"...definitely a director to watch out for."
- Jason St-Laurent, Director of Programming, Inside
Out Festival, Toronto
"...a talent to watch. We can't wait to see what he does next."
- Todd Camp, Festival Director, Fort
Worth International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, United States
is an award-winning film-maker, journalist and songwriter based
in New Zealand.
His first feature, the camp comedy
Quiet Night In, was unleashed on the international
festival circuit in 2005, with an Australasian DVD release in
2007. His second film,
released in 2009 to critical and audience acclaim and played at
some of the worlds largest gay film festivals, including Outfest
Los Angeles, Frameline San Francisco, and Inside Out Toronto. It
has won three awards, and became the first New Zealand film to
be nominated for the prestigious Iris Prize for short filmmaking
in the UK.
His third film,
Communication, was released in 2010 and has won two
Banks was the senior writer for New Zealand's leading GLBT news
and entertainment website GayNZ.com from 2003-06, and was an
occasional contributor to London's
Gay Times magazine. He writes fortnightly for New Zealand's
national gay newspaper Express, and in 2004 he wrote,
directed and presented stories for the award-winning TV2 show
In the late 1990s, Banks wrote and produced a string of top 40
hits in New Zealand, including three consecutive number ones for
a pop group which he founded,
Deep Obsession. It was the first time a local group had ever
achieved such a feat, and the subsequent album was certified
platinum and went on to be released internationally.
He has worked in public relations for the New Zealand AIDS
Foundation, Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand, and the
Access To Medicines Coalition. Since 2006 he has been the
co-editor of Collective Thinking, a quarterly magazine
for HIV-positive people, their carers and supporters. His
Bipolar Bear, chronicles his personal experience of living with
a mental illness.
For some years, he has also been an
accomplished web and graphic designer, designing and maintaining
websites for his acts signed to Universal Music and Warner Music
New Zealand. Recent projects include the highly successful
design and launch of sites and social media web presences for
The Colonel's Outing,
Number 8 Films, a charitable film-making trust which he
co-founded with producer Andy Jalfon in 2009.
Banks now lives in Auckland, New Zealand, and is married to
Dean, his partner of fifteen years and co-owner of Burning Rope
Productions. He is very fond of Orson Welles, Woody Allen,
Stanley Kubrick, the boardgame
Cluedo, and the classic British sitcom Are You Being Served?.
He is currently on the international festival
circuit with his fourth film,
Colonel's Outing, which builds on
the bittersweet mix of emotion which captured the hearts of audiences
for Teddy and Communication, portraying a relationship between two men
in the twilight of their lives in a way which few have cared to
acknowledge or celebrate.