Simon Direen is a filmmaker and a dedicated welfare worker with over 7 years experience. He moved to Melbourne, Victoria from his hometown of Hobart, Tasmania to pursue filmmaking in 2011. As an artist, Simon brings his personal experiences together with insights gleaned from working in the Australian welfare industry to explore themes of empowerment and marginalisation. Simon’s work aims to highlight human commonalities and induce empathy from the audience.
Receiving a total of five awards whilst studying a Bachelor of Film and TV degree (completed 2016), Simon has had further success as a director with his narrative short film ‘Disappear’. The short was part of several film festivals around the world and attending the Brooklyn Film Festival in New York, 2015 was a highlight. ‘Disappear’ follows the story of a teenage boy who suffers horrific bullying and feels his only way to reconnect with the world is through violence.
In 2017, Simon will release his first documentary short titled ‘A Life Together’. The work explores the enduring love of a couple that have been together for 24 years, living as outliers on the fringes of society while facing extreme hardships and adversity. Simon also has a 40-minute documentary currently in production that follows the lives of a group of people living in social housing in Melbourne as they try to reconnect with their communities.
Continuing to work in homelessness, addiction and youth work, Simon hopes to remain connected to the issues he wants to explore in his film work.