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Baz Luhrmann shares rare insights from his extraordinary film career at BAFTA’s A Life in Pictures

30 September 2022
BAFTA: A Life in Pictures, Baz Luhrmann, supported by TCL, London, UK - 30 Sep 2022BAFTA


BAFTA, with the support of TCL, hosted a retrospective with Baz Luhrmann. The multi-award-winning writer, director and producer shared rare insights with the audience on his decades-long and extraordinary career at BAFTA’s headquarters at 195 Piccadilly. In a wide-ranging discussion with Briony Hanson, Director of Film at the British Council, Luhrmann discussed his illustrious filmography, including his latest hit film ‘Elvis’ with star Austin Butler in attendance. Photography is available here.

Highlights from the evening included:

  • The power of cinema, enabling people to “unite in the experience of storytelling… there is nothing like going into a dark room with strangers and the communal experience of looking up at something giant – laughing, crying, and feeling you are not alone.”
  • Denzel Washington calling him to say: “Austin Butler’s work ethic is like nothing you have ever experienced in your life”, and how inspired he was by Butler’s commitment to his craft.
  • Opening a letter from Priscilla Presley, who said that if her former husband were alive he would have said on seeing Butler’s performance: “hot damn you are me”
  • How a new creative generation on TikTok inspire him through their poetic remake of his films.
  • How a journey on the Trans-Siberian railway inspired him to make The Great Gatsby (2013).

Six of Luhrmann’s seminal films were explored as part of the event, including Strictly Ballroom (1992), Romeo and Juliet (1996), Moulin Rouge (2001), Australia (2008), The Great Gatsby (2013) and Elvis (2022). BAFTA: A Life in Pictures: Baz Luhrmann, supported by TCL, is part of BAFTA’s year-round free online events series featuring BAFTA-winning and nominated shows and talent, open to members of the public and industry.

BAFTA is delighted TCL sponsors BAFTA: A Life in Pictures, a series of onstage interviews that has featured some of the most accomplished film and television talents. The series has previously hosted figures including Annette Bening, Kenneth Branagh, Cate Blanchett, Viola Davis, Chiwetel Ejiofor, David Fincher, Hugh Grant, Keira Knightley Sam Mendes, Helen Mirren, Alan Rickman, Vanessa Redgrave, Martin Scorsese, Kristin Scott Thomas, Meryl Streep, Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet.


Notes for Editors 

For more information, please contact:

BAFTA Press Office 

T 020 7292 5863

E [email protected] 


BAFTA – the British Academy of Film and Television Arts - is a world-leading independent arts charity that brings the very best work in film, games and television to public attention and supports the growth of creative talent in the UK and internationally. Through its Awards ceremonies and year-round programme of learning events and initiatives – which includes workshops, masterclasses, scholarships, lectures and mentoring schemes in the UK, USA and Asia – BAFTA identifies and celebrates excellence, discovers, inspires and nurtures new talent, and enables learning and creative collaboration. For more, visit BAFTA is a registered charity (no. 216726).

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