Stu Willis, Matthew Clayfield

Feature film
Sci-Fi • Thriller

During the final evacuation of Earth, a guilt-stricken people smuggler makes a deal to send a young girl to safety.


We are evacuating Earth. For twenty years, humanity has prepared for The Long Grey, an impending super volcanic eruption that will plunge the planet into a winter of unknowable scale. Earth’s resources are being strip-mined and sent off-world. Entire populations have taken to the skies. Women and children were amongst …

About Stu Willis

Stuart is an award-winning writer and director of elevated genre films. He strives to make movies that combine brain, hearts and style into compelling cinematic experiences for a world-wide audience.

In 2017, Stuart is working with co-writer Matthew Clayfield on an interactive tech-thriller project, codenamed BRINK. It is due for release in late 2017. Stuart was nominated for a 2017 Australian Director’s Guild Award for Best Direction in an Online Drama Project for Restoration. He was a consulting writer in the writer’s room for the TV series Meridian, by Alexei Mizin & Ryan van Dijk, funded by Scripted Ink.

2016 saw the release of the Restoration, a cerebral sci-fi thriller, on the Nine Network, and then on SVOD service, Stan. Structured to be both a web-series and a tele-feature, Stuart co-wrote the script (with Matthew Clayfield) and directed. Restoration was Highly Commended in the John Hinde Award for Excellence in Science-Fiction Writing (produced category); it was also nominated for a 2015 Australian Writer’s Guild AWGIE for Best Comedy/Drama (Other Form). Restoration has also been nominated for an Australian Screen Editors ‘Ellie’ for Best Editing in a Drama (Non-Feature); and was a recipient of Australian Cinematographers Society (Vic) Gold Award for Best Cinematography in a TV Series, Mini-Series and Telefeature.

Stuart was also part of Sweet Potato Film’s (The Kettering Incident) writers room for their techno-thriller web series, Save Gave; and the writer’s room for new superhero comedy, The Elementals. He was a speaker at the AWG’s National Screenwriter’s Conference in March 2016.

2015 saw Stuart undertake a FilmVictoria Director’s Placement on Hunters, a Valhalla Entertainment production for the SyFy Network with the Executive Producer / Producing-Director, Emile Levisetti.

In 2014, Stuart received two AWGIE nominations: the Monte Miller Award (Short Form) for Dust Bunny, a heartbreaking animation about childhood grief; and the John Hinde Award for Excellence in Science Fiction (also with his Restoration co-writer, Matthew Clayfield) for the feature screenplay of Payload.

With the support of Arts Victoria & the VCA, Stuart undertook a year-long mentorship in 2013 with renowned script developer Stephen Cleary (founder of the SAFC FilmLab).

Stuart’s earlier short film Payload is a character-driven sci-fi. The film screened at numerous (20+) international festivals and was released online in 2012 to immediate acclaim including Short of the Week, TwitchFilm, io9 and many others. At last count it was seen in over 150 different countries. It is currently streaming on SVOD-service, Amazon Prime.

He has been short-listed for the world famous Tropfest twice. In 2013 with Roy & Betsie, a dramedy about a girl (Heidi Valkenburg) falling in love with a balloon; and in 2010 with Not My Film, an experimental comedy about a seemingly infinite space.

In addition to his writing & directing, Stuart has a background in post-production. He was the Post-Production & Dailies Coordinator on Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017); the Layout Production Supervisor on the Warner Brother’s The Lego Movie (2014) for the Oscar-winning studio, Animal Logic His other credits include Happy Feet Two (2011), Australia (2008), Harry Potter 5 (2007), and Superman Returns (2006). He has worked with creative agencies including McCann, DDB, 180° Amsterdam, BMG, DDB, and BBDO.

Stuart is a Masters graduate of the famed VCA School of Film and Television, where has was honoured with the award for Most Outstanding Overall Post-Graduate Student.

About Matthew Clayfield

Matthew Clayfield is a journalist, critic and screenwriter.

He has worked as a freelance foreign correspondent in more than fifteen countries, specialising in first-person narrative journalism, political commentary and travel writing. His journalism has appeared in The Australian, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Saturday Paper, The Guardian Australia, The Monthly, and more. He was a staff reporter with The Australian between 2008 and 2010 and a reporter at ABC Radio Current Affairs between 2016 and 2017. He was a shortlisted finalist for Young Journalist of the Year in the 2009 News Limited News Awards.

Matthew’s critical work covers books, cinema, the performing arts, visual art and restaurants and has appeared in The Australian, The Lifted Brow, RealTime, Time Out, Senses of Cinema, and on his personal blog, Esoteric Rabbit, which ran from 2002 to 2009.

Matthew’s most recent screenplays, Restoration (co-written with Stuart Willis and nominated for a 2015 Australian Writers’ Guild Award) and Lord Jones Is Dead, were released in 2016. He also wrote the screenplays for the short films How My Next Door Neighbour Discovered Life On Mars and Frog, and is the author of the online comic The Tyger (illustrated by Melanie Cook). His short film Firelight screened at the Brisbane International Film Festival in 2006.

He holds a Bachelor of Film and Television from Bond University and a Masters of Journalism from the University of Queensland.

Stu Willis Screenwriter
Stu Willis
Matthew Clayfield Screenwriter
Matthew Clayfield