stereo)

Imaginarium of the Unknown Traveller (2020, 4.18 mins, video art, colour/B&W, stereo)

Concerto for Street Lights (2021, video art, colour, stereo)

Other productions:

What Killed Cobb & Co? (1981, 20 mins, 16mm/video, documentary - ABC, Brisbane)

Home (1982, 4 x 30 mins, 16mm/video, drama series - four episodes, ABC TV Drama Dept, Melbourne)
Writer, Storyliner.

Coming Of Age (1983, 80 mins, 16mm, feature comedy - independent)
Co-writer, Co-Editor (uncredited).


Short educational video documentaries (1985, 5 x 3 mins, video, ATV Channel 10)
Researcher, Writer, Co-Producer.

Short educational video documentaries (1986, 5 x 2 mins, video, ATV Channel 10)
Researcher, Writer, Co-Producer, Co-Director.

Getting Together (1995, 24 mins, video, documentary - independent)
Researcher, Writer, Co-Producer, Presenter.

The Cost of Spinal Injury (1996, 5 mins, video, compilation documentary - PBF Australia)
Researcher, Compiler, Producer.

Dystopic Overload (2010-12, 4 mins)


David King in 1995

Writings on film by David King:

"So You Wanna Make Docos?" - Boardwalk arts magazine, Queensland, June/July, 1998.

"Publicity Blues: Gaining publicity for Low/No Budget Shorts in Australia" - Metro magazine, Issue #135.

"The Long and Short of it: European vs Australian attitudes toward short films and their makers" - Metro magazine, Issue #137.

"Threadbare Shorts" - critique of AFC funded short films - Metro magazine, Issue #138.

"In Short" - review of book on short film/video-making in the United Kingdom - Metro magazine, Issue #138.

"Alternative Views" - alternative possibilities for screening short films and videos - Metro magazine, Issue #139.

"Going It Alone: Making Low Budget Feature Films Without Pre-Sales" - Metro magazine, Issue #141.

"Open the Door to Filmmakers with Disabilities" - a look at the experiences of film/video-makers with disabilities - ScreenHub online magazine, June 2004.

"Just How Independent Is IndiVision?" - indie filmmakers look at the AFC's funding program for low budget features - ScreenHub online magazine, February, 2005.

© David King, October 2021.

David King's Vimeo Channel

Contact David King

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Melbourne independent filmmakers is compiled by Bill Mousoulis