We’re thrilled to welcome Academy Award-nominated film editor Jill Bilcock, and multi-award-winning Australian actor Jack Thompson as Patrons of BIFF 2020.
We’ll be screening highlights from their expansive national and international careers throughout the Festival.
Jill Bilcock AC is one of Australia’s most celebrated film editors. Winner of multiple AACTA Awards and nominated for an Academy Award, she is renowned for her innovative and dynamic editing style, as well as her collaborations with major figures of Australian cinema, such as Baz Luhrmann, Richard Lowenstein and Ana Kokkinos.
A graduate of Australia’s first film course at Swinburne Technical College, Bilcock was hand-picked by filmmaker Fred Schepisi to work at his production company The Film House, where she honed her craft editing commercials and music videos.
Bilcock’s first job as a feature film editor was for Lowenstein’s 1984 film Strikebound, for which she was nominated for an AACTA Award for Best Editing. From there, Bilcock went on to work with some of Australia’s key filmmakers – including Schepisi (A Cry in the Dark 1988), PJ Hogan (Muriel’s Wedding 1994) and Jocelyn Moorhouse (How to Make an American Quilt 1995) – and quickly became one of the country’s most sought-after editors.
Her intricate cutting on Luhrmann’s Strictly Ballroom 1992 earnt Bilcock the first of her four AACTA Award wins. She collaborated with Luhrmann again on the hyper-stylised Romeo + Juliet 1996 and Moulin Rouge! 2001, the latter garnering her an Academy Award nomination.
Bilcock holds an esteemed reputation both locally and internationally. She has worked as editor on major international productions, such as the British historical epic Elizabeth 1998, Sam Mendes’s gangster period piece Road to Perdition 2002 and the visually striking horror film Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark 2010.
Bilcock remains an in-demand editor in Australia, and recently worked on hit local films The Dressmaker 2015 and Ride Like a Girl 2019. Her life and work were the subject of the acclaimed documentary Jill Bilcock: Dancing the Invisible 2017.
Jack Thompson AM is one of Australia’s most iconic screen presences. Born in Manly in 1940, Thompson left school at age 14 to move to the Northern Territory to become a jackaroo. He joined the army in 1960 to gain access to a tertiary education, where he switched from science to arts and become involved with the theatre troupes operating at the University of Queensland.
Thompson found success on stage and in small television roles, but it was his lead role in the TV drama Spyforce 1971-73 that brought him wider public recognition. Around this period, he began to appear more in films, including such key Australian classics as Wake in Fright 1971, Petersen 1974 and Sunday Too Far Away 1975.
Further work as a charismatic and ever-surprising character actor in local films followed, with Thompson shining as an outback detective in Mad Dog Morgan 1976, a reverend in The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith 1978 and a drover in The Man from Snowy River 1982. As a result of these performances, his international profile grew and in the ensuring decades he has worked with such Hollywood heavyweights as Paul Verhoeven, Clint Eastwood and George Lucas.
Thompson has continued to work both at home and abroad, cementing his position as one of Australia’s most recognisable and beloved actors. He has won multiple AFI Awards, been commended at the Cannes Film Festival for his work in Breaker Morant 1980 and was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 1986.
Thompson’s most recent film High Ground 2020 is the Opening Night film of this year’s Brisbane International Film Festival.
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