Wayne Blair is an acclaimed film, television and theatre director, writer, actor and producer.
Wayne’s debut hit feature film, THE SAPPHIRES, a musical comedy, had its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in 2012. The film has since played at festivals including Telluride, Toronto, Aspen, Zurich and Hamburg, earning him worldwide recognition. THE SAPPHIRES was the highest grossing Australian film of 2012 and won eleven AACTA Awards, including Best Director and Best Film. In 2013 Wayne directed SEPTEMBERS OF SHIRAZ, which featured at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival and opened the San Diego Film Festival, with an impressive award winning cast including Salma Hayek and Adrien Brody. In 2015 and 2016 Wayne co-produced and directed CLEVERMAN series 1 and 2 – for Sundance TV / ABC-TV, starring Game of Thrones’ Iain Glen, Frances O’Connor and Deborah Mailman.
In 2019 Wayne’s feature film TOP END WEDDING starring Miranda Tapsell, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. Wayne’s most recent film is the feature documentary FIRESTARTER, which he co-directed with Nel Minchin. The film tells the story of the Page brothers and the Bangarra Dance Company.
A number of TV credits include BAY OF FIRES for ABCTV; TOTAL CONTROL series 2 for ABC TV; MYSTERY ROAD series 2 for ABC TV co directed with Warwick Thornton; SEA CHANGE for Channel 9; BITE CLUB for Channel 10; LOVE CHILD for Channel 9; REDFERN NOW for ABC TV, LOCKIE LEONARD Series 1 and 2 for the Channel 9; Australian-British children’s supernatural comedy TV series DEAD GORGEOUS for the BBC and Australian children’s TV series DOUBLE TROUBLE.
Wayne directed and performed in JESUS HOPPED THE A-TRAIN and directed RUBEN GUTHRIE at Belvoir while he was an associate artist there in 2009 and 2010. Wayne wrote and directed a stage adaptation of NJUNJUL THE SUN for the Kooemba Jdarra Theatre Company in Brisbane and directed UNSPOKEN at the Old Fitz which toured nationally in 2006 with Performing Lines and won Best Independent Production at the Sydney Theatre Awards. Other theatre directing credits include THE REMOVALISTS, THE 7 STAGES OF GRIEVING and ROMEO AND JULIET for the Sydney Theatre Company; Debbie Tucker Green’s play DIRTY BUTTERFLY and the biographical play, NAMATJIRA.
Writing credits include the short film RALPH which Deborah Mailman directed and won the IF Award for Best Short in 2010; BLOODLAND, a concept by Stephen Page and Kathy Marika for Sydney Theatre Company’s 2011 main stage season. The play was directed by Bangarra’s Stephen Page and performed in traditional language. BLOODLAND toured to Adelaide Festival and Queensland Theatre Company in 2012.
Wayne wrote and directed short film THE DJARN DJARNS which won the 2005 Crystal Bear Award in the Kinderfilmfest competition at the Berlin Film Festival. The film also won a Deadly Award for Outstanding Achievement in Film in 2005, Best Screenplay at the Flickerfest Film Festival 2006, Best Short Screenplay at the AWGIES, Best Australian Short at the Film Critics’ Circle Awards and has screened on SBS and Foxtel. The Short film JUBULJ, which Wayne wrote and directed, won Best Film at the ImagiNATIVE Short Film Festival in Canada. In 2011 Wayne was awarded the Bob Maza Fellowship by Screen Australia to provide opportunities for career development, the Andrew Myer Fellowship by the Australian Film, Television and Radio School in 2007 and the Richard Wherrett Fellowship by the Sydney Theatre Company in 2006.