Daniel Nettheim – Award-Winning Australian Film and Television Director
Once his short films received international acclaim, he went on to compose music for various Australian film and television projects. He enjoys working alongside energetic, creative individuals on engaging projects.
Green and Nettheim were determined to find someone who could portray Martin as mysterious, physical attractive, surprising, intelligent, resourceful and seductive – they chose Willem Dafoe for this task.
Early Life and Education
Director Daniel Nettheim brings a distinctive visual style to The Hunter. Reminiscent of Werner Herzog and Terrence Malick films, it features rich symbolism that captures nature’s breathtaking beauty – making for an absolutely breathtaking movie experience.
Nettheim collaborated on the initial treatment with Melbourne writer Wain Fimeri and Sydney writer Alice Addison before taking over sole authorship of the work by late 2008.
Financing The Hunter was initially challenging, but once a script had been agreed upon and Willem Dafoe signed, financing became “like playing musical chairs – everything fell into place quickly”. Finding crew that could bring authenticity was made much simpler thanks to Green and Nettheim being film school classmates with many crew members like Director of Photography Tristan Milani and Production Designer Tara Kamath as examples of such people.
Daniel Nettheim is an award-winning Australian film and television director. His works have earned nominations and wins at several award shows, such as two Silver Logies awards from Logies Australia as well as nominations from AACTA.
He is currently making waves as a director in Australia and the UK, having recently directed an episode of hit BBC series Line of Duty as well as working on popular dramas like Harrow, Broadchurch, and Sunshine.
At a Q&A with star Willem Dafoe for The Hunter, Nettheim discussed his directorial style and the challenges involved with adapting such an epic tale for screen. He described how he attempted to bring its source material onto screen in a manner that resonated with audiences.
Achievement and Honors
Nettheim’s successful career can be found across short films like The Beat Manifesto and television series such as Broadchurch and Line of Duty from Australia, receiving several awards in cinematography and directing.
Nettheim was born and raised in Sydney as an avid Doctor Who fan – his uncle David Nettheim played the fourth incarnation of Time Lord! After graduating from AFTRS in 1995 he began directing commercials and multimedia before transitioning into television work.
His latest undertaking, The Hunter starring Willem Dafoe and directed by Justin Kurzel is an ambitious wilderness film with four feature nominations from AACTA; Fred Schepisi’s Eye Of The Storm; Kriv Stenders’ Red Dog; and Justin Kurzel’s serial killer drama Snowtown are among them.
Nettheim first gained recognition with his short film, The Beat Manifesto. Since then he has found great success directing television episodes such as Dance Academy, Line of Duty, Broadchurch, Hyde & Seek Rush as well as four episodes of Doctor Who from 2015 – 2017. Altogether he holds 38 directorial credits.
Frances O’Connor excelled as Lucy, an academic hippie mother who felt rejuvenated by Martin. Director Daniel Nettheim noted: “Frances brings vitality, warmth, beauty, and love into her role,” which made it all work perfectly.
Willem Dafoe was an invaluable addition. “When we met him in New York he immediately understood and resonated with the role,” notes producer Vincent Sheehan.
Daniel Nettheim is well known for directing short films and TV series as well as acting in various stage roles. A founding member of Sydney-based production company Porchlight Films, Daniel has directed episodes for Driven Crazy, White Collar Blue and Line of Duty among many other shows.
Nettheim made his directorial debut with The Hunter, adapting Julia Leigh’s award-winning novel set in Australia’s last great wildernesses for film adaptation. Working closely with writer Wain Fimeri for early drafts before recruiting Sydney-based writer Alice Addison as principle writer for subsequent drafts and production.
Project Finance was difficult at first, but once Willem Dafoe was cast as its main actor everything came together smoothly according to producer Vincent Sheehan. Now set for release sometime next year.