Billy Head


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Personal profile


Billy Head is a filmmaker and media artist lecturing in audio-visual production in the School of Media, Film and Journalism. He has a bachelor degree in Media Studies (RMIT), a Masters degree in Australian Political Economy[Social Science] (University of Sydney), and a post-graduate diploma in Film and Television Directing [Documentary] (Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne). His VCA graduate documentary, Night Fare, a story about Melbourne’s Indian taxi drivers won the Australian Teachers of Media (ATOM) Award for Best Tertiary Documentary and went on to be a finalist in the F4 Festival for emerging Australian filmmakers at the Australian International Documentary Conference (AIDC) and the Antenna International Documentary Film Festival.

In 2010 he directed a Screen Australia/Open Channel city symphony documentary about night-shift workers in Melbourne – We Are Illuminated. The film screened in festivals worldwide including DOCSDF Mexico City, Interfilm Berlin, Cine//B Chile, New Filmmakers New York, Guangzhou Intl Doc Fest, Belgrade Intl Doc Fest, Aguilar de Campoo, KANSK Intl Video Fest, St Kilda Short Film Fest and the Antenna Intl Doc Fest. The film received special jury commendations at DOCSDF (Mexico) and Kansk International Video Festival (Russia) and was awarded in the experimental category of the Victorian Cinematography Society Awards. His film Buiten – an animated documentary about Amsterdam – was a runner up in the Lonely Planet World Wide Encounters Film Festival.

Billy’s work has also explored moving image installation and video art configurations. His re-imagined three-channel version of We Are Illuminated screened at the Qview Gallery public projection project in Albury and as a part of White Night Melbourne. His video installations Prime Cuts and Progressive Assessment were presented at Colour Box Studio, Botanical Fictions at the Gertrude Street Projection Festival and Life Botanical at the Qview Gallery. He received a commission from the City of Dandenong for a collaborative public-art installation Under the Shadow of an Ancient Moon and has also been the technical director on a number of multi-channel video works for Australian artist Peter Kennedy.

In 2012 Billy volunteered through the Australian Government’s AVID program in Honiara, Solomon Islands as the Film and Photography Curator of the 11th International Festival of Pacific Arts. He is a graduate of both the AWARD School and Crossover (UK) and was the inaugural programmer/curator of Open Channel’s Generation Next Conference.

Billy is currently the creative director of film company Outside In Films; a collaboration with creative producer Philippa Campey that specialises in commercial documentary productions for government and corporate clients. Billy and Philippa won the 2017 Australian Teachers of Media (ATOM) Award for Best Instructional/Training Video or Website for a series of day-in-the-life documentaries made for the Commonwealth Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Monash teaching commitment

Billy is available at Monash Monday - Wednesday

External positions

Competition Judge, Melbourne Documentary Film Festival

2018 → …

Creative Director, Film Camp Pty Ltd (trading as Outside In Films)

2017 → …

Research area keywords

  • documentary
  • film studies
  • Australian cinema
  • film history