Fred Schepisi

Fred Schepisi

Melburnian "Fred Schepisi" is an award winning Director, Producer and Writer and one of Australia's most celebrated and successful exports.

The son of a car salesman, Fred Schepisi interesting life includes time as a priest, and then directing several television commercials before documentary filmmaking, winning an Australian Film Institute award.

His highly respected production company The Film House has produced some of the most memorable films including our favourite Roxanne.

Frederick Alan Schepisi was born on 26th December 1939 [Boxing Day] in Richmond, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

Frederick Alan Schepisi - Biography

A former director of TV commercials who made his mark in the late 1970s and early 80s with sensitively handled dramas which defied easy categorization and were therefore somewhat underrated.

Schepisi is generally attracted to stories pitting strong outsiders against small-minded establishments. He recounts these tales with a smooth and straight-forward filmmaking technique even when shifting back and forth between flashbacks, time zones and diverse locations.

Schepisi dropped out of high school and began his professional career in advertising. Literally working his way up from messenger to copywriter, he eventually directed commercials and ultimately headed his own agency.

Schepisi's first fiction film was a 30-minute segment for the episodic feature, Libido" (1973). His short "The Priest" was a collaboration with Australian writer Thomas Keneally and earned them a Silver Award from the Australian Film Institute.

Encouraged by the recognition, Schepisi wrote, produced and directed his first full-length feature, "The Devil's Playground" (1976). Drawing from his own 18-month experience at a Marist Brother monastery, it was a deft look at the repression and hidden undercurrents of seminary life.

But it was the probing race study about a half-caste aborigine based on a novel by Keneally, "The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith" (1978), that brought him international attention and paved the way for his first US produced feature, "Barbarosa" (1982) starring Willie Nelson as a legendary outlaw on the lam.

Next he directed the haunting sci-fi parable, "Iceman" (1984), sensitively capturing a resuscitated Neanderthal's battle with the inhumanity of the scientists studying him.

Schepisi continued to demonstrate his mastery of atmosphere and dramatic rhythm in the intriguing, if slightly overwrought, adaption of the David Hare play, "Plenty" (1985).

He teamed with Steve Martin on "Roxanne" (1987), a witty update of the "Cyrano" story, and directed "Plenty" star Meryl Streep for the second time in "A Cry in the Dark" (1988), a skillfully rendered thriller based on the true story of a mother falsely charged with killing her own infant.

His stylish adaptation of the acclaimed play "Six Degrees of Separation" (1993) cinematically opened up the story of the escapades of a young con artist who convinces wealthy benefactors that he is the son of star Sidney Poitier.

Schepisi's fanciful romantic comedy "I.Q." (1994) had celebrated physicist Albert Einstein playing matchmaker for his unmarried niece. Although he provided back-up support to Roger Young on "Fierce Creatures" (1997, both received onscreen credit as director), Schepisi remained away from the big screen until he agreed to helm "Last Orders", an ensemble drama featuring a stellar cast including Michael Caine, Bob Hoskins and Helen Mirren.

Film Credits [to date]

Picasso at the Lapin Agile (Current)
Last Man (2006)
Empire Falls (2005)
It Runs in the Family (2005)
Last Orders (2001)
Fierce Creatures (1997)
I.Q. (1994)
Six Degrees of Separation (1993)
Mr. Baseball (1992)
The Russia House (1990)
Evil Angels (1988) (A Cry in the Dark)
Roxanne (1987)
Plenty (1985)
Iceman (1984)
Barbarosa (1982)
The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith (1978)
The Devil's Playground (1976)
Libido (1973) (The Priest)


Golden Globe Best Miniseries or TV Movie "Empire Falls" 2006
Australian Film Institute Raymond Longford Award 1992
Australian Film Institute Best Film "The Devil's Playground" 1976
Australian Film Institute "The Priest" 1973

The Victorian College of the Arts has presented one of Australia’s finest and most internationally successful film directors, Fred Schepisi, with an honorary doctorate of Visual and Performing Arts from the University of Melbourne – the first honorary doctorate to be awarded by the VCA.


Father of actress Alexandra Schepisi. (boring bit of trivia)
Can't stand being called "Frederick".

Melbourne Link Fred Schepisi Link opens in new browser window

Opens in New Window Fred Schepisi - IMDb Link opens in new browser window

Opens in New Window Filmography - Link opens in new browser window

Opens in New Window Fred Schepisi - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Link opens in new browser window

Opens in New Window Fred Schepisi awarded UoM honour by the VCA Link opens in new browser window

0  LOVE IT    Do You Like This Page? Click here to LIKE..

Link opens new page Page Access > Update | Edit Details | Mobile Friendly Version

Link opens new page Content Access > View Category | Richmond

Click here to edit / update this page

Facebook Twitter Google+ YouTube Instagram
Melbourne What's On In Nov 2015 >

Monster Fest 2015
View Monster Fest 2015
4 days and nights of the latest, greatest and rarest cult and horror cinema on the planet! World Premieres, new features, new ...

The Process
View The Process
A razor-sharp political satire, which mercilessly dissects the immigration policies of both parties, and depicts with humour and ...

The Bad Money | Outdoor Interactive Theatre Show
View The Bad Money | Outdoor Interactive Theatre Show
"THE BAD MONEY" Limited shows remaining in 2015 See the website for our daytime ...

Melbourne's Exclusive Magic Show
View Melbourne's Exclusive Magic Show
Witness Impossible Occurrences, one of Melbourne's most exclusive attractions. Award winning magician Luke Hocking intrigues ...

Check Out
The Age Good Food Month 2015
View The Age Good Food Month 2015
The Age Good Food Month presented by Citi November 1 - 30, 2015 The Age Good Food Month presented by Citi returns in 2015 with a showcase of the best that | Read On..

Santa's Christmas Spectacular - Sandown
View Santa's Christmas Spectacular - Sandown
One Big Giant Christmas Party ! Santa’s Christmas Spectacular is an exciting family spectacular event! See Santa’s Christmas Elves, visit Santa’s stables | Read On..

This Weekend
What's Hot

Our Pick
Top 10 Web Sites About MELBOURNE
View Top 10 Web Sites About MELBOURNE
It's All About Melbourne Melburnians must be the luckiest people on earth. Not only do we get to live in the world's most liveable city but we also enjoy some of the most interesting web sites in ...

Stay in touch | Get our newsletter every Tuesday