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 and produce WASH MY SOUL IN THE RIVER’S FLOW, a documentary feature produced by Archie Roach and Kate Hodges, and executive produced by Ian Darling and Emma Donovan. A recipient of the Documentary Australia Foundation/Create NSW SHE-DOC Fellowship, in the latter months of 2019, Philippa 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 First Look producer deals with US studios United Artists/MGM (for whom she also consulted on acquisitions), and Universal Studios (US).
In a former life, Philippa was CEO and co-owner of award-winning independent production company April Films which financed, produced and marketed the critically acclaimed feature film Jindabyne starring Laura Linney and Gabriel Byrne (director Ray Lawrence). Premiering at Cannes Film Festival in Director’s Fortnight, the film sold to Sony Classics in the US and was nominated for 9 AFI awards, including April Films for Best Film. April Films won the SPAA Independent Producer’s Award (2006).
Philippa has worked with established and up-and-coming filmmakers (shorts, documentaries and first feature films including: The Boys starring David Wenham and Toni Colette; Thank God He Met LIzzie starring Cate Blanchett and Frances O’Connor; Two Hands starring Heath Ledger and Rose Byrne). Having worked 10,000+ hours in film development and managed all manner of creative crises, she has her black belt in story and script. Prior to working solely in film, she managed Ernie Dingo at Barbara Leane & Associates
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, ‘difficult’ women and mavericks of all kinds. 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.While still at university, Philippa 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, 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).