His first film as a producer ‘The Boys’ was nominated for 13 AFI awards including ‘Best Film’ and won awards for ‘Best Director’ ‘Best Adapted Screenplay’ ‘Best Supporting Actor’ and ‘Best Supporting Actress.’ In 1998 Connolly was named by Variety as one of the ten best ‘Emerging Producers’ in the world.
Connolly’s films are known for their strong political agendas, notably ‘Three Dollars’ ‘The Bank’ and ‘The Boys’ explore social and political issues both overtly and subtly. He has also been outspoken about ways he believed the Australian film industry could be improved, publishing a ‘white paper’ in 2008 outlining how improvements could be facilitated.
His screenplay ‘Balibo’ (co-written with David Williamson)was the first feature to be shot in East Timor where Connolly directed and John Maynard produced this controversial film examining the politically fraught deaths of Australian based journalists the Balibo Five and Roger East during the Indonesian invasion of East Timor in 1975. He stood by the film’s perspective on events, saying; “It’s quite clear the journalists were murdered,” Connolly said. “The current Indonesian and Australian (Government) point of view that they were killed in crossfire is quite frankly absurd. I’d imagine the film will be confronting because it represents something contrary to the official view.”
His 2012 biographical film ‘Underground:The Julian Assange Story’ remained true to Connolly’s fundamental perspective about filmmaking;“”Without a doubt, in recent times, the political agenda of the work is what drives us. We feel a responsibility to use cinema to put a blow torch to contemporary Australia and contribute to some discussion or debate about where we’re headed. That’s what I find most rewarding about it.”
Connolly has screened his films at over 30 international film festivals including the Toronto International Film Festival and San Sebastian Film Festival. He received a Centenary Medal for services to the Australian Film Industry in 2001.
2015 Gallipoli (TV Mini-Series) (producer – 8 episodes) (post-production)
2014/I Paper Planes (producer)
2013 The Boy Castaways (executive producer)
2013/I The Turning (producer)
2013 These Final Hours (executive producer)
2012 Underground: The Julian Assange Story (Director/Writer)
2011 The Slap (TV Series) (Director 2 episodes)
2010 Rush (TV Series) (Director 1 episode)
2009 Dark Frontier (executive producer)
2009 Balibo (Director/Writer)
2007 Romulus, My Father (producer, second unit director)
2007 West (consulting producer)
2005 Three Dollars (Director/Writer)
2001 The Bank (Director/Writer)
1997 Rust Bucket (Director/Writer – Short)
2000 The Monkey’s Mask (producer)
1998 The Boys (producer)
1995 All Men Are Liars (associate producer)
1995 Roses Are Red (Short) (producer)