James Croke is a freelance writer and director with extensive experience in the field of design for both stage and screen. Starting his career in stage design, James was based in London before returning to Sydney, Australia, where he began working in the Australian film and television industry. More recently, James has transitioned into writing and directing for the screen.
With a strong sense of genre and a natural ability for storytelling, James has been writing scripts which have attracted both local and international attention. He has had scripts make the semifinals and quarterfinals of the Nicholl Fellowship in Screenwriting (run by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences) and recently his screenplay Solitary was selected for competition at the 2019 Beverly Hills Film festival.
James’ short film, Shift (2014), which he wrote, directed and produced was screened at over twenty film festivals worldwide, including Palm Springs, Cinequest and Raindance. Shift won Best Film at Sandfly Film Festival, two ACS awards (Australian Cinematography Society) and the Australian Production Design Guild award for design on a short film. A feature version of the film is currently in development.
James has a Master of Arts from the Australian Film, Television & Radio School (AFTRS).
He is a member of the Australian Writers Guild (AWG).
James’ career began in theatre. After working widely as an assistant designer in Sydney, James was awarded the ‘Lend Lease Scholarship for Design’ and began an internship at The Bush Theatre, London, in 1998. His other UK work experience includes productions at the Gate Theatre, the Lyric Theatre, the Royal Shakespeare Company and Channel 4. James has worked in theatre in the UK, Europe and Australia.
In 2005, James graduated from the Australian Film, Television & Radio School (AFTRS) with a Master of Arts in Production Design and was awarded both the Fox Studios Award for Design Excellence and the Gilbert & Tobin Award for Best Body of Work. Since graduating, James has worked in the Australian film and television industry as a Production Designer and Art Director.
James has designed many award winning short films which have met with great success worldwide, these include: Splintered (Best Short Film, Slamdance 2005), Australian Summer (Best Film, Tropfest 2005), Danya (Best Film, Jackson Hole International Film Festival) and Crooked Mick, which has won multiple awards worldwide.
James also designed his award winning short film, ‘Shift‘, winning the 2014 Australian Production Design Guild (APDG) award for design on a short film.
James has also taught at Australia’s leading theatre and film schools, NIDA and AFTRS. James currently teaches screen design at NIDA where his students produce eight music video clips with Triple J Unearthed and Rage, and a short film each year.
He is a member of the Australian Production Design Guild, APDG.
Screen Design Gallery
Stage Design Gallery
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James’ screenplay, Solitary, has been selected for competition at the 2019 Beverly Hills Film Festival (BHFF). The festival runs April 3rd – 7th, 2019.
Congratulations to the cast and crew of The Horrific Murder of Grigori Rasputin or; How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love the Tsar for winning the Australian Production Design Guild (APDG) Award for Student and Emerging Design for Screen. The NIDA Design Department produced short film, created by NIDA students, was tutored and produced by James Croke. A well deserved win!