From freelance writing for publications such as the French newspaper Liberation, to being the Marketing Manager (Victoria) at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, to working in Exhibition, Programming and Marketing at Palace Cinemas, the early years of James’ career were spent in journalism and film. These diverse experiences consolidated James’ knowledge of the media and film industries, enabling him to take on the role of Executive Director of the Melbourne International Film Festival in 2001, where he remained for six years, before moving to the Australian Film Institute in 2006 as CEO. From 2007 to 2011, he was Theatrical Distribution Manager for Madman Entertainment. During his time at Madman, James managed the release of multi-award winning Australian features such as Animal Kingdom (2010) and Snowtown (2011).
In addition to James’ extensive experience in film distribution and marketing, he has worked in production, most notably as the Associate Producer on Clara Law’s Letters To Ali (2004), which premiered at the Venice Film Festival 2004.
James has been a regular on the judging panels of local and international film festivals, including: Berlin International Film Festival, the Melbourne International Film Festival and St. Kilda Film Festival. He also sits on the Porchlight Films Advisory Board and on the Causeway Films Advisory Board, and is the Deputy Chair of the Australian Art Orchestra.
James continues to consult across development, acquisitions, curation and distribution for a range of international clients, from Canal+ to Hobart’s iconic Museum of Old and New Art (MONA).
Today, James is Head of Development and Acquisitions for the award-winning production company Curious, and has overseen the acquisition and distribution for films including Oscar winner Ida (2013). He is currently collaborating with filmmakers Amiel Courtin- Wilson and LA based Rick Charnoski, on the low budget US feature Warm Blood.