Ben Chessell

Writer/Director

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Film, TV & Theatre

Agent: Sean Gascoine
Associate Agent: Amy Sparks

Film, TV & Theatre

After studying Ecology and Medieval History at Melbourne University, Ben Chessell graduated from Victorian College of the Arts in 2001. His highly acclaimed graduation film, THE ONLY PERSON IN THE WORLD was released theatrically with ITALIAN FOR BEGINNERS by Palace Films. It was a finalist at the 2002 Dendy Awards, was nominated for an AFI award and won Best Short Film at the Australian Circle of Film Critics, as well as screening at over twenty film festivals. Ben went on to make the Australian Film Commission funded short HEARTWORM, and spent six months in Germany where he made A FAMILIAR LULLABY THIS TIME IN GERMANBen wrote and directed a telemovie for SBSi, THE HEARTBREAK TOUR with Toby Schmitz, Anthony Hayes, Caroline Craig, Nathaniel Dean and Alexandra Schepisi. THE HEARTBREAK TOUR was the first screenplay to be nominated for the Melbourne Prize for Literature. Ben was also involved as one of the directors in the LITTLE DEATHS project (Melbourne International Film Festival 2008).

Ben directed episodes of the first season of the children’s drama series, DANCE ACADEMY (ABC TV/ZDF Germany), and episodes of RUSH Seasons 3 and 4 and OFFSPRING Seasons 3 and 4 as well as writing episodes of both those shows (Southern Star, Channel 10). He directed two episodes of the first season of CAMP for Matchbox and NBC Universal.

He was a finalist in the Kudos/Red Planet Pictures Screenwriting Prize in 2011. He is developing a number of feature films and television dramas as writer/director: WRITING RAIN with producer Louise Smith (Australian Writers Guild un-produced screenplay award in 2009),  and HISTORY (completed as part of his Masters in Screenwriting). He is also the writer of JERUSALEM, an epic historical romance, and is developing THE CENTURY with Headstrong Pictures in London.

Ben has just completed his first feature SUCKER (co-written with Lawrence Leung) with producers Jason Byrne and Robyn Kershaw, shot in Melbourne and starring Timothy Spall, John Luc and Lily Sullivan. SUCKER premiered at the 2015 Melbourne International Film Festival. 

 

In Development

ProductionCompanyNotes

DIRTY OLD TOWN

Producer: Tait Brady

Writer/Director
Feature Film

THE CENTURY

Headstrong

Writer
Television Series

JERUSALEM

Writer
Television Series

WRITING RAIN

Producer: Louise Smith

Writer/Director
Produced by Louise Smith
Feature Film
* Winner Australian Writer’s Guild, Best Unproduced Screenplay, 2009

Film

ProductionCompanyNotes

SUCKER

2015

Producer: Jason Byrne & Robyn Kershaw

Director and Co-Writer (with Lawrence Leung)
Feature Film
* Nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay at the Australian Writers Guild Awards

LITTLE DEATHS

2008

Director (segment “Good Vibrations”).
35mm, 80mins
Produced by Jason Byrne
* Winner Digi SPAA award, 2008

THE HEARTBREAK TOUR

2005

SBSi/Australian Film Commission

Short Feature
Writer/Director
35mm/HD, 52 mins
* Shortlisted for the Melbourne Prize for Literature Writing Award, 2006

Television

ProductionCompanyNotes
2013

Matchbox, Berman Braun, NBC Universal

Director (episodes 104 and 105)

2013

John Edwards & Imogen Banks. Southern Star / Network Ten

60min comedy/drama
Director (episodes 406 and 407)

OFFSPRING

2012

Producers: John Edwards & Imogen Banks. Southern Star / Network Ten

60min comedy/drama
Director (episodes 310 and 311)
Writer (Episode 308)

2011

Producers: John Edwards & Mimi Butler. Southern Star / Network Ten

45min police drama
Director (episodes 405 and 411)
Writer (episode 404)

RESCUE SPECIAL OPS

2010

Producer: Sarah Smith & Julie McGauran. Southern Star / Channel Nine

Director (episodes 311 and 312)

RUSH

2010

Producers: John Edwards & Mimi Butler. Southern Star / Network Ten

Director (episodes 307 and 322)

DANCE ACADEMY

2009

Producer: Joanna Werner. ACTF / ABC TV

Director (episodes 121 and 122)

ELEPHANT PRINCESS (Series)

2007

Prod: Jonathan M Shiff. ACTF and Network Ten

Director’s Attachment with Roger Hodgman

MARX AND VENUS - THE COUNCIL

2007

SBS Television

Writer (episode 110)

Short Films

ProductionCompanyNotes

A FAMILIAR LULLABY

2004

Kulturregion Hannover / Nordmedia

Director
35mm, 15mins
Writed by Lally Katz

AFTERTHOUGHT

2002

Writer/Director
35mm, 2mins

HEARTWORM

2003

Australian Film Commission

Writer/Director.
Produced by Joanna Werner
* Screened as part of Accelerator Program at Melbourne International Film Festival, 2004
* Screened at Los Angeles Short Film Festival, 2004
* Screened at Austin Film Festival, 2004
* Screened at Exground Film Festival, Germany, 2005
* Screened at Flickerfest, Sydney, 2005
* Screened at Shorts Film Festival, Adelaide, 2005
* Screened at Prague Short Film Festival, 2005

IS GOD A DJ?

2001

Writer/Director
Betacam, 5mins.
* Screened at Commonwealth Film Festival, Manchester, 2002
* Screened at Jaffas Down the Aisle Film Festival, 2003

LOOKER

2001

Writer/Director
16mm, 1 min
* Screened at Commonwealth Film Festival, Manchester, 2002
* Screened at Jaffas Down the Aisle Film Festival, 2003

THE ONLY PERSON IN THE WORLD

2001

Writer/Director
16mm, 13mins
Distributed in Australia and New Zealand Cinemas with Italian for Beginners by Palace Films
* Winner Best Short Film at Australian Circle of Film Critics, 2002
* Finalist - Dendy Awards at Sydney Film Festival, 2002
* Screened at Telluride Film Festival, Film Makers of Tomorrow, 2002
* Screened at St. Tropez Film Festival, 2002
* Screened at Ghent Film Festival, Belgium, 2002
* Screened at Hawaii International Film Festival, 2002
* Winner Jury Prize at Exposures Film Festival, 2002
* Screened at Flickerfest, Sydney, 2003
* Screened at St. Kilda Film Fesitival, 2003