Su Armstrong entered the industry during the renaissance of the Australian film business in the mid-to-late seventies, with Peter Weir’s The Last Wave her first project. From that point on she worked in the production department of numerous Australian films, including Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (for George Miller), Gallipoli (for Peter Weir) and Until the End of the World (for Wim Wenders). She also worked for two years as the representative for the completion bond company, Film Finances Ltd., where she monitored over 75 productions ranging from documentaries to TV movies, TV mini-series and feature films.
In early 1991, Armstrong moved to Hollywood under the aegis of Hollywood Pictures/Walt Disney Pictures, where she oversaw (as Vice President of Production) more than fifty films including Crimson Tide, Dangerous Minds, The Santa Clause, Unstrung Heroes, Funny Bones, Jack, Spyhard, and The Rock.
Armstrong was also an executive producer on the film Good Will Hunting, which won more than a dozen awards including: Academy Awards for Best Supporting Actor and Best Screenplay, a Golden Globe Award for Best Screenplay and the PGA’s Golden Laurel Award for Motion Picture Producer of the Year. Further credits as producer include: The Last Of The Blonde Bombshells for Working Title Television, the Emmy-nominated and Golden Globe winner RKO 281 for HBO, and Shot Through The Heart, also for HBO.
Additional credits as Executive Producer include Ella Enchanted (starring Anne Hathaway), An Unfinished Life (directed by Lasse Hallström, starring Robert Redford, Morgan Freeman,
Jennifer Lopez), Casanova (also directed by Lasse Hallström, starring Heath Ledger), Leap Year (directed by Anand Tucker, starring Amy Adams) and the Louis de Bernières Australian story Red Dog.
Armstrong resides in Australia developing and producing films. Her latest production (with partner, Brian Rosen), Around The Block, starring Christina Ricci, premiered in the Discovery section of the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2013 and was released in Australia in 2014. Films in development include:
The Musician – the story of a war-time Austrian refugee who created the largest Chamber Music company in the world;
Hannah & Rebecca – a co-production with New Zealand and to be directed by Vincent Ward;
The Personal History of Rachel DuPree – to be directed by Claire McCarthy, and with Academy Award nominated actress Viola Davis as Co-Producer;
At The End of the World We Learn to Dance – a co-production with New Zealand of a story set in New Zealand and Argentina, and adapted from the novel by Lloyd Jones;
Ladies of Liberty Lane – a female comedy.
Brian has been working in the film and television sector for close to fourty years. He has produced feature films – both live action and animation – and television drama. He has worked in Australia, the USA and Europe both as an independent producer and as an executive. He was CEO of the Film Finance Corporation of Australia from 2003 until 2008 and was instrumental in bringing about the recent government film incentives of Producer Offset and merging of the federal film and TV agencies into Screen Australia.
Born in Ireland and trained at Ardmore Studios, Brian came to Australia in 1971, joining ABC TV before becoming a key independent film producer and Managing Director of Hoyts Productions in the 1980s. In 1981/2 Brian represented the completion guarantor company Film Finances Australia, overseeing thirty film and television projects. In 1983 Brian pioneered the 10BA underwriting of projects with the award-winning mini-series ‘The Last Bastion’ through Rothschild Australia. His credits through the 1980s include the iconic children’s film ‘Fatty Finn’, the historical feature drama ‘We of the Never Never’, the NBC mini-series ‘Something is out There’, a pilot TV series starring Sharon Stone for ABCTV (USA), ‘Badlands 2005’, as well as numerous other films including Carl Schultz’s ‘Bullseye’.
Brian began producing films in the US in 1991 with the animated film ‘Fern Gully – The Last Rainforest’, distributed worldwide by 20th Century Fox. In 1994 he moved to California when Walt Disney Pictures brought him to San Francisco to executive produce Roald Dahl’s ‘James and the Giant Peach’ with Tim Burton and Denise DiNovi as producers. From 1996 until 1999 he had a developing and producing deal with 20th Century Fox Family Entertainment under Chris Meledandri. In late 2002 he returned to Sydney to be CEO of the Film Finance Corporation of Australia. With the merging of the FFC into the new federal government agency Screen Australia, Brian has returned to the independent sector.
Since the completion of his term at the FFC, Brian has chaired a review of the Northern Territory Film Office on behalf of the Northern Territory Government. He was also invited onto the Board of Screen Tasmania as the Chair. He has just completed a three-year term as President of The Screen Producers Australia (SPA) and has taken on an Executive Producer role at the Sydney animation studio, Flying Bark.
Brian’s latest film ‘Around The Block’ starring Christina Ricci premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2013. With partner, Su Armstrong, he is actively in development on a number of projects with directors Vincent Ward, Claire McCarthy, and Peter Hewitt. His next project ‘The Personal History of Rachel DuPree’ will be co-produced by US Academy Award nominated actress Viola Davis and her husband Julius Tennon.