Fred Schepisi AO (born 26 December 1939) is an Australian film director and screenwriter. His credits include: Last Orders
, and Six Degrees of Separation.
Schepisi was born Frederic Alan Schepisi in Melbourne, Victoria, the son of fruit dealer Frederic Thomas Schepisi and Loretto Ellen (née Hare). He began his career in advertising and directed both commercials and documentaries before helming his first feature film, The Devil's Playground
, in 1976.
Schepisi won the Australian Film Institute Award for Best Direction and the Australian Film Institute Award for Best Screenplay for both The Devil's Playground
and Evil Angels
(released in the US as A Cry in the Dark).
In 1991, his film The Russia House
was nominated for the Golden Bear at the 41st Berlin International Film Festival.
In 2005 Schepisi directed and co-produced the HBO miniseries Empire Falls
, for which he was nominated for the Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing for a Miniseries, Movie or Dramatic Special and the Directors Guild of America Award for Best Director of a TV Film.
In April 2008 it was announced Film Finance Corporation Australia was providing funding for Schepisi's film The Last Man, about the final days of the Vietnam War. It is scheduled to begin filming in Queensland, with Guy Pearce and David Wenham in leading roles, towards the end of the year.
Schepisi has also directed a number of music videos, including for the 2008 song "Breathe" by Kaz James featuring Stu Stone.
Asked about the "gypsy-like existence" of a filmmaker, Schepisi has said: "It’s the hardest thing. I think we’re today’s circus people. It’s very hard on your family. [His wife] Mary travels with me and when everyone was younger and it was possible, I liked them to travel with me and be with me. Fortunately, Mary’s an artist; she paints, and often finds inspiration from our locations."