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Mark Shirrefs Mark Shirrefs i(A28640 works by)
Born: Established: 1952 ;
Gender: Male
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Mark Shirrefs and long-time collaborator John Thomson met while undergraduates at the Victorian College of the Arts Drama School in 1976. They worked separately in the performing arts for some years, specialising as comedy directors and writers. Shirrefs co-founded the Flying Fruit Fly Circus and directed plays for the Murray River Performing Group and Theatreworks. Shirrefs and Thomson completed the Swinburne Institute of Technology postgraduate film course in 1982 and 1986 respectively.

Their first collaboration was 1990's Let The Blood Run Free, a satire of day-time hospital soap operas, which had begun life as an improvished stage show in Melbourne but was brought to television after the intervention of Ian McFadyen. Shirrefs and Thomson are, however, best known for their extensive body of work in children's science-fiction and fantasy television, which began in 1989 with The Girl from Tomorrow for Channel 9. It won an AWGIE Award for best original children's script and sold in over sixty countries. The 1991 sequel series, Tomorrow's End, won an ATOM Award and had similar commercial success. Both series were novelised and published by Hodder and Stoughton.

In 1995, Shirrefs and Thomson developed Spellbinder, another children's science-fiction/fantasy series, for Channel 9. A co-production between Film Australia and Polish Television, it won two ATOM awards, an AWGIE award, and an AFI award. Two Spellbinder novels were published in 1995. Spellbinder was followed by a sequel, Spellbinder II: Land of the Dragon Lord.

Their subsequent collaborations include scripts for Mission: Top Secret, Pig's Breakfast, and Scooter: Secret Agent.

Shirrefs has also written scripts independent of his long-time collaboration with Thomson, including for Snake Tales,, and Conspiracy 365.

In 2005, Shirrefs penned the short, animated steam-punk film The Mysterious Geographic Explorations of Jasper Morello with Anthony Lucas. The film was nominated for an Oscar, a BAFTA, and an AFI Award, and won numerous other awards.

Shirrefs also lectured in creative writing at the RMIT University.


Paul Davies, 'Writing Kids' TV Talking to Mark Shirrefs', Metro Magazine 133 (2002): pp.134-139.

'Shirrefs, Mark (1952-)' in The MUP Encyclopaedia of Australian Science Fiction & Fantasy. Ed. Paul Collins. Melbourne: Melbourne UP, 1998, pp.159-160.

Most Referenced Works

Awards for Works

form y separately published work icon The Bureau of Magical Things ( dir. Evan Clarry et. al. )agent Australia : Jonathan M. Shiff Productions Network Ten , 2018 10730108 2018 series - publisher film/TV children's fantasy

'Once upon a time the human world and the world of magic – called the fae world - existed in harmony. But as technology advanced, the fae world was pushed back. Faeries and other magical creatures became endangered species. Now someone wants to change that and restore magic to its rightful place - no matter the cost. Kyra and Peter must solve the mystery of who that enigmatic figure is and how they will achieve their goal. The investigation leads them to uncover secrets in both the human and fae worlds that no one could have imagined.'

Source: Screen Australia.

2021 nominated Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards Best Children's Television Series
2019 nominated Logie Awards Most Outstanding Children's Program
2018 winner Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards Best Children's Television Series
form y separately published work icon The New Adventures of Figaro Pho ( dir. Luke Jurevicius ) Australia : Chocolate Liberation Front Australian Broadcasting Corporation , 2015- 8952531 2015 series - publisher film/TV fantasy

A second series of the adventures of phobia-wracked Figaro Pho.

2015 shortlisted Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards Best Children's Television Series
form y separately published work icon Mako Mermaids Mako : Island of Secrets ( dir. Grant Brown et. al. )agent Australia : Jonathan M. Shiff Productions , 2013-2014 6897015 2013 series - publisher film/TV young adult fantasy

'When fifteen year-old Zac goes camping on Mako Island, he has no idea his every move is being monitored by real-life mermaids Sirena, Nixie and Lyla, whose job it is to ward off trespassers. When he comes into contact with the magical waters of the Moon Pool on the night of a full moon, Zac is given a taste of Mako's powers, waking the next day to discover he has been granted fin-like feet and the power to control water…causing all sorts of trouble for Sirena, Nixie and Lyla.'

Source: Screen Australia. (Sighted: 10/1/2014)

2015 winner Australian Teachers of Media Awards Best Children’s Television Program Season 2
Last amended 6 Sep 2012 10:56:48
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