Philippa Bateman, director of Enigma Machine Pty Ltd, is a writer/producer who works in documentary, feature film, TV drama and screen-based visual arts deploying film, photography and code.



In 2020-21, Philippa will direct WASH MY SOUL IN THE RIVER’S FLOW, a documentary feature produced by Archie Roach and Kate Hodges, and executive produced by Ian Darling. A recipient of the Documentary Australia Foundation/Create NSW SHE-DOC Fellowship, in the latter months of 2019 she was ‘embedded’ at Alex Gibney’s Jigsaw Productions in New York. While in the US, she worked on two US-based Enigma Machine documentaries she is writing and producing: AMERICAN HUNTER (dir. Alex Kershaw) and CRASH (dir. Alexis Bloom).

As producer, Philippa’s key credits include: the ACMI/Artbank commissioned non-linear documentary The Beehive about murdered urban activist and heiress Juanita Nielsen starring Pamela Rabe (dir. Zanny Begg); the Vivid-commissioned Starry Night by artist Brad Miller; critically acclaimed feature film Jindabyne starring Laura Linney and Gabriel Byrne (dir. Ray Lawrence), and Alone Across Australia (dir. Ian Darling).   

With a 25-year background in scripted feature film in Australia, the US and UK, Philippa worked as a senior creative executive at independently financed production companies and the Australian Film Commission (AFC/Screen Australia). She has had producer deals with US studios United Artists/MGM (for whom she also consulted on acquisitions), and Universal Studios when she was the CEO/co-owner of production company April Films that won the SPA Independent Producer’s Award (2006). Philippa has worked with established and up-and-coming filmmakers (shorts, feature documentaries and first feature films including The Boys starring David Wenham and Toni Colette and Two Hands starring Heath Ledger and Rose Byrne). Having whisked through 10,000+ hours in script development and worked with all manner of creative crises, she has her black belt in story. Philippa also writes screenplays and consults for a range of companies on scripted drama and feature films.

A published writer since high school, in the past decade Philippa has returned to writing fiction and long form non fiction. She writes about the natural world, mouthy women and mavericks in independent cinema. Some pieces are published on this site.

Her photography has been included in exhibitions at the Australian Centre for Photography and published in The Global Mail.   

Philippa has a degree in Philosophy and English Literature from the University of Sydney. Prior to working in film, she managed Ernie Dingo at Barbara Leane & Associates and worked in journalism. She worked for the Tokyo-based broadsheet The Yomuiri Shimbun and wrote feature articles for magazines (Harpers’s Bazaar, Elle). On graduation, she worked as an academic researcher in the Department of Art and Film, University of Sydney where she loved getting lost in Darwinian theory and fashion, post structuralism, and cinema studies where her passion for watching silent films was born.

These days, Philippa gets to indulge her love of film history as the Curator of CINEMANIA at Shark (The Shark Island Institute).