Colin Cairnes

Colin Cairnes

After spending the latter part of the 90s directing some of South East Asia’s most popular television sitcoms, including the Asian TV Award winning Under One Roof and Phua Chu Kang Pte. Ltd., Colin returned to Australia to pursue his passion for filmmaking.

With his brother, Cameron, he then co-wrote and directed a string of acclaimed shorts, including Tropfest finalist Beggar’s Belief (2008) and the Screen Australia funded Celestial Avenue (2009). In 2002 they also had the rare distinction of having two of their short films screen at the London Film Festival.

Their debut feature, 100 Bloody Acres was released theatrically in Australia and the US in 2013. Starring Angus Sampson and Damon Herriman, and produced by Julie Ryan (Ten Canoes, Red Dog), the film received rave reviews internationally (83% on Rotten Tomatoes) with Pulitzer Prize nominated critic, Matt Zoller Seitz calling it “the best low budget horror-comedy since Shaun of the Dead”. The film went on to win the Midnight X-treme award at the prestigious Sitges Film Festival, and was nominated for Best Original Screenplay at the 2013 AACTA Awards.

The brothers’ second feature film, the “wickedly entertaining” Scare Campaign, was released in the US and Australia in 2016. Starring Olivia DeJonge, Meegan Warner and Ian Meadows, it collected four awards at Monsterfest, Australia’s premier horror movie festival.

2016 also marked Colin’s return to TV directing when he helmed all six episodes of the audacious new ABC/SeeSo comedy series, Fancy Boy. The show was written by and stars some of the country’s most exciting new comic voices, including Greg Larsen and Anne Edmonds. Colin also co-produced and directed the Screen Australia funded comedy web series Warren and Hal (2014) and the St. Kilda Film Festival’s 30th anniversary trailer (2013).

With his intimate knowledge of the scripting process, a flair for cinematic staging, and an ability to get the very best out cast and crew, Colin ranks as one of the most distinctive and assured directors of comedy and suspense in Australian Film and TV.

In 2019, Colin won the award for Best Direction in a TV or SVOD Comedy Program Episode at the ADG Awards for his work on True Story With Hamish & Andy.



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