John Sheedy is a multi-award winning film, television and theatre director, writer and producer.
John’s first short film MRS MCCUTCHEON had its Australian premier at the Melbourne International Film Festival in 2017, winning Best Australian Short Film. MRS MCCUTCHEON has been invited to play at over 130 Festivals around the world and has been nominated for a multitude of festival awards, winning 47 of these. MRS MCCUTCHEON won Short Film Production of the Year at the 17th Annual Screen Producers Australia Awards, was nominated for Best Short Film at the 7th Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards, and John received the award for Best Director at the 2018 Australian Directors Guild Awards.
John’s first feature film H IS FOR HAPPINESS for Cyan Films, Universal Pictures Australia and Level K had its world premiere at the 2019 Melbourne International Film Festival as the Family Gala Film, won the Film Prize at Cinefest Oz 2019 and had its European premiere at Berlin International Film festival in 2020. The film was nominated ten times at the 2020 AACTA Awards, including for Best Film and Best Direction. John was also nominated for Best Direction in a Feature Film (Budget $1M or over) at the 2020 ADG Awards. The film is based on the celebrated children’s book by Barry Jonsberg, My Life as an Alphabet, adapted for the screen by Lisa Hoppe and released theatrically in Australia in 2020.
John is attached to direct several feature films; a feature film adaptation of DUST for Bunya Productions, written by longtime collaborator Suzie Miller based on her stage play of the same name; an original feature film KING OF THE MOUNTAIN for Pictures in Paradise and Universal Pictures, written by Tom Holloway, as well as developing his own feature film JUDY IN DISGUISE written by Emme Hoy, based on a story and characters by John and produced by Buffalo Media.
For television John is teaming up again with producers Julie Ryan and Tenille Kennedy to develop a Young Adult series, BEING ROB FITZGERALD, adapted from another Barry Jonsberg’s novel, A Song Only I Can Hear. John is currently in post-production on the teen drama series LITERARY LETHARGY, for the Australian Children’s Television foundation and Baby Banksia, starring Olivia Deeble and Kamil Ellis.
For theatre John’s work has been staged extensively throughout Australia, directing productions for Belvoir, Bell Shakespeare, Parramatta Riverside, Black Swan State Theatre Company, Sydney Opera House, Sydney Theatre Company, Griffin and Opera Australia. John’s work has been recognized with multiple nominations and wins for Helpmann and Sydney Theatre Awards.
John was the Artistic Director at Barking Gecko Theatre Company from 2010, delivering his final season for the company in 2015. In his first season as Artistic Director at Barking Gecko, John directed a stage adaptation of Shaun Tan’s children’s book THE RED TREE that premiered in 2011 and produced again for the 2012 Perth International Arts Festival. Also produced for the 2012 Perth International Arts Festival, in association with Barking Gecko, was Susie Miller’s DRIVING INTO WALLS directed by John. Under John’s direction, Barking Gecko was nominated for five 2012 Helpmann Awards for their productions’ of THE RED TREE and DRIVING INTO WALLS, including Best Children’s Presentation for THE RED TREE. Following the success of DRIVING INTO WALLS, the production transferred to the Parramatta Riverside Theatres and the Sydney Opera House.
In 2013 John directed HAMLET, STORM BOY and adapted and directed Wolf Erlbruch’s children’s book DUCK, DEATH AND THE TULIP for the Perth International Arts Festival. STORM BOY, a Barking Gecko/ Sydney Theatre Company co-production, was nominated for Best Young People’s Production at the 2013 Helpmann Awards and Sydney Theatre Awards. STORM BOY was also nominated for Best Production, and won Best Director at the 2014 Performing Arts WA Awards.
In 2014 John directed and designed ONEFIVEZEROSEVEN, the follow up to DRIVING INTO WALLS as an inclusion in The Perth International Arts Festival. His adaptation of Craig Silvey’s best-selling novel, JASPER JONES also premiered in August 2014 to a sell-out season and great critical acclaim.
In 2015, John’s swan-song for Barking Gecko, in conjunction with Opera Australia, was THE RABBITS adapted from the novel by John Marsden and Shaun Tan, premiering at the 2015 Perth International Arts Festival and Melbourne Festival and has had a subsequent season at the Sydney Festival and QPAC in 2016. THE RABBITS was the winner of 4 awards in the 2015 Helpmann Awards – Best Presentation for Children, Best Original Score, best Costume Design and Best New Australian Work. John was also nominated for Best Production and Best Director for JASPER JONES and ONEFIVEZEROSEVEN at the 2015 Performing Arts WA Awards. For Opera Australia, John was the assistant director to Matthew Barclay on the recent revival of FOR THE LOVE OF THREE ORANGES and the revival director for DON QUIXOTE and in 2019 directed the brand new opera WHITELEY at the Sydney Opera House.
John is a proud member of the LGBTQIA+ community.
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- JOHN SHEEDY’s ‘H is For Happiness’ wins a special mention at the Berlin Film Festival!
- “In his feature helming debut, Aussie theater director JOHN SHEEDY proves a talent to watch.”
- JOHN SHEEDY’s ‘H IS FOR HAPPINESS’ announced as the opening film for the Generation KPlus section at Berlinale!
- H is for Happiness Trailer
- John Sheedy’s H IS FOR HAPPINESS to premier at MIFF
- AACTA’s Announced
- MIFF Short Award Win
- AACTA Short Film Nominees
- THE RASPUTIN AFFAIR Reviews
- MRS MCCUTCHEON is heading to International Short Film Festival Oberhausen!
- A Rave Review of John Sheedy’s LIFETIME GUARANTEE
- John Sheedy appointed chief executive of Theatre Works