Advance Member Postcard Member Postcard from David Joshua Ford
David is an Australian photographer, film and television director. He has studied in Canada, and is now freelancing his craft in New York City.

Where did you grow up in Australia?
I grew up in Canberra with a very middle-of-the-road suburban childhood. Sydney was exotic, in the way New York would be in later years.

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After-Set: Tribeca Grand Hotel Film Screening

Please join us for the After-Set Independent Filmmaker Series special screening of four short films by David Joshua Ford followed by the feature-length documentary “Give Me A Shot Of Anything: House Calls To The Homeless.”

Tickets are only available on-line at:

Event Program, Saturday 28th January 2012:

Tribeca Grand Hotel
2 6th Avenue
New York, NY

  • 7:00 pm – Check in and drinks available at the bar
  • 8:00 pm – Program begins
  • 9:45 pm – Filmmaker Q&A session

For more information on the films, visit:

Outstanding Reception at Dungog Film Festival


Dungog Reception

This guy was getting so ‘creative’ taking pictures of us on the red-carpet I decided to take some of my own…

We received the most amazing audience reaction to Ferdinand the Third at Dungog today! Laughs and gasps in all the right places wonderfully comedic nuances in performance by Bridie and Duncan 🙂 Great to see it on the big screen for the first time to a sold out venue. Many thanks to the cast and crew who worked so hard to make it possible: actors Duncan Fellows and Bridie Latona, DOP Michael Steel, writer Alex Edmondson, set design Kavi Jarrott, composer Aaron Kenny, MUA Megan Kirkup, Jacqueline Miller, Alexi Wilson, Kylie Simmonds, Annette Sicari, Gemma Tamock, Davi Soesilo, Adam Lynch, Rodney Monk, Dan Rossi, Miguel Lemaire, Kristy Best, Damian Del Borrello, Sarah Bishop..and more..

Watch an excerpt from the film…

David Joshua Ford’s Festival Hatrick


Dungog Chronicle-1

Dungog Film Festival has been something of a slow and quiet awakening for young film director David Joshua Ford.

Ford, 27, visited the area a few years ago, attended the film festival on the spur of the moment for the first time last year and, in a major coup, had three of his films shown at the festival in 2011.

“I have such positive associations with this place,” the Sydney-based director said of Dungog.

“It’s a beautiful location and there’s just something about this festival.Dungog Chronicle-2

“There’s a community spirit and I’m so glad I made the decision to come here and be part of it.”

Ford’s showings were the documentary Lillie, music video Entwined and the quirky comedy Ferdinand the Third which starred a silky bantam.

“Directing is what I’ve always wanted to do,” he said. “But I think it’s a long and windy road.”

He said Dungog Film Festival was amazing for aspiring directors because it allowed them to show their talents but, more importantly, learn by watching the work of some of Australia’s best directors and producers.

But it wasn’t just about the films; it was also about being given the opportunity to mix it with a network of the best people Australian film has to offer.

“It’s the ‘in-between times’ that get people talking,” Ford said.

Ford believes the next 12 months will be integral to his career development and he hopes to be back in Dungog next year with some new films ready for the big screen.

01 Jun 2011 05:33 PM,

Showcasing His Talents


Newcastle Herald

FOR Sydney filmmaker David Ford, Dungog is a chance to meet and greet some of the industry’s heavyweights and upcoming talents.

After visiting the festival with friends last year, the Sydney director returned with three pieces on the 2011 program – the documentary Lillie and music video Entwined, which screened on Friday, and short film Ferdinand the Third, starring a bantam chicken, slated for yesterday.

“I think it’s a good chance for me to showcase the diversity of my directing,” Ford said.

The festival’s non-competitive approach and ability to attract Australian stars was a major drawcard for aspiring filmmakers, he said.

“When you brush shoulders with those people, it breaks down the walls,” he said.

30/05/2011, Matt Carr, The Newcastle Herald

3 Films by David Joshua Ford in Dungog Film Festival

Some good news this week: three of my films have been accepted into the 2011 Dungog Film Festival: Entwined, Lillie and Ferdinand the Third!

