Open main menu

Gerard Lee (born 1961[1] in Brisbane) is an Australian novelist, screenwriter and director.


Life and careerEdit

Gerard Lee is the principal screenwriter of the film Breath adapted from the novel of the same name by Tim Winton. It is currently in release in the US, produced by Simon Baker (also director/actor/producer) and Mark Johnson (Breaking Bad). Gerard Lee is also co-writer with Jane Campion of the successful mini-series Top of the Lake, which garnered eight Emmy Nominations for the first series and is now in its second season - 'Top of the Lake: China Girl'. Commissioned by the BBC it is available on Foxtel in Australia and won (with 'Deep Water') the NSW Premier's Literary Award for Best Scriptwriting 2018. Season Two explores themes of motherhood, adoption and artificial insemination. It stars Elizabeth Moss, Nicole Kidman, Ewan Leslie and Alice Englert. Set around Sydney Harbour and the coast it follows the story of Dt Robin Griffin searching for a lost daughter. Wayne Blair (The Sapphires, Dirty Dancing etc) and Lee are working on a feature screenplay for a personal film set in Blair's hometown, Rockhampton. Currently titled 'Godfrey', it is the story of two brothers, one of them indigenous, the other handicapped.

Lee also produced and wrote the screenplay for the film My Mistress, starring Emmanuelle Beart and Harrison Gilbertson, which was released November 2014 and sold in many territories. It is the story of a relationship between a 16-year-old boy and a 40-something S&M mistress.

Lee has purchased the rights to the Peter Carey novel 'Theft' with Optimism Films (Melbourne) and will develop the screenplay over the coming year.

Princess Pictures (Melbourne) have bought his comic six-part mini-series set in an outback town.

Lee's feature film All Men Are Liars, set in the Queensland cane fields, which he wrote and directed, opened the Sydney Film Festival in 1995 and won awards internationally (San Remo Film Festival, Palm Springs Film Festival).

Lee co-wrote Jane Campion's feature debut, Sweetie (film), which won Best Screenplay at the Australian Film Institute Awards, a Camera d'Or at Cannes and many other awards. It was screened internationally and is now part of the world's most prestigious home video collection, The Criterion Collection.

Brought up in Brisbane in the 1960s, Lee began writing for The Telegraph newspaper at the age of 16. He has published two novels, a collection of short stories and a collection of travel stories, all with University of Queensland Press. Referring to Lee's first novel, True Love and How to Get It (1981), The Oxford Companion to Australian Literature stated: "...a witty writer with a deceptively naive narrative style, Lee frequently satirises contemporary Queensland lifestyles". His second novel, Troppo Man (1990) set in Ubud, Bali, was shortlisted for the Vogel's Young Writers Award.

Lee has travelled widely in Europe and in Asia, and has taught creative writing and a Masters of Screenwriting at a range of tertiary institutions.


  • Manual for a Garden Mechanic (1976) (Ragman Productions, Robert Kenny, Melbourne)
  • Pieces for a Glass Piano (1978), ISBN 0-7022-1175-3 [2][3]
  • True Love and How to Get It (1985), ISBN 0-7022-1778-6 [4][5]
  • Troppo Man (1990), a comedy novel set in Ubud, Bali. ISBN 0-7022-2299-2 [6][7]
  • Sweetie: The Screenplay (1991), ISBN 0-7022-2371-9
  • Eating Dog: Travel Stories (1994), ISBN 0-7022-2184-8 [8][9]


  • Top of the Lake (2013), a seven-hour drama serial, set in the South Island of New Zealand, co-created and co-written with Jane Campion 'Top of the Lake: China Girl' a seven-hour drama set in Sydney, Australia co-written with Jane Campion.

Short filmsEdit

Feature filmsEdit


External linksEdit