Tying David Stevens' career down to a single nation or genre is a challenge. Stevens grew up in Africa and the Middle East, studied acting in the UK, then began his screen career in NZ. In 1972 he directed award-winning drama An Awful Silence, then moved to Australia. There he was Oscar nominated for co-writing movie Breaker Morant, and forged a busy career directing (A Town Like Alice) and writing (The Sum of Us).

Rude, funny, kind and uplifted by an exemplary urge to instruct as well as entertain. The Telegraph (UK), reviewing David Stevens' movie The Clinic

Jackie, Ethel, Joan: The Women of Camelot

2001, Writer

Aftershock: Earthquake in New York

1999, Co-Producer, Writer

Crime and Punishment (TV movie)

1998, Writer

Mama Flora's Family

1998, Executive Producer, Writer


1998, Writer

The Thorn Birds: The Missing Years

1996, Co-Producer, Writer

The Sum of Us

1994, Original Author, Writer - Film


1993, Writer

Always Afternoon

1988, Director - Television


1988, Director - Film

A Thousand Skies

1985, Writer, Director

Undercover (Australian feature)

1984, Director - Film

The Clinic

1982, Director - Film

A Town Like Alice

1981, Director - Television

Women of the Sun

1981, Director

Breaker Morant

1980, Writer - Film

The John Sullivan Story

1979, Director


1981-86, Writer - Television

Roses Bloom Twice

1977, Director


1976-77, Director, Writer - Television

Solo One

1976, Director

The Sullivans

1976, Director - Television

Rogue's Rock

1974-76, Writer

Section 7 - All the Nice Girls (Episode Two)

1972, Producer - Television

'Ship girls' are the subject of this episode of the NZBC’s Probation Service drama. Hapless Janice (Freda Costley), a 19-year-old with a father who moved to Whakatāne and a mother she doesn’t see if she can help it, is looking for love in the wrong places: sneaking onto the wharves to party with sailors in the hope she’ll find a boyfriend. Now the police have arrested her and, if she’s not careful, she’ll end up in borstal. Will the Probation Officers (Ewen Solon and Glynis McNicholl) be able to "stop her gangway habit becoming an addiction"?

An Awful Silence

1972, Producer, Director - Television

This tale of body-snatching botanical aliens invading 70s Wellington shared the 1973 Feltex Award for Best Drama. Dominated by Davina Whitehouse’s performance as a retired teacher-turned ET foster parent, it included early TV roles for Paul Holmes, Grant Tilly and Susan Wilson. Vincent Ley’s script won a Ngaio Marsh teleplay contest, and its realisation stylishly traverses local summertime environs — Silence was one of the first NZBC dramas filmed in colour. Director David Stevens went on to success in Australia (writing Breaker Morant, and The Sum of Us).

Section 7

1972, Producer - Television

Section 7 was New Zealand’s first urban TV drama series and followed soon after Pukemanu (which was set in a logging town). Taking its name from the Criminal Justice Act section which placed offenders on probation, it focussed on a Probation Service office and addressed issues of the day including new migrants, ship girls and domestic violence. Expatriate Ewen Solon returned from England to take the lead role in a series very much based on British dramas of the time. More popular with critics than the public, Section 7 was limited to 11 half-hour episodes.

Matlock Police

1975, Director - Television


1971, Director - Television

Pioneering series Pukemanu (the NZBC’s first continuing drama) followed the goings-on of a North Island timber town. The series was conceived by former forester Julian Dickon (who quit the series and was replaced by Listener critic Hamish Keith as writer). Producing two seasons of six episodes was a key step in industry professionalisation, and many of the cast became stars (Ginette McDonald, Ian Mune). It offered an archetypal screen image that Kiwis could relate to: rural, bi-cultural, boozy and blokey; and reviews praised its Swannie-clad authenticity.

Half a Fairy Tale

1971, Director - Television

The Genuine Plastic Marriage

1970, Director

Arthur K Frupp (54)

1970, Director - Television

Division 4

1974-76, Writer - Television

You Can't Kiss It Better

1969, Director - Film


1972-76, Writer, Director - Television


1969, Director - Television

Launched in October 1964, Compass was the first local programme to provide regular coverage of politically sensitive topics. Alongside the job of reporting on the news from a NZ perspective, Compass was the first to file comprehensive news reports from overseas. The controversial banning of a programme on the changeover to decimal currency became a flashpoint in 1966. This led to the high profile resignation of producer Gordon Bick. Compass can now be seen as the forerunner to Close Up, Foreign Correspondent and more recently Sunday.