David Michôd

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David Michôd
David Michôd & Mirrah Foulkes 2012 (1).jpg
David Michôd with his wife, actress Mirrah Foulkes 2012
Born (1972-11-30) 30 November 1972 (age 45)
Sydney, New South Wales
Nationality Australian
Education Sydney Grammar School
Alma mater University of Melbourne
Occupation Film director, screenwriter, film producer, actor
Years active 2000–present

David Michôd (/ˈmɪʃ/ MISH-oh;[1] born 30 November 1972) is an Australian film director, screenwriter, producer and actor.[2][3][4] He is best known for directing the critically acclaimed crime drama Animal Kingdom (2010) and dystopian drama The Rover (2014). He also co-wrote Hesher (2010).

Education and early career[edit]

Michôd was educated at Sydney Grammar School before moving to Melbourne to study arts at the University of Melbourne. After working for the Victorian Department of Education he decided to attend film school while in his mid-20s. He later served as editor of Inside Film magazine, serving in the role between 2003 and 2006.[3][5][6]


Early career: Short films and documentaries[edit]

Michôd began his directing career in short films, with Ezra White, LL.B. in 2006 being one of the first to make an impact.[7] In 2007, Michôd's short film Crossbow, a coming-of-age drama was premiered at Venice Film Festival and received positive response from critics.[8][9] Afterwards, the film competed at number of film festivals and earned good reviews. The film also screened at Sundance Film Festival and won the Australian Film Institute Award for Best Screenplay in a Short Film.[10][11]

In 2008, Michôd directed another short film, Netherland Dwarf, which also screened at Sundance Film Festival and Berlin International Film Festival and earned positive reviews from critics.[8][12][13][14] The same year, Michôd co-directed Solo, a documentary film with Jennifer Peedom. It depicts the fatal journey of Australian adventurer Andrew McAuley who went on a solo kayak crossing from Tasmania to New Zealand.[15][16] The documentary received a positive response upon release, with Empire rating the film five stars: "As a tribute to a man – and man's – insatiable search for adventure, it's unforgettable."[17] In 2009, Michôd directed Inside the Square, a 30-minute behind-the-scenes documentary on the making of 2008 film The Square directed by Nash Edgerton.[18][19]

Feature films[edit]

Animal Kingdom[edit]

In 2010, he released his first feature film, Animal Kingdom. The film was widely acclaimed by critics and received several awards and nominations.[3][5][20][21][22] Dave Calhoun from Time Out compared him to Martin Scorsese saying that "He brings a big dose of Scorsese to Melbourne in telling of a fictional crime family."[23] J.R. Jones of Chicago Reader praised Michôd''s director saying "Writer-director David Michôd creates a densely textured moral universe that makes good on his metaphoric title."[24] Bill Goodykoontz of The Arizona Republic said that "The naturalistic style Michôd employs adds to the sense of dread. Is there no way out of this existence?"[25] The film became the third highest grossing Australian film at the Australian box office in 2010, with a worldwide box office gross of US$5,775,563.[26]

The Rover[edit]

Michôd's next film, The Rover, was a futuristic Western starring Guy Pearce and Robert Pattinson.[27][28] Filming began on January 29, 2013 in Southern Flinders Ranges in Australia and ended on March 16, 2013 in Marree, north of Adelaide.[29][30] The film premiered out of competition in the Midnight Screenings section at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival on May 18, 2014.[31][32] Todd McCarthy of The Hollywood Reporter said "David Michod’s follow-up to his internationally successful debut with the Melbourne gangster saga Animal Kingdom is equally murderous but more pared down to basics, as desperate men enact a survival-of-the-meanest scenario in an economically gutted world reduced to Old West outlaw behavior."[33] The film had a limited release on June 13, 2014 in New York City and Los Angeles before expanding nation-wide on June 20, 2014 in the United States.[34][35][36]

War Machine[edit]

On April 14, 2014, it was announced that Michôd will write and direct The Operators, based on the 2011 best seller of the same name by Michael Hastings. The film will be jointly produced by Plan B Entertainment, New Regency and RatPac Entertainment, with Brad Pitt attached to star.[37][38] It was later retitled as War Machine. In March 2017, Netflix released a teaser trailer for the film in which Brad Pitt is playing a thinly veiled version of Stanley A. McChrystal. Hastings wrote the Rolling Stone article that revealed the friction between McChrystal’s staff and then President Barack Obama’s and would ultimately lead to McChrystal losing his job. Pitt’s character is named McMahon.[39]

The King[edit]

In an interview in 2013, it was revealed that Joel Edgerton and Michôd had co-written an adaptation of Shakespeare's plays: Henry IV, Parts 1 & 2 and Henry V, for Warner Bros. Pictures.[40] In February 2018, it was announced that Timothée Chalamet had been cast in the titular role, with Plan B Entertainment and Blue-Tongue Films, set to produce.[41] Principal photography began on June 1, 2018 in London.[42] The film will premiere on Netflix.


