Photo credit: Ben Timony on the set of Ali’s Wedding courtesy Matchbox NBC Universal
Jeffrey Walker started his career as an actor in the Australian film industry at the age of seven. He was a lead in many series, totalling more than two hundred episodes. In 1997, Jeffrey won the Australian Film Institute’s Best Young Actor Award for his title role in The Wayne Manifesto.
Making short films on weekends and acting during the week, teenaged Jeffrey garnered the attention of prolific television producer Jonathan M. Shiff. Before long, he had become one of Australia’s youngest ever television directors at twenty years of age.
For nearly two decades, Jeffrey has helmed major Australian television productions shown domestically and around the world. Rake seasons one and two, the period BBC mini-series Banished; Riot for ABC Television – a story that follows the brutal origins of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, and the Jack Irish TV movies starring Guy Pearce.
Jeffrey sole-directed the four part “gothic fairytale” miniseries for Foxtel / Sky, Lambs of God, starring Ann Dowd and Jessica Barden. Jeffrey and the project received universally glowing reviews and the project sold to over fifty territories worldwide, including HBO, Europe. This mini-series set a record at the Australian Academy Awards in 2019 by being nominated for eighteen awards, and winning an unprecedented nine, including best Director and best mini-series.
Jeffrey began directing in the US in 2012 working on various television series including Modern Family and Difficult People, where he series directed and Executive Produced alongside Amy Poehler for three seasons. Most recently, Jeffrey directed the pilot for the Sony Studio series The Commons, for which he was nominated for an Australian Directors’ Guild Award. The series is a futuristic look at a heavily climate affected world and those who benefit from disaster. The eight part series stars Golden Globe winner Joanne Froggatt.
His debut feature film, Ali’s Wedding, released September 2017, received critical and audience acclaim. The Hollywood Reporter wrote, “Directed with glossy commercial sheen and expert comic timing… Walker’s debut mines rapid-fire laughs and bountiful heart”. The film won the Critics Award at the Melbourne International Film Festival, the Audience Award at Sydney International Film Festival, and was awarded the Grand Prize at CinefestOz. It has screened at Festivals in Europe, Asia and the U.S. Locally, it was nominated for eight Australian Academy awards, including Best Direction, Best Film and nominations in all acting categories.
Dance Academy marked Jeffrey’s second feature and has been reviewed to 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. Both Ali’s Wedding and Dance Academy have been acquired internationally by Netflix.
Currently, Jeffrey is attached to direct multiple feature films including The Portable Door, starring Christoph Waltz, for The Jim Henson Company. He is also the producing director on Dwayne Johnson’s Young Rock for NBC.