Matthew Holmes (director)

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Matthew Holmes
OccupationDirector, writer, actor, producer
Years active1999–present
Notable workThe Legend of Ben Hall

Matthew Holmes is an Australian film director, producer, writer and actor.


Holmes started his film career as a stop-motion animator.[1][2]

His 1999 short film The Scam took three years to make and won three Gold awards from the Australian Cinematographers Society (ACS). In 2001, Holmes began a year traineeship at South Australian production company Anifex Pty Ltd. He remained there until 2010, working on numerous of television commercials as a stop-motion animator, sculptor and storyboard artist. His commercial credits include Home Hardware, Louis the Fly, Schmackos and Mr. Rental.

He also worked as an animator and sculptor on several Award-winning short films directed by Michael Cusack, including The Book-Keeper, (R)evolution and Gargoyle. Gargoyle won an AACTA Award for Best Short Animation in 2006.[3] During his time at Anifex, he also worked with director Deane Taylor, the Art Director on The Nightmare Before Christmas, on various commercials and television spots for Nickelodeon.

In 2001, Holmes directed and animated the 6-minute television pilot Eggabord and Bacon-Boy: The Spoons in Black with writer and co-creator Pete Court.

Holmes first full-length film Twin Rivers was a live-action drama and was financed with his own savings. Filming began in 2001 and continued for four years, wrapping in 2004. Acclaimed Australian director/producer Rolf de Heer was instrumental in helping Twin Rivers reach completion, mentoring the director through the editing and enlisting the help of key sound editors James Currie and Tom Heuzenroeder. Post-production continued for another two years and the film was released in 2007 and premiered at the Capri Cinema. He also starred in the film in one of the lead roles, alongside his brother Darren Holmes. The film was released on DVD in 2008 through DV1 Entertainment and aired regularly on the Ovation Channel on Foxtel.

In 2005, Holmes shot an experimental comedy feature film The Biscuit Effect which was primarily shot in one day, with all actors improvising their characters and lines. In 2007, the concept and characters from The Biscuit Effect were adapted into a 6-part television comedy series Crooked, which was exclusively financed by the cast. Again, all the cast improvised their dialogue throughout the filming. However, the series was not picked up by a commercial broadcaster, so in 2010 it was recut into smaller episodes and released on YouTube.

Holmes was one of the lead animators on the 2013 short film Woody, directed by Stuart Bowen.[4]

Holmes wrote and directed the short horror film The Artifice in 2014. Later that year, he launched a crowd-funding campaign through Kickstarter to fund a 25-minute film on the bushranger Ben Hall, entitled The Legend of Ben Hall. The project exceeded funding expectations and was expanded to a 50-minute film. Filming began in August 2014.

When the trailer for The Legend of Ben Hall was released, the project was picked up by Odin's Eye Entertainment and RCL Motion Picture Entertainment and expanded into a 2-hour feature film, incorporating the footage from the short film into the feature. Australian director Greg McLean joined the project as an Executive Producer in February 2015.[5] Filming began in regional Victoria in March 2015 and continued into June. The Legend of Ben Hall is due for release in 2016.


  • The Runaway Cowboys short (1993)
  • The Galaxies Tastiest Milkshake short (1994)
  • It's a Dog's Life short (1996)
  • The Scam short (1999)
  • The BookKeeper short (1999) (animator)
  • Eggabord & Bacon-Boy short (2001)
  • (R)evolution short (2003) (animator)
  • The Biscuit Effect feature (2004)
  • Gargoyle short (2006) (animator)
  • Twin Rivers feature (2007)
  • Crooked web series (2010)
  • The Vandabelles – Say Goodbye music video (2011)
  • Woody short (2013) (animator)
  • The Artifice short (2014)
  • The Legend of Ben Hall feature (2016)


  1. ^ "Matthew Holmes". IMDb.
  2. ^ "Matthew Holmes: director-producer and writer". Website of The Legend of Ben Hall movie.
  3. ^ "AACTA Award for Best Short Animation".
  4. ^ "Woody (2013)". IMDb. 5 April 2013.
  5. ^ "Bushranger movie starts shooting". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016.