It’s been four years since Encore published its Top 20 Directors and Producers list, and we felt it was time to compile a new, more comprehensive list that included professionals working across all areas “ film, television and TVC production “ as well as the leaders and decision-makers that determine the direction of the industry.


Who: Director, writer, cinematographer

What: After years of training , going through traineeships, film school and countless workshops, the son of the first director of the Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association and director of Imparja Television (Freda Glynn) finally got $1.6m to make a film about two Indigenous kids, their community and their petrol-fuelled misadventures in Alice Springs. The project was embraced by Australia “ even more so when it received the Camera d’Or at Cannes 2009 “ and went on to make $3.5m and reach an even larger audience when it screened on the ABC before the DVD release, breaking traditional distribution models.

What comes next: Thornton is planning Art and Soul, a three-hour documentary series with Indigenous art curator Hetti Perkins, and a script for a period film about an orphanage/monastery.