In the 2012 Sight & Sound Poll of the greatest films of all time Michôd chose Apocalypse Now, Alien, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, Funny Games, Magnolia, Network, Sunset Blvd., The Thin Red Line, Taxi Driver and Werckmeister Harmonies as his top ten picks.[43]



Year Title Credited as Role Notes
Director Writer Producer Actor
2000 Noise No Yes No Yes Dave Short film
2005 The IF Thing No Yes No Yes Editor - IF Magazine Short film
2006 Ezra White, LL.B. Yes Yes No No Short film
2006 Kenny No No No Yes Nurse
2007 Crossbow Yes Yes No Yes Narrator / lounge Short film
2007 Spider No Yes No Yes Hit Driver Short film
2007 Little Deaths No No No Yes Nathan
2008 I Love Sarah Jane No Yes No No Short film
2008 Netherland Dwarf Yes Yes No No Short film
2008 Solo Yes No No No Documentary
2008 The List No No No Yes Detective Short film
2009 Inside the Square Yes No No No Documentary short film
2010 Hesher No Yes No No
2010 Animal Kingdom Yes Yes No Yes Reporter First feature film
2011 Bear No Yes No No Short film
2012 Dumpy Goes to the Big Smoke No No Yes No Short film
2013 The Captain No No No Yes Dead Body Short film
2014 The Rover Yes Yes Yes No
2017 War Machine Yes Yes No No
TBA The King Yes Yes Yes No Filming


Year(s) Title Role Notes
2000 Eugénie Sandler P.I. Trevor Episode 10
2007 Dangerous Writer (Episode 5)
2008 Hammer Bay Missing Persons Detective TV Movie
2013 Enlightened Director (Episode: "No Doubt")
2015 Flesh and Bone Director (Pilot: "Bulling Through")
2016−present Animal Kingdom Executive producer
2017 Doc World Director (Episode: "Kayak")
2019 Catch-22 Writer (Pilot)
Executive producer (Episodes 1-6)

Recurring collaborators[edit]

This chart lists every actor who has appeared in more than one film directed by Michôd. Anthony Hayes, Joel Edgerton, and Mirrah Foulkes are Michôd's most frequent collaborators, with Hayes and Edgerton each having appeared in four and Foulkes in five of his films.


  • David Michôd was honored along with Joel Edgerton and Teresa Palmer for their work in international roles with the coveted 2011 Australians in Film Breakthrough Award.[44]
Year Award Category Nominated work Result
2000 Tropfest Best Screenplay (with Christopher Benz, Peter Curry, Louise Gartland and Sally Isaac) Noise Won[45]
2007 Melbourne International Film Festival Film Victoria Erwin Rado Award for Best Australian Short Film Crossbow Won[46]
Australian Film Institute Awards (AFI) Best Screenplay in a Short Film Won[47]
Fitz Best Short film Awards Best Film (with Angie Fielder and Polly Staniford) Won[48]
2008 Flickerfest film festival Best Director Won[49][50]
2009 Best Australian Short Film (with Angie Fielder and Polly Staniford) Netherland Dwarf Won[51][52]
Aspen Shortsfest Best Drama Won[53][54]
Banff Mountain Film Festival Best Film (with Jennifer Peedom) Solo Won[55]
Festival du Film Voyage & Adventure, Montreal Canada Grand Prix (with Jennifer Peedom) Won[56]
Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival Grand Jury Prize (with Jennifer Peedom) Won[56]
Hory a Mesto Festival in Slovakia Grand Prize (with Jennifer Peedom) Won[56]
2010 Edinburgh Mountain Film Festival Best Film (with Jennifer Peedom) Won[57]
Prague International film festival Grand Prix (with Jennifer Peedom) Won[56]
Australian Directors Guild Best direction in a stand-alone documentary (with Jennifer Peedom) Won[58][59]
Best Direction in a Feature Film Animal Kingdom Won[59]
Satellite Awards Best Director Nominated[60]
Film Critics Circle of Australia Best Director Won[61]
Best Screenplay (Original) Won[61]
Australian Writers' Guild Major Award Won[62][63]
Feature Film Screenplay (Original) Won[62][63]
Boston Society of Film Critics Awards Best New Filmmaker Runner-up Nominated
New York Film Critics Circle Best First Film Won
Sundance Film Festival World Cinema Jury Prize: Dramatic Won[64]
Stockholm International Film Festival Best Screenplay Won[65]
Inside Film Awards Best Director Won[66]
Best Screenplay Nominated[66]
Chicago Film Critics Association Awards Most Promising Filmmaker Nominated[67]
Australian Film Institute Awards Best Direction Won[68]
Best Screenplay Won[68]
2013 Australian Film Institute Awards Best Short Fiction Film (with Mirrah Foulkes and Michael Cody) Dumpy Goes to the Big Smoke Nominated[69]
2014 Sydney Film Festival Official Competition Award: Best Film The Rover Nominated[70]
AACTA Awards Best Direction Nominated[71]
Australian Film Critics Association Best Director Nominated[72]


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External links[edit]