Australian writer-director Andrew Dominik has produced three critically celebrated feature films, the first of which, Chopper, based on the life of Australian criminal Mark “Chopper” Read, made an international movie star out of former standup comic and sketch artist Eric Bana. It was awarded Best Director, Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor by the Australian Film Institute and received the Critics and Grand Jury Prizes from the Cognac Film Festival.
Among its influential fans was Brad Pitt, who subsequently starred in Dominik’s The Assassination of Jesse James and as a hitman in his Killing Them Softly, based on a novel by George V. Higgins. The former was nominated for the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival and received Academy Award nominations for Best Cinematography (Roger Deakins) and Best Supporting Actor (Casey Affleck), and the latter premiered in competition at Cannes.
Born in New Zealand, Dominik moved to Australia at the age of two. He attended Melbourne’s prestigious Swinburne School of Film and Television, where he produced two short films – Andrew and Love in Vain – both of which premiered at the Melbourne International Film Festival.
Soon afterward, Dominick began directing music videos for the cream of Australian and New Zealand artists, including Crowded House, Diesel, and Cruel Sea. His videos for The Church received an MTV Award and an Aria nomination from the Australian Recording Industry Association. He also began an ongoing collaboration with a nexus of Melbourne musicians surrounding Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, who later created the soundtrack for his second feature.