Steven Ball
Marie Craven
Solrun Hoaas
Daryl Dellora

Melbourne independent filmmakers

Leo Berkeley
Giorgio Mangiamele
Michael Buckley
Moira Joseph

Paul Anthony Nelson
b.1975, Melbourne, Australia.

BIOGRAPHY:   An early reader and avid TV junkie, Paul Anthony Nelson grew up as an obsessive devotee of superhero comic books, in between trips to the movies every school holiday and a childhood which took far too much advantage of the early days of VHS players. But seeing 'Die Hard' on VHS at the end of the 1980s set him on the path of devoting his life to the movies, and he's never looked back.

Bored one afternoon in 1990, he took his parents' new VHS-C camcorder and made a ridiculous short all by himself - acting opposite a man made of pillows with a football for a head - but didn't make another film until the mid-late '90s, a trio of short films for the White Gloves Film Festival, a precursor to Tropfest, where emerging filmmakers made shoot-to-show one-reel films on Super 8mm & 16mm over a weekend, only seeing the finished product on the big screen in front of an audience a month later! Paul also co-directed the 2004 music video 'Platinum Scissors' for Melbourne indie band Life Imitating (later Bluestar), which was screened on ABC TV's iconic music video program 'Rage' and Foxtel's Channel V.


Teaming up with his partner, Perri Cummings, he made 2008's 'Interchange' - an ensemble drama of AFL football fans - which won a prize at the L.A. All Sports Film Festival in 2012, then directed the backstage comedy short 'Why Must The Show Go On?' to a successful premiere at the Australian Centre of the Moving Image the next year. After that, Paul earned his Diploma in Screen & Media from RMIT, and he and Perri formed the independent production company Cinema Viscera, with the aim of creating fresh spins on beloved genre conventions for 21st century audiences.

Cinema Viscera's first decade yielded Paul's graduation short, 'Scope' (2010) - a tale of a blind female sniper, shot in a 1970s 'grindhouse' style - the horror short 'T is for Talk Radio' (2011; aka 'Talkback') - a "blunt force social commentary" about media manipulation - made for Drafthouse Films' 'ABCs of Death' 26th Director contest, the short thriller 'Cigarette' (2016) - a "cautionary fable" about assumed consent - which premiered at Melbourne's Monster Fest. The decade culminated in Paul and Perri's first feature film, the modern comedy/Film Noir 'Trench' (2018). Costing just $27,363, 'Trench' was the first-ever feature to premiere at the Setting Sun Film Festival, screening in Melbourne's historic Sun Theatre.

.Perri Cummings and Paul Anthony Nelson,
Cinema Viscera
promo shot

Cinema Viscera's second feature, the modern Australian gothic horror-thriller 'Apparitions', again made on a micro budget of just $55,000, made its world premiere at Melbourne's Monster Fest in 2021 and was released in the US and UK by 4Digital Media.

After making a couple of no-budget shorts ('Interchange' and 'Hungry') in and around their homes for Cinema Viscera subscribers in 2020 and 2022, Paul and Perri co-directed the ambitious short film 'Three Sisters', using Shakespeare's 'King Lear' as a springboard to an immersive comic tragedy that will be submitted to festivals in 2024, all the while working on features in various stages of development.

In addition to filmmaking, Paul co-hosted the cult hit podcast Hell Is For Hyphenates with Lee Zachariah from 2010-2015 and the 3RRR FM Melbourne film review show Primal Screen (formerly Plato's Cave) from 2019-2021, has recorded a number of Blu-ray audio commentaries for companies like Kino Lorber and Arrow, and since 2022 has worked in acquisition and distribution for Bounty Films. 

Paul shooting Apparitions (2021)



As a filmmaker, I've always loved to throw very real, often seemingly incapable, characters into heightened genre situations - or to present a traditional genre framework and fill it with very relatable human weaknesses and behaviour - and play with that tension.

Like one of my great idols, George A. Romero, I also like to infuse my work with a social consciousness, or weave a sociopolitical backdrop into my films. But above all, I just like to have fun and show audiences a good time, but to also give them something a little offbeat, to perhaps see themselves in these little cinematic worlds.

I've wanted to be a filmmaker since my teens, but only briefly messed around with filmmaking until my late 30s, when I teamed up with my life partner Perri Cummings to make movies, so we still feel like relative newcomers to the form, and to be honest, we do still feel like we're finding our voices, both individually and as a duo..

Paul Anthony Nelson, April 2024.