Poster-FerdiFerdinand the Third (playing at Oovie Theatre, Sunday 11:45am): a Frenchman travels to Australia to declare his love for his his long-time friend… only to be lumped with her pet silky bantam instead (that ball of fluff in the poster). I workedon the black-comedy with Alexandra Edmondson, coincidentally a writer I met through friendships formed in Dungog last year!

I’m very proud of this film. It is a tight and entertaining 5 minutes. Our crew was a delight to work with, dedicated to pulling off a great look on a modest budget… in a grossly overcrowded apartment. We learnt how taxing action sequences with animals are… strangely not because the cat and chicken were difficult to control, but rather because they were languid!

Poster-LillieRounding out a year of industry ‘don’ts’, Lillie (playing at the RSL Cinema 9:15am on Friday) follows the life of a four year old girl raised by her single mother and grandmother. She was such a delight to work with, and being documentary, the filming process didn’t have the same complexities as a drama would have.

Lillie has a natural openness with people that translates down the lens, the likes of which I typically see in children in countries like Mozambique or Brazil rather than Australia. I knew she’d be great on film and I wanted to explore the sense of wonder and intrigue that a four year old has for the world.

Her mother Pam and grandmother provide the backstory with amazing depth and honesty. I think the film’s strength is in contrasting Pam’s own traumatic experiences as a child alongside her daughter’s un-shattered world. It’s a family portrait of three of women, minus the men in their lives, and shows how difficulties that permeate down generations can be overcome by a supportive family member. 

Poster-EntwinedEntwined (playing RSL Cinema, Friday 4pm) is a musical drama about the romance between an Australian and an Indian. As my graduate project at AFTRS last year, we engaged five composers to write an original song and score. The music video screening at Dungog is a radio edit of the theme song from the film, combining pictures from the film together with some new scenes shot specifically for this shorter narrative.

Entwined is the most challenging film I have worked on to date, as reflected in the budget, number of people involved and the technical aspects of the concept – combining lyrics, music, dance & drama. The music video will be released on the net after its festival run, but I’m proud to have its premiere at Dungog!

Because Dungog is three hours north of Sydney, people have to get accommodation and commit to the weekend. It’s not like other festivals where you can dip in and out of sessions. As such, Dungog builds a fantastic community in a RELAXED atmosphere! Such a welcome break to Sydney. A holiday even.

There are many great Aussie films, guest speakers and workshops, but what I particularly love about Dungog are the social events: parades, gala dinners and parties. There is more than you can possibly do in three days, and eventually the cafes and pubs take over! I made a whole new set of friendships last year – people with whom I went on to make films with and even formed a sporting team with.

This festival is definitely a highlight of my year, and having some films in it is an added bonus! Cute township, interesting people, great films. And the odd cow, crisp air and space… 26-29 May… hope to see you there!!

The annual festival will run from Thursday to Sunday (26-29th May, 2011), with more than 160 Australian films including World Premieres, being shown, Master Classes, Gala Events, Parties and the fabulous local Main Street Parade.

Screening times for David’s films are:

You can find more information about David’s three films online at:

and at his website David is available for comment; contact

Bondi Artist Profile |

Article by Rohan Stephens,


Meeting a successful person can be a moving experience. The ability to learn from the lives they’ve lead the mistakes they’ve made and the opportunities they’ve taken can in turn harbour our own aspirations in a similar field. Being the impressionable young man that I am, I like to gravitate towards these people in the hope that feeding off their excellence will some how help in my own personal endeavours. So far, to no avail.

Meeting a person who is on the cusp of excellence is something different. Its like what I assume buying a Warhol print before he died would be, or purchasing Apple shares just before iPod’s were released; this sense of impending greatness that isn’t justifiable just now but you can feel it in your gut that its going to happen. David Joshua Ford is this to a tee.

Interestingly, one of the first things I discovered about David’s early life before we met, was the fact that he grew up without a television. Probably not that significant of a loss to most, but for a budding director this places him in a highly unique position amongst most people of his age. As opposed to approaching the media from the, for the lack of a better phrase, ‘Americanised’ perspective that most seem to have experienced, David’s lack of exposure to such a structure for film and television means that his vision is still somewhat unadulterated. Like I said, rare for a man of 27 years.

ionbondi2An undergraduate from Charles Sturt and a recent graduate from Directing at the renowned AFTRS (Australian Film, Television and Radio School) obviously means he isn’t running around the world oblivious to the last twenty years of cinematic achievements, however it still seems to place him a distinct category of his own. His attention to narrative and character development for example is reflective of this early and unusually high exposure to literature in the absence of a television. His meticulous fascination with people and their relationships with not only each other but with the world in which they live is something that can only be likened to the plot of a brilliant novel.

