Schepisi (b. Melbourne, 1939) began his production career in the
advertising world and served as head of the Film House for almost
20 years where he directed both commercials and documentaries.
His first feature-length film was the semi-autobiographical The
Devil's Playground (1976) which won 6 AFI awards including
Best Film and established Fred's reputation as a talented director
and writer. The success of his second film The Chant of Jimmie
Blacksmith (1978) took Fred to the U.S. where he directed Barbarosa (1981), Iceman (1983), Plenty (1985), and Roxanne (1987) before returning to Australia
to co-write and direct Evil Angels (a.k.a. A Cry
in the Dark, 1988). Evil Angels received numerous
awards and nominations including the AFI Best Achievement in Direction
and Best Screenplay Adaptation and 2 Golden Globe nominations
for Best Screenplay and Best Director.
Fred also directed the screen adaptation of John Guare's play Six Degrees of Separation (1993) starring Stockard Channing,
Donald Sutherland and Will Smith. His other film credits include The Russia House (1990), Mr. Baseball (1992), IQ (1994), Fierce Creatures (1996), Last
Orders (2001) and It Runs in the Family (2002).
Fred's most recent project was the film adaptation of the best-selling
novel by Richard Russo Empire Falls (2004). Starring
Paul Newman, Ed Harris, Joanne Woodward, Robin Wright Penn and
Helen Hunt, the film debuted in the U.S. on HBO, was nominated
for a number of awards and and recently won a Golden Globe for
Best Mini-Series or Motion Picture made for Television.
Fred was recently awarded the Order of Australia for his service
to the Australian film industry as a director, producer and screenwriter.