Amiel Courtin-Wilson is a filmmaker and artist, having directed over 20 short films and seven feature films.
Amiel has also directed work and collaborated with Opera Australia, Chunky Move contemporary dance company, his video installation work has toured at museums extensively across Asia (I THOUGHT I KNEW BUT I WAS WRONG, 2004) and more recently his films have screened at the Whitney Museum, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam, National Gallery of Victoria, MONA, Yale, GOMA, the Gallery of New South Wales and ACMI (The Australian Centre for the Moving Image). Amiel has also lectured at UCLA with Peter Sellars, Harvard at the Sensory Ethnography Lab, AFTRS, Johns Hopkins University and his writing has featured in The Saturday Paper, The Monthly Magazine, Lumina and IF Magazine.
After winning the Longford Nova Award at the St Kilda Film Festival for the short film CHARLIE’S TOY in 1996 and co-directing a half hour documentary ALMOST 18 as part of the ABCTV HOME TRUTHS series, at 19 Amiel Courtin-Wilson's debut feature documentary, CHASING BUDDHA premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2000 and won best documentary at the IF Awards and the Sydney International Film Festival.
Amiel’s co-directed documentary ISLANDS about 2nd generation Samoan Australians won several awards after premiering at the Museum of Natural History in New York and subsequently toured the United States for twelve months in 2002.
While directing several short films that screened at MIFF including ADOLESCENT (2003) and ON THE OTHER OCEAN (2006) Amiel also directed music clips for the Avalanches and Beastie Boys’ Mix Master Mike, produced the electronic music series BLENDER with ABC Television and executive produced an acclaimed series of short films by emerging directors around Australia called WHATEVER for SBS Television.
After forming the production entity Flood Projects in 2008, Amiel’s seven years in the making feature documentary, BASTARDY won Best Documentary Jury Prize at the 2009 Film Critics Circle of Australia Awards (FCCA), Best Documentary at the ATOM Awards, was released theatrically to critical acclaim across Australia and was nominated for three Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Awards (AACTA).
After shooting the observational documentary about prison rehabilitation UNTIL HELL FREEZES in 2006 and meeting ex prison inmate and actor Daniel Jones, Amiel and Daniel collaborated to create the short film CICADA that went on to premiere at the Cannes Film Festival as part of Directors’ Fortnight in 2009 and win a slew of awards in Australia and internationally.
Amiel is also a visual artist and his public painted installations under the moniker of OXO OVO have been published in World Signs along with the worldwide survey of street art "The Art of Rebellion" (Gingko Press, 2003). His first solo exhibition of ink drawings was at Utopian Slumps Gallery in Melbourne in 2009.
In 2012, Amiel collaborated with the Black Lung Theatre Company and a collective of East Timorese musicians on the theatre show DOKU RAI which premiered at Darwin and Adelaide Arts Festivals.
Amiel's second solo exhibition of drawing, photography and video work THE AMERICAN EXPERIMENT was at The Gertrude Contemporary Art Space in 2015 and curated by Emma Crimmings.
Amiel’s dramatic feature film debut HAIL premiered in competition at the Venice Film Festival, (Orizzonti, 2011) screened at over thirty film festivals, won many awards internationally and was named best Australian film of 2012 by critic Adrian Martin in the Monthly Magazine, as well as winning the Age Critics Award for best Australian feature at the Melbourne International Film Festival. In 2020 The Guardian listed HAIL as one of the top ten Australian films of the last decade.
Amiel's co-directed feature film RUIN won the Special Jury Prize in the Orizzonti competition of the Venice Film Festival in 2013, screened at over thirty film festivals including Karlovy Vary, Rotterdam and Munich and won awards for Best Direction (Fantaspoa Film Festival), Best Film (Sopot Film Festival 2015), Best Cinematography (Moscow Message to Man Film Festival) and Best Editing (Asia Pacific Film Awards).
To celebrate the Venice Film Festival’s 70th anniversary, Amiel was selected to represent Australia and commissioned to create CARSON a short film for the 70th edition of the Venice Film Festival alongside directors such as Bernardo Bertolucci, Claire Denis and Monte Hellman as part of the Future Reloaded program which reflected upon the future of cinema.
In 2014 Amiel received the AFTRS Creative Fellowship to research his upcoming feature film AN AMERICAN TIME TRAVELLER about iconic free jazz pianist Cecil Taylor. Amiel moved to New York and lived with Cecil over the next two years- becoming his carer and archivist while also documenting his day to day life.
Also in 2014, Amiel exhibited a new video installation entitled THE DEATH OF A KING at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) in Sydney as part of a Yoko Ono retrospective curated by Joel Stern.
In 2016 Amiel directed THE SILENT EYE, a feature length performance film collaboration with Cecil Taylor and Japanese dancer Min Tanaka commissioned by the Whitney Museum. THE SILENT EYE had its International Premiere at the Whitney Museum in 2016 and has screened at Rotterdam, Cork, MONA, MCA, Melbourne International Film Festival and continues to tour museums.
Also in 2016, Amiel exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra and won the annual Award for Digital Portraiture with the moving image work CHARLES.
Amiel was also commissioned by the Melbourne International Arts Festival in 2016 to create BREAKING WAVES, a fifty minute, two channel video installation work about composer Percy Grainger for the Ian Potter Museum, as well as UNDER THE WIRE a three channel video work at MUMA featuring Bill Morrison and curated by James Hewison.
Amiel also recently joined BADFAITH a VR collective including video artists Shaun Gladwell, Tony Albert, Luci Schroeder, Daniel Crooks and their first work EXQUISITE CORPSE premiered at MIFF in 2018.
Amiel is passionate about mentoring emerging filmmakers and he executive produced the feature film STRANGE COLOURS directed by Alena Lodkina which had its World Premiere at the Venice Film Festival in 2017. Amiel is also an Executive Producer on the upcoming feature documentary IMPRESSIONS OF HOME, the narrative feature FRIENDS AND STRANGERS by James Vaughan (the first Australian film to premiere in competition at the Rotterdam Film Festival in 2021) and he is producing WARM BLOOD the first feature film by renowned Californian skate filmmaker Rick Charnoski.
In 2015 Amiel received the Byron Kennedy Award at the 4th AACTA (Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts) Awards in Australia in recognition of his commitment to innovation in Australian cinema over the last two decades and in 2018 the Melbourne Cinematheque programmed Amiel’s first retrospective of short and feature length films.
In 2020 Amiel created BURN a moving image work commissioned by the Australian Art Orchestra's Peter Knight as well as a feature length film “EDEN EDEN EDEN AT 50” in collaboration with Musee D’orsay curator Donation Grau and 50 museums and galleries around the world- all responding to the controversial French author Pierre Guyotat’s banned text EDEN EDEN EDEN.
Amiel’s studio FLOOD PROJECTS upcoming work includes an illustrated biography of renowned Aboriginal actor and activist Jack Charles and an upcoming album in collaboration with Melbourne artist and musician Peter Ivor Wilson.
Amiel’s feature documentary DAYS OF FIRE will be released in 2021 and in 2022 Amiel's moving image work TRACES about the human body at the moment of death will be released along with upcoming collaborations with Charlemagne Palestine, Cecil Taylor and Amiel's eagerly anticipated narrative feature film CARNATION.