I first heard of David after reading of his submission for the Bondi Short Film Festival in 2010. His documentary “Lillie” depicts the world of a four-year-old girl, contrasting her relatively sheltered upbringing against the fragility and trauma of her mother’s childhood. The portrait covers three generations of women who pull together to form an eclectic family unit in the absence of their men. David was intrigued by Lillie’s natural candour and wanted to explore the sense of wonder that a child holds for the world.

Other notable projects of his include his contribution to the Fanging It travel series on ABC2 and a self-produced documentary titled Children With Hope filmed in Mozambique and broadcast on pay TV in Australia bad overseas. More recently, David presented the Channel 31 music program, Scout TV.

ionbondi3David’s talents also transcend genres with a striking collection of travel photography accompanying his achievements in film. Trips to South East Asia, Africa, North America and Europe have been captured by this ability of his to apprehend certain emotions and experiences so vividly in his work; not simply to record the sights one sees whilst on holidays which is a trap most travellers with a camera tend to fall into.

Sitting with David in Gould St, was like sitting with a friend dreaming about what’s going to happen once school is finished or uni is done and all the options that lay ahead. Listening to him talk about his work was not dissimilar to hearing an artist describe the meaning of a painting; there just constantly seems so much substance to what he does. Calling his future ‘bright,’ seems too cliché a word for such a unique person. Blindingly iridescent may be more fitting for David is that Warhol painting. Watch this space.

For more information please visit David’s website

Original article at

An interview with the director of Lillie



Interview with the director of Lillie, David Joshua Ford
An unpublished interview with a local magazine about my documentary Lillie (now published!)  Watch | Facebook

Q. Can you tell me a little bit about your short documentary Lillie? What is it about and what inspired you to follow the life of this family?

Lillie was the flower-girl at a wedding I photographed last year. She has a natural openness with people that translates down the lens, the likes of which I typically see in children in countries like Mozambique or Brazil rather than Australia. I knew she’d be great on film and I wanted to explore the sense of wonder and intrigue that a four year old has for the world.

Lillie’s mother Pam and grandmother provide the backstory with amazing depth and honesty. I think the film’s strength is in contrasting Pam’s own traumatic experiences as a child alongside her daughter’s un-shattered world. It’s a family portrait of three of women, minus the men in their lives, and shows how difficulties that permeate down generations can be overcome by a supportive family member. I really love this little film and Lillie herself is just fantastic!

Q. What hardships or creative struggles do you face as a filmmaker, when you choose to tell a story via a documentary as opposed to say, a more fictional narrative device?

Generally I think documentary is easier than fiction! Certainly so on a production level, because we accept the naturalism of the documentary style and this becomes a strength in areas like budget and production design.

The hardest aspect I find is the censure I place on myself as filmmaker. People assign great trust to me in the intimacy of the closed interview and I want to know the assembled film respects that. We’re dealing with representations of actual life, not an actor’s portrayal. It’s what makes documentary-making so wonderful – that there is inherently truth in the ordinary. It’s a bit like a parent sending their kid off to school for the first time though – I want people to know how amazing my subjects are but I also want to protect their life stories.

In that sense, fictional film is liberating because it allows your mind to wander and create scenarios (like I did for another of my recent films – a Bollywood musical). But it’s just a matter of finding the right tool for the job, and it gets interesting when the two forms start to blend.

Q. As a filmmaker, how do you deal with the time constraints placed upon you in the short film category? Do you find short films inspire more creativity and encourage filmmakers to find innovative ways to tell a story?

You have to be very concise in determining what the core of your story is in short form. As the creator, I learn more about the story than what ends up on screen. It’s challenging to try to approach the story with fresh eyes (like the audience does) and ask ‘is this segment essential to understanding the story and characters or can it be cut because it’s self explanatory?’.

