Samantha Lang


About Me

Samantha is a writer/director whose career has been punctuated by artistic verve and achievement. Working across a variety of mediums – she has continued to embrace confronting and ambitious material.


In 1997 Sam’s debut feature film, The Well was nominated for a remarkable eleven Australian Film Institute (AFI) Awards and went on to screen at over 30 festivals worldwide. It was accepted into Official Competition at the 50th Cannes International Film Festival where it was nominated for the prestigious Palme d’Or. In 2000, The Monkey’s Mask premiered at Toronto film festival and was followed by a third feature, L’Idole (2003), which Sam co-wrote with renowned Roman Polanski collaborator Gerard Brach (Repulsion, The Tenant, Frantic). Filmed on location in Paris, the French language picture was released internationally in 2003.


Samantha’s work is often described as visually sophisticated and she garners intense, natural performances from her actors. Abbie Cornish, Bojana Novavich, Jess Marais, Miranda Otto, Rebecca Gibney, Susie Porter, Leelee Sobieski, Kelly McGillis, Pamela Rabe, Marton Csorkas, and Eamon Farren are some actors she has worked with.

Sam has also worked in series television, working with Matchbox Pictures on the award winning children’s series, My Place 1 & 2 as well as All Saints, Packed to the Rafters, and most recently The Killing Field (telemovie 2014) and Carlotta (telemovie 2014)


In 2004 Samantha made her theatre debut with the confronting play 4:48 Psychosis by the British playwright Sarah Kane which opened to rave reviews at the Stables Theatre.


News & Reviews


Thursday June 19th 2014

The tele-movie Carlotta premiered on ABC 1 to rave reviews and an audience of over 1 million.

“Under Samantha Lang’s wonderfully evocative direction...This quite brilliant biopic... turns out to be a surprisingly tender fairy story.”

“There is a quality of fairytale in David Hannam’s sleek, uncluttered script and frequent evidence of a fine director…”

“Lang gets the dark magic of the fairy story just right…”

“... the direction and photography always at that point where life and art meet...”

“... highly intelligent, warm, funny and morally engaging piece of classy TV.”
- Graeme Blundell, The Weekend Australian

“Carlotta, a biopic of Sydney’s most influential star of Les Girls, blows the silence and the stereotypes away.”
“... engaging without being overwrought…
“... the direction is note-perfect.”

“... accessible, engaging, often funny and ultimately uplifting.”

“... a story that’s thoroughly entertaining and rather inspiring.” “... a very handsome and cleverly made film.”
“The complete package.”
- Sunday Age, Melbourne

Read entire quote bank

More Information

Saturday May 3rd 2014

The Killing field premiered on Channel 7 to an audience of 1.8 million

“The Killing Field…there are some entrancingly gothic moments from director Lang, including an end that’s straight out of Edgar Allen Poe”
- The Australian May 3-4 2014


The Well

Review by Andrew L. Urban:

"No short synopsis can do justice to this film (nor the book, I suspect) because it plays on so many ambiguities and suggestions. That, of course, is the joy of it for film lovers: ambiguity. It can also be a curse for commercial success, but who knows. This taut debut feature from Lang is assured in its cinematic language, powerful in its performance driven dynamics, and satisfying in its delivery of a complex emotion-based story. Lang leaves plenty of room for our own intelligence, imagination and understanding, and uses sounds to great (subtle) effect. The film is really a series of moods that Lang creates with meticulous attention to detail. She even seems to control the sun, which never shines except for a moment in the penultimate scene. In one shot, we see sunshine, but it never reaches us. In another, we get a glimpse of morning sun through a window. The two leads are both terrific, Otto quite remarkable as the visceral young thing, manipulative, sensuous, scared, complex, unfathomable. Rabe is riveting in almost every scene as the island that becomes a peninsula, only to be tossed out to sea again, her face a minimalist mirror of her heart. The storm and the landscape are symbols that serve Lang’s purpose well, and she has paid as much attention to the music - on several levels - as to everything else. The other touch worth noting is the short clip we see from Bonnie and Clyde - but you’ll have to see the film yourself to understand why."

Review by Louise Keller:

"First-time director Samantha Lang has made a first class film which encapsulates a single vision. It’s a little like taking one long, deep breath, and feeling well satisfied. The Well has elements common to a "festival film". Like The Piano, it has a certain remoteness to it: there is a distance between the action and the viewer, minimising the emotional impact. Having said that, however, there is no doubt that it is a finely made film: the cinematography is stunning, the script is cleverly minimalist; much impact is made with silences and descriptive pictures, with only external sounds such as the clash of thunder or the dripping of the rain. It is in these moments that we are allowed to wonder what the characters are thinking. And the characters indeed make us think. They are fascinating. The total antithesis of each other, Hester and Katherine bring out the best - and the worst - in both themselves and the other. The performances of the two leads are first rate. Pamela Rabe, as the brisk, no-nonsense spinster Hester, brings a hopelessly sad yet complex quality to the role. She is a pathetic character with whom we empathise: she never has had a chance to live and she aches with loneliness. Miranda Otto delivers her best screen performance yet, and is utterly convincing as the seemingly fragile Katherine, who bewitches Hester with her spontaneity and sheer zest for life. The fine line she projects between innocence and manipulation is delicately drawn. But we don’t only wonder about Katherine, we also wonder about Hester. Who is playing games with who? The production design is compelling, as is the top rate music soundtrack. A Class Australian film-making at its best."



Carlotta (2014)

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How many working class Aussie boys grow up to be showgirls?
While many know her face,
few have heard the real story of Australia’s most famous transsexual.
Until now.

The Killing Field (2014)

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An Australian mystery-thriller produced for Channel Seven Network.

My Place (2009)

Official Website

Adapted from the award-winning children's book of the same name, My place is the story of the children who live in the very same spot in Australia over 130 years.


In Development

Night Games
A story of footy, sex and power.

6 x 1 hour Drama series
Created by Samantha Lang
Inspired by the book Night Games By Anna Krien.

Interview with Anna Krien: Author of Night Games: Sex, Power and Sport, with Ramona Koval of the Monthly Book















Film, Television, Theatre :
Sally McLennan at Shanahan Management
Email :  Phone : +61 282 021 800


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