Trench (2018)

As Director:

Untitled Vampire Short (1990, short, 5 min, VHS, also screenwriter, videographer)

Norwegian Llamas Take a Summer Holiday in France 3 (1991, short, 50 mins, VHS; co-directed various sketches, with Matthew Wings and Ben Connell, also co-screenwriter, co-videographer) 

The Extra-extraordinary (1993, 25 min, short, VHS; co-directed with Matthew Wings, also co-screenwriter, co-videographer)

The Ritualistic Dance of the Newly Single Man (1995, short, 3 mins, Super 8mm, also screenwriter, producer, cinematographer)

In Broad Daylight (1999, short, 3 mins, Super 8mm, also screenwriter, producer, cinematographer)

2:24 (2002, short, 3 mins, Super 8mm, also screenwriter, producer, cinematographer)

Life Imitating - 'Platinum Scissors' (2005; music video, 4 mins, digital; co-directed with Matthew Wings, also co-screenwriter, co-producer)

Interchange (2008, short, 5 min, digital,
also screenwriter, producer, assistant editor)

Paul and Perri directing Apparitions (2021)

Why Must The Show Go On? (2010, short, 23 min, digital, also co-producer, editor)

Scope (2010, short, 7 min, digital, also screenwriter, producer, editor)

T Is For Talk Radio aka Talkback (2011, short, 4 min, digital, also screenwriter, producer, editor, cinematographer)

Cigarette (2016, short, 9 min, digital, also screenwriter, executive producer, editor)

Trench (2018, feature, 90 min, digital, also co-screenwriter, co-producer, editor, cinematographer)

Interference (2020, short, 9 min, digital, also co-producer, editor, cinematographer)

Apparitions (2021, feature, 83 min, digital; co-directed with Perri Cummings, also co-screenwriter, co-producer, editor)

Hungry (2022, short, 9 min, digital, also co-producer, editor, cinematographer)

Three Sisters (2024, short, 11 min, digital; co-directed with Perri Cummings, also co-screenwriter, co-producer)


In other key roles:

Paul directing Three Sisters (2024) with
DOP Sarah Alkemade and 1st AD Tom Gordo

The Bazura Project (as Segment Producer; 2006-07, dir: Tim Egan; TV series - C31, 11 episodes, digital)

Smoke and Mirrors (as Producer; 2008, dir: Tristan Alice Nieto; short, 11 min, digital)

Leongatha (as Camera Operator; 2013, dir: Shane Dunlop; TV series - C31, 4 episodes, digital)

Violent Florence (as First Assistant Director; 2014, dir: Jaime Snyder; short, 11 min, digital)

The Association (as Second Assistant Director;
dir: Lee McClenaghan; 2018, short, 34 min, digital)

After Nightfall (as Editor; 2018-19, dir: Wayne Tunks; web series, 14 episodes, digital)

Kylie Gale - 'Fading To Grey' (as Editor; 2020, dir: Wayne Tunks; music video, 4 mins, digital)

Overcaterers Anonymous (as Editor; 2020, dir: Wayne Tunks; short, 10 min, digital)

Kylie Gale - 'Upside Down' (as Editor; 2021, dir: Wayne Tunks; music video, 4 mins, digital)

Christie Lamb - 'Kiss About it' (as Editor; 2021, dir: Wayne Tunks; music video, 4 mins, digital)

Welcome To The Galaxy (as Editor; dir: Suz Mawer; 2021, short, 11 min, digital)

Spook Siblings (as Editor; 2023, dir: Wayne Tunks; web series, 4 episodes, digital; also First Assistant Director, 1 episode)

Under The Influence (as Editor; 2024, dir: Cate O'Connor; short, 8 minutes, digital)




Cigarette: Monster Fest 2016, Sydney Underground Film Festival 2017

Trench: Setting Sun Film Festival 2018 (the first feature-length film they ever screened) 

Apparitions: Monster Fest 2021, Horrific Hope Film Festival 2022



Winner - Best Film, Horrific Hope Film Festival, USA, 2022, for Apparitions (feature)

Winner - Best Editing, Changing Face Film Festival, Australia, 2019, for After Nightfall (web series)

Winner - Best Editing, Best in the West Film Festival, Australia, 2019, for After Nightfall (web series)

Winner - Best Editing, New Jersey Web Fest, USA, 2019, for After Nightfall (web series)

Nominee - Best Oceanian Film, Septimius Awards, The Netherlands, for Apparitions (feature)

Nominee - Best Film Under $500K, OzFlix Independent Film Awards, Australia, 2019, for Trench (feature)

Trench TRAILER (2018)
Apparitions TRAILER (2021)


'The Two of Us: Perri Cummings and Paul Anthony Nelson', by Rochelle Siemienowicz for Screenhub, 2nd Dec 2021


© Paul Anthony Nelson, April 2024.

Contact Paul Anthony Nelson

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Melbourne independent filmmakers is compiled by Bill Mousoulis