It can be hard too when you have to cut some gems from the film because they are superfluous. For instance, we have one scene where Lillie quite spontaneously eats some flowers, calling them “flavour nice”. “Flavour Nice” became an expression amongst our crew to describe everything from our lunch to our stationary, but the sound bite didn’t make the final cut because there was other material that supported the story better.

Q. You’ve had so much success and experience as a filmmaker/producer/presenter. For you, what’s unique about the Bondi Short Film Festival (BSFF) that sets it apart from others?

Well personally I appreciated walking to the Festival because I’m a local! Bondi is an amazing area to live in and the beach venue was a great backdrop for a film festival.

I also like Francis Coady’s (the festival director’s) initiative to keep all content Australian. It must be very tempting to include buzz films from places like Europe, but there’s a consistency of voice when you gather story-listeners to story-tellers of the same nation. It felt homely.

Q. Film festivals have become so central to the cinema scene here in Australia with events like Tropfest putting filmmakers on the map. How important have you found these festivals to be in helping up and coming or even seasoned filmmakers find an audience, or even perhaps, create a unique space where independence and creativity is encouraged?

There’s something special about film festivals. In one sense their audience base is tiny compared to broadcast mediums, and yet their significance as an art form seems heightened by the act of gathering together for the event. It’s like the effect of hanging a picture on a white wall in a gallery – it focuses a group of people and starts a discussion.

Festivals are more for kudos than a money spinner. You enter them because you have an idea you want an audience for, or to meet other industry people or just because you’re passionate about making great films and want creative expression.

Q. Your thoughts on the winner of the BSFF?

Happenstance was a great film. It’s main strength was that the script was tight. I liked the casting choices, there were some wonderful subtitles in timing. It’s a very “Tropfest” film (off-beat humour with a twist and an end punch), so it was good to see it get some acclaim at Bondi Short Film Festival.

Q. Do you have any links to the local Bondi area that I could use to help localise our focus on you as a filmmaker?

I just finished Directing at AFTRS. I made an Indian-Australian musical using a house location at Dover Heights on the cliffs overlooking the ocean. I’m currently living in Bronte and have been in Bondi for the three years prior. I used to present a music show on Channel 31 which was produced out of Vaucluse. Centennial Park is the only place I feel “at home” in Sydney (I was born in Canberra). If you want to know more feel free to give me a call.

Q. Anything else to add?  


Watch Lillie

See Lillie on Facebook…

Official Selection Bondi Short Film Festival 2010
Official Selection Dungog Film Festival 2011

Sun, Surf and Cinema

The 10th annual Bondi Short Film Festival cemented its place in the festival calendar last month, with sell out screenings and a swanky award ceremony hosted by The Chaser’s Chris Taylor.

John Marsh took out best film honours for his production Happenstance. Bondi filmmaker David Ford rounded out the list of 14 featured films with his documentary Lillie. Ford echoed the sentiments of many when he said Bondi Shorts had come of age.

The festival has cultivated a reputation for showcasing independent home-grown cinema in a region quickly becoming a hotspot for budding writers and filmmakers.

“The beach was a great backdrop. I also liked the initiative to keep all content Australian. It felt homely,” Ford said.

Sydney-based director Christopher Kezelos took out two awards, for best script and best design, for his stop motion animation, Zero.

“This was my first year at Bondi Shorts and I was pleasantly surprised,” said Kezelos. “It really showed the big boys how a festival should be run.”

Zero has scored accolades at film festivals around the world for its unique design aesthetic and compelling narrative. A staunch advocate of short films, Kezelos likes the time limit.

“I think it forces you to create a tighter story,” he said.

Swedish-born director Tobias Andersson collected the best cinematography award for his film Pop. Set in the Snowy Mountains, Pop takes a poignant look at the relationship between father and son.

“The story is inspired by my own childhood and joining my father for rabbit hunts in the north of Sweden,” said Andersson. “We rarely caught anything when I was with him and I couldn’t help feeling it was because of me.”

Now settled in Bondi, Andersson is familiar with Australia’s film festival culture and how it inspires both competition and camaraderie.

“It wasn’t so much about the competition but more about meeting your peers.”

Author: Sheenal Singh
Posted: Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Original Article >

Aussie Cosi more subversive than sexist, says Sharman

Original Article >
Bryce Hallett
November 18, 2009

Director Jim Sharman aims to mine the emotional depths of Mozart’s opera.

