John Collee

Tanna, Photo courtesy of Contact Films, photographed by Philippe Penel

John Collee is one of the most formidable writers in Australian history, with credits boasting Happy Feet and Master and Commander.

Prior to his current career as a screenwriter John travelled widely as a doctor and as a medical journalist with The Observer newspaper. Raised in Scotland, a year of John’s childhood was spent in India, which also provided the inspiration for his first novel “Kingsley’s Touch” followed by “A Paper Mask” and “The Rig“, all published by Viking/ Penguin.

His feature films – often co-written with their respective directors – range from blockbuster action – the Oscar nominated “Master and Commander” – to historical dramas such as “Creation”, and animated family movies such as  “Walking with Dinosaurs 3D” and the Oscar winning “Happy Feet” .

His foreign-language films include Chinese language hit “Wolf Totem” (2016) and, most recently, “Tanna”, which was filmed in Vanuatu and nominated in 2017 for best foreign language Oscar.

Current projects in development are “Just Cause” for Warner Bros, based on the popular video game, plus a TV show with Mel Gibson, and a movie about the early life of Bruce Lee, filming in Aug 2017 with Shekhar Kapur directing.

A Sydney resident for the last 20 years, John is married with three children. He is creative director of Hopscotch Features and a co-founder of the climate action group 350.org Australia

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John Collee