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Fred Schepisi
, c. 2000

by Kate Gollings

gelatin silver photograph (sheet: 60.5 cm x 50.4 cm, image: 49.6 cm x 39.5 cm)

Fred Schepisi AO (b. 1939) briefly trained to be a priest before working in advertising. In 1966 he formed his own company, which produced a variety of ads and documentaries. In 1973 he directed an episode of the Australian feature Libido. His script-writer was Thomas Keneally, another ex-seminarian. In 1976 the pair re-teamed to make The Devil's Playground, Schepisi's first full-length feature. His next film, The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith (1978) was also based on Keneally source material. Following the film's international success, Schepisi went to America to make Barbarosa (1982), an epic Western that brought him critical praise for his reinvigoration of the form. His subsequent films have included Iceman (1984), Roxanne (1987), The Russia House (1989), Six Degrees of Separation (1993), I.Q. (1994) and Last Orders (2001). In 1988 he returned to Australia to make Evil Angels - released in America as A Cry in the Dark - with Meryl Streep and Sam Neill.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2004
Accession number: 2004.4