BORN into the world of travelling sideshows, Jim Sharman – the director who captivated audiences with HairJesus Christ Superstar and The Rocky Horror Picture Show – is attempting to unearth the contradictory emotions and uneasy truths at the core of Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte.

“It has been conceived in a burst of confetti,” says Sharman of his starkly expressive staging for Opera Australia. ”I want to communicate both the surface and substance of the piece. Usually you get one or the other. There is a brash theatrical side and a poetic side which can prove elusive.”

Sharman has spent many months investigating the life and times of Mozart and his librettist, Lorenzo Da Ponte, with whom he also wrote The Marriage of Figaro and Don Giovanni. “Their work revealed the yearning, humanity and wisdom beneath the lightness and artifice,” he says.

Early in its history, Cosi fan tutte was denounced for its morals and misogyny, notably by one Berlin critic who described it as “the silliest rubbish in the world; it only gets an audience because of the splendid music”.

Sharman says it is a popular misconception to dismiss the opera as easy listening. “It’s a serious comedy driven by betrayal; not just the young women but the men as well,” he says. ”It’s confronting and, I think, emotionally subversive.”

Sharman is very much the tribal elder on the set of Cosi. More a paternalistic cajoler than autocrat, he likes nothing better than young artists venturing ideas and taking risks, much as he did in his theatrical adventures in the ’70s.

The production, opening at the State Theatre tomorrow, was to have been his second collaboration with the OA’s late music director, Richard Hickox. Hickox had planned to join forces with Sharman after the success of their revival of Benjamin Britten’sDeath in Venice in 2006. They felt that the time was ripe for a popular and sophisticated interpretation of Cosi fan tutte.

Sharman began to recruit talented, open-minded practitioners and performers. His hand-picked creative team includes Belvoir Theatre’s new director, Ralph Myers (set), Gabriela Tylesova (costumes), Damien Cooper (lighting) and Joshua Consandine (choreographer).

They have conjured a fluid, minimalist, playful void – Myers likens his set to a loudhailer – to display a new generation of Mozart singers who, in Sharman’s view, promise to be the company’s great future singers. They include Sian Pendry, Hye Seoung Kwon and Tiffany Speight, alongside Henry Choo and Jose Carbo.

The production has been dubbed “Aussie Cosi” by actor/video cameraman David Ford on YouTube. The show’s pulse and flavour is distinctly Australian, yet there are passing nods to 18th century conventions to avoid anything too kitsch.

Early on there was vague talk of a barbecue in the Japanese wedding and party scene in the performance. The ceremony, inspired by a video wedding in the Botanic Gardens, remains but the barbecue idea was jettisoned.

Baritone Carbo plays the world-weary manipulator Don Alfonso, who sets the masquerades in motion. “I see the character as more avuncular than arch and the way Jim is approaching the piece feels natural and organic,” he says. ”He is trusting and affords all the singers the freedom and scope to develop [a character].”

Cosi fan tutte opens at the State Theatre tomorrow.

Sydney’s up and coming actors tell it like it is


Melinda Wills McHugh caught up with three local up-and-comers to found out why they do it.

Daniel Lissing:

“I really needed that coffee,” Daniel Lissing, 27, said as he waited to board his 7am flight. “I finished a gig at midnight and was up again at five.” A musician and actor, Lissing juggles playing three nights a week at Sydney establishments Sidebar and Equilibrium as well as corporate gigs and television and film work.

He arrived back from LA three weeks ago, and today he’s travelling to a three-day shoot for a Heaven Ice Cream television commercial.

“When I did the audition, I didn’t think I was right but I ended up getting it. That’s the thing with auditions – you never know. From there it was all very quick. It was confirmed and two days later, here I am.”

His first role was in 1988 when he scored a 50-worder in Looking for Alibrandi. Since then he’s appeared in many television commercials, won guest roles in Underbelly: a Tale of Two Cities (9) and Packed to the Rafters (7), and taken the lead in a 2008 short film Multiple Choice, directed by Michael Goode.

Although commercials and guest roles are a good source of income, they are not constant, so Lissing’s bread and butter comes from his gigs.

