• Entry type: Person
  • Entry ID: AWE4735

Tass, Nadia

  • Occupation Actor, Director, Producer


Nadia Tass is an internationally successful director, bringing a unique style of film to audiences worldwide. Tass has extensive experience in dramatic and musical theatre in Australia, which has translated into a distinguished style of film production. She has directed acclaimed films and top rating television movies in both Australia and America, and has received numerous Australian Film Institute (AFI) award nominations and multiple international awards.


Nadia Tass was born in Lofi, a Macedonian village in the northern region of Greece. She moved to Australia in 1966 and her family settled in Melbourne. While in school, Tass had her first experience in the Australian television industry when she starred in an episode of Homicide.

Whilst studying psychology at the University of Melbourne, Tass became involved in the Melbourne (particularly Carlton) theatre scene, including theatre at the Victorian College of the Arts. She has directed both classical and contemporary theatre at La Mama, the Pram Factory, Playbox, the Open Stage and the Melbourne Theatre Company; her pieces have received critical acclaim and box office success.

After she visited her husband while he was involved in the filming of The Coolangatta Gold (Auzins, 1984), Tass decided to enter the film industry. Together with Parker, she established Cascade Film Productions in 1983.

In 1986, Tass made her directing debut with the feature film Malcolm. Malcolm tells the story of a socially awkward man who uses his mechanical knowledge to rob banks. Malcolm won twenty one international awards and eight Australian Film Institute Awards, including Best Director and the Byron Kennedy Award for the pursuit of excellence.

In 1988, backed by United Artists (USA), Tass directed and co-produced the internationally successful Rikky and Pete. The comedy traced the journey of a brother and sister into the Australian outback.

In 1989, Tass directed and produced The Big Steal. Released in Australia in September 1990, the comedy about a teenage boy, his car and a girl, was an Australian success. The film received nine AFI Award nominations.

In 1990, she directed her first film in the United States. Pure Luck was produced for Universal Studios and opened in August 1991.

In 1993, Tass directed the television miniseries Stark, based on the best-selling novel by Ben Elton. The considerable interest in the miniseries resulted in a shortened movie length version also being released.

In 1996, Tass directed Mr Reliable which was nominated for three AFI awards.

In 1998, Tass directed Rachel Griffiths, Ben Mendelsohn and Alana de Roma in Amy. Amy won twenty three international awards including the 1998 People’s Choice Award and Best Film, Grand Prix Cannes Junior and the Le Prix Education Nationale at the Cannes Film Festival in 1999, the Le Prix du Public at the Festival du Film de Paris in 2000, Grand Jury Award for Best Film for Outstanding Contribution to Humanity at the Asia Pacific Film Festival Hong Kong 1999, Best Feature Film, Grand Public, Best Actress (Alana de Roma), and Best Actor (Ben Mendelsohn) at Carrousel International du Film de Rimouski, Quebec, Canada 2000.

Since 2000, Tass has directed four television movies in the United States: The Miracle Worker (2000), Child Star: The Shirley Temple Story (2001), Undercover Christmas, Samantha: An American Girl Holiday (2004), Felicity: An American Girl Adventure (2005).

In 2002, Tass’ musical production of The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe premiered to rave reviews throughout Australia. The piece was adapted from the C.S. Lewis novel by her husband.

In 2010 it was reported that for two years Tass had been seeking support from the Greek Ministry of Culture for her new film The Journey. The film is an international production with filming and production in Greece, France and America. The historical epic is set in both modern Greece and Greece during the Second World War. The Journey follows the true story of a Greek cabaret dancer who aided the Resistance whilst entertaining German troops.


Published resources

Archival resources

  • National Film and Sound Archive
    • [Parker, David and Tass, Nadia : Interviewed by Paul Harris]
    • Crisis at Hanging Rock : A Documentary on the Australian Cinema
    • [Lewin, Ben ; Colosimo, Rosa ; Tass, Nadia ; Parker, David : Interviewed by David Stratton]
    • Film Buffs' Forecast. [Source Material : Nadia Tass Interviewed About 'Amy'] ; Film Buffs' Forecast. [Source Material : Mario Andreacchio Interviewed about 'The Real Macaw']
    • Film Buffs' Forecast. [Source Material : Bruce Beresford Interview] ; Film Buffs' Forecast. [Source Material : David Parker and Nadia Tass Interview]
    • Malcolm: Publicity Material
    • Rikky and Pete : Script
    • [Stark : Documentation]
    • Mr Reliable : [Production notes listing the credits for the film]
    • Amy : Alana De Roma (Amy Enker) (L) Sitting on the couch with Frank Gallacher (Dr Urquhaet) ®
  • National Library of Australia
    • [Biographical cuttings on Nadia Tass, film producer and director, containing one or more cuttings from newspapers or journals]