DR John Hughes

DR John Hughes


  • Independent Documentary Film (Australian Film History)



  • John Hughes’ research practice includes writing, producing and directing in film, television and media arts. An Honorary Fellow with the Faculty of VCA & MCM at the University of Melbourne; an Adjunct Professor, School of Media and Communications, College of Design and Social Context, RMIT University, his recent independent essay documentaries as producer, writer-director include: Trespass (Adelaide Film Festival, October 2015), Love & Fury (ABC, 2013), Indonesia Calling (ABC, 90 minutes, 2009), The Archive Project (ABC, 98 minutes, 2006). He is the recipient of the Stanley Hawes Award (2006), Joan Long Award, achievement in film history (2006), Australian Writer’s Guild Best Broadcast Documentary 2010, NSW Premier’s History Prize (audio-visual) 2007, Critics Circle Best Feature Documentary 2006. Current projects include a history of the Filmmakers Co-operatives in Australia (1966-86), a collaborative film with Chinese documentarian Wei Donghua  (Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou China). He was Commissioning Editor, Documentary with SBS Independent (1998-2002) and between 1998 - 2009 produced and directed several popular television arts series and documentaries for ABC and SBS with writer-presenter Betty Churcher. His video and film work has been presented at the ICA London, ARC Art Museum Paris, Biennale of Sydney, Ewing Gallery, University of Melbourne and ACMI Melbourne. His feature drama What I Have Written (from John A. Scott’s novel) was invited into completion in Berlin, Stockholm and won Best Film, Mystfest, Cattolica (1996). <www.earlyworks.com.au> A monograph The Films of John Hughes: A history of Independent Screen Production in Australia (Cumming, J. 2015) has recently been published by ATOM Moving Image Series.   


Member of

  • Australian Writers Guild. Member 2004 -
  • AUstralian Director's Guild. Member 1988 -


Education and training

  • PhD, RMIT University 2013
  • MA, Monash University 2002
  • BA, La Trobe University 1991

Awards and honors

  • Best Broadcast Documentary’, Australian Writers Guild (AWG), 2010
  • NSW Premier’s History Award (Audio-Visual), Premiers Department NSW Government, 2007
  • Best Tertiary Resource, Australian Teachers of Media (ATOM), 2006
  • Joan Long Award for achievement in film history, Film History Association of Australia and New Zealand, 2006
  • Best Feature Documentary, Film Critics Circle of Australia, 2006
  • Stanley Hawes Award for outstanding contribution to Australian documentary., Film Australia, 2006
  • Visual Design (with Uri Mizrahi) After Mabo, Australian Film Institute (AFI), 1998
  • 1998 Human Rights Award: Television ('After Mabo'), Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, 1998
  • Best Film ('What I Have Written'), "Mystfest' International Film Festival Cattolica, Italy, 1996



Available for supervision

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