A gifted musician – he sings, writes songs and plays guitar. But he’s the first to admit that following his passion has its downsides.

“Unfortunately I’ve chosen a career that’s really tough to have true longevity and financial success. There are a lot of actors and musicians out there.

‘‘But for me, it’s not about being on TV, it’s about the work. I get such a buzz being on set and I know this is what I was meant to do. Same with music.

“If I had an opportunity to write, record and release an album – that would be great. But I know how much work is involved, as well as luck and patience.”

At 18, Lissing was in a band which later broke up, but his manager at the time gave him a piece of paper with five words scrawled on it.

“He called it the ‘Five P Rule’. The five Ps are positivity, perseverance, patience, persistence, pleasure … actually I can’t remember, I think that’s wrong. I just made the last two up … but anyway words along those lines,” he said.

David Joshua Ford:

At 191cm tall David Joshua Ford was hard to ignore and when we first met in the foyer of a University of Technology building I couldn’t help commenting on it. “Yeah, I get that all the time,” he said. So it came as no surprise to learn that he’s been working as a model for the past two years.

But today he’s auditioning for the role of Brendan in White Elephant, a graduating short film to be shot later in the year. It doesn’t pay anything but it would be a good addition to his show reel and if entered into a short film festival it could potentially elevate his acting status. If he does get the role it will be his fourth short film this year. “Many of the short films I’ve been involved in I’ve found on a casting website. But I always pick my scripts very carefully. White Elephant’s script was appealing and I have a feeling that the quality of this production will be very good.”

At 25, Canberra-raised Joshua Ford has already achieved more than most people twice his age. To model and actor he can also add presenter, producer, writer and photographer to his list of accomplishments. From TV presenting roles (including ABC2’s travel show Fanging It); a role on a Maybelline International TV commercial; a producer and presenter on Channel 31’s Scout TV; a photographer for Sony Tropfest 08; a writer/director for the 2006 short film (and Hope Awards finalist) Sacred Space – the list goes on.

He’s soon asked to deliver Brendan’s two lines. It’s not much to work on but the director knows what he’s looking for and Joshua Ford’s impressive bio should fill in the gaps. “I don’t know if I got that one or not, it’s hard to tell,” he said later. “Sometimes you think you go well and don’t get a call back, while other times it’s the complete opposite. The knockbacks are hard, particularly when you know you’ve done well but they’re considering someone else for the role based on their look.’‘

With an income from modelling and TV presenting, Joshua Ford’s next gig is a role in Cosi fan Tutte at the Sydney Opera House (until October 29). “It’s the ultimate crossover role of videographer and actor. I’m one of the characters on the stage and the stuff that I’m shooting will be projected onto the back of the stage,” he said.

Kym Thorne:

Kym Thorne was running through her lines for her Scrubs audition tape in a Surry Hills studio. Her American accent was flawless and hearing her you’d think she was born and bred in the US, not Australia. When she saw me she broke from character, said hello in her Aussie accent and welcomed me to her audition.

Thorne was taping two very different scenes for Scrubs – they’re both fast and funny, and her comedic timing was brilliant. Her face held a wide range of expressions and everything seemed to move, including her eyebrows. “Hold on,” she said. “I’ve just got to put some glossaroony on, then I’m going to chuck in a bit of Oziness into the next one, just for fun.” She started the scene again and improvised. Afterwards we strolled through the streets of Surry Hills and I asked her how she thought her audition tape would go. “Well I’ve been reading for US projects for just over a year now and have been working on my American accent with a voice coach. I haven’t done a lot of comedy but I really enjoy it. It can be a genre that’s really difficult if you’re not used to it as it’s a very fast tempo.’’ Now that the preparation and audition is down on tape, all Thorne can do is wait. It could be days, weeks or even months. At 22, Thorne seems older than her years and while studying at Edith Cowan University in her hometown of Perth, her first acting role was the lead in the 2006 Western Australian Academy of Professional Arts project, Busted. But it was only in January when she won the lead in the feature film Wasted on the Young that she got serious about acting.

Thorne and Lissing have won the lead and supporting role, respectively, in Callous – a new feature film. Lissing is also writing and performing the score and theme music. Written and directed by Alan Lock, Callous is being shot in Sydney.

Original Article…