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Alexander "Alex" Proyas (born 23 September 1963) is a Greco-Australian film director, screenwriter, and producer. He is best known for directing such films as The Crow, Dark City, I, Robot and Knowing. He is known for employing a stylish photographic techniques in his films, with dark overtones usually in a post-apocalyptic setting. His first film, Spirits of the Air, Gremlins of the Clouds, is often looked upon as a notable achievement in Independent Australian Cinema. He is also known for directing short films such as Strange Residues and Book of Dreams: Welcome To Crateland.

Director Alex Proyas

Early life

Proyas was born to Greek parents in Egypt and moved to Sydney, Australia when he was 3.[1] At 17 he attended the Australian Film, Television, and Radio School, and began directing music videos shortly after.[1] He moved to Los Angeles in the United States to further his career, working on MTV music videos and TV commercials.[1]


Proyas' first feature film was the independent science fiction thriller Spirits of the Air, Gremlins of the Clouds, which was nominated for two Australian Film Institute awards in 1988, for costume design and production design[2] and which won a Special Prize at the 1990 Yubari International Fantastic Film Festival.[3] Next, Proyas directed the 1994 fantasy thriller The Crow starring Brandon Lee. Lee was killed in an accident during filming, only eight days before the completion of the film in March 1993. After Lee's death, Proyas and his producers decided to complete the film, partially rewriting the script and using a stunt double and special effects to film the remaining scenes.[4] The Crow was released in May 1994 and was a box office and critical success.[5]

Proyas then wrote, directed and produced the 1998 science fiction thriller Dark City, which had disappointing box office results despite winning several awards.[6] In 2004, he directed I, Robot, a science fiction film suggested by[7] the Isaac Asimov short story compilation I, Robot that starred Will Smith.

Proyas' most recent film, the thriller Knowing, began production in Melbourne in March 2008 and opened in North America in March 2009.[8]

Proyas is currently working on Dracula: Year Zero.[9] His next project will be an action-oriented adaptation of John Milton's 17th century Christian epic poem Paradise Lost, starring Bradley Cooper.[10]

Proyas also worked with John Foxx on the creation of Parallel Lives, a joint project.


At the 1994 Cannes Film Festival, Proyas was nominated for a Golden Palm award for his short film, Book of Dreams: 'Welcome to Crateland'. For Dark City, he was nominated for several awards and won the Silver Scream Award at the Amsterdam Fantastic Film Festival, the Bram Stoker Award, the Film Critics Circle of Australia Award and the Pegasus Audience Award at the Brussels International Festival of Fantasy Film.[11]


Short films

Neon (1980)
Groping (1980)
Strange Residues (1981)
Spineless (1987)
Book of Dreams: Welcome to Crateland (1994, short)

Feature films
Year Film Credited as
Director Producer Screenwriter
1989 Spirits of the Air, Gremlins of the Clouds Yes Yes Yes
1994 The Crow Yes No No
1998 Dark City Yes Yes Yes
2002 Garage Days Yes Yes Yes
2004 I, Robot Yes No No
2009 Knowing Yes Yes No
2013 Paradise Lost Yes No No

Music videos

"Flicker" – Fetus Productions (1983)
"In Your Eyes" – Dropbears (1985)
"Kiss the Dirt (Falling Down the Mountain)" – INXS (1986)
"Magic Touch" – Mike Oldfield
"Don't Dream It's Over" – Crowded House (1987)
"Holiday" – The Other Ones (1987)
"Rhythm of Love" – Yes (1987)
"Better Be Home Soon" – Crowded House (1988)
"Mysteries of Love (Songlines)" – Alphaville (1989)
"When We Dance" – Sting (1994)


^ a b c Lancaster, Kurt; Thomas J. Mikotowicz (2001). Performing the Force: Essays on Immersion Into Science-Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Environments. McFarland & Company. pp. 61. ISBN 978-0-7864-0895-5.
^ "Awards for Spirits of the Air, Gremlins of the Clouds". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2007-12-28.
^ "YUBARI INTERNATIONAL FANTASTIC ADVENTURE FILM FESTIVAL'90". yubarifanta.com. Retrieved 2009-09-19.
^ Ascher-Walsh, Rebecca (1994-05-13). "How Crow Flew". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2007-12-28
^ "The Crow (1994)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2007-12-28.
^ "Awards for Dark City". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2007-12-28.
^ "Full Cast and Crew for I, Robot". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2007-12-28.
^ Fleming, Michael (2007-12-10). "Cage to star in Proyas' 'Knowing'". Variety. Retrieved 2007-12-28
^ "Proyas Offers Another Dracula: Year Zero Status Update".
^ Jarrod Sarafin. "Proyas Helms PARADISE LOST".
^ "Awards for Alex Proyas". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2007-12-28.


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