feature documentary, writer / director / producer / cinematographer  

Cinematographer Germain McMicking 

Producers Philippa Campey, Andrew De Groot, Lynn Maree Milburn

Editors Jack Hutchings, Bill Murphy, Richard Lowenstein

Music by Warren Ellis, John Cale, Jennifer Gentle, Coco Rosie, Steve Benwell, 

83 MIN 




Provocative, funny and profoundly moving, Bastardy is the inspirational story of a self proclaimed Robin Hood of the streets.

For forty years and with infectious humour and optimism, Jack Charles has juggled a life of crime with another successful career - acting. 

Since founding the first Aboriginal theatre company in the 1970’s, Jack has performed with Australia’s most renowned actors (Geoffrey Rush, David Gulpillil, Bill Hunter) and directors in feature films (The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith, BeDevil) TV series and hundreds of plays. 

Filmmaker Amiel Courtin-Wilson follows Jack over seven years - gradually blurring the line between director and accomplice as Jack continually traverses the criminal and acting worlds. 

However, the law finally catches up with Jack and when he faces a jail sentence he might not survive, he is forced to decide if he can go straight for the first time in his life. 

Bastardy is the story of one man’s journey into the light.



“★★★★” - WHO

★★★★” - THE AGE
★★★★ Fascinating... unflinching.” - EMPIRE

8/10 PICK OF THE WEEK “Superb... deeply compassionate... an intimate human study.” - SUN HERALD

★★★★★ One of the most inspiring men ever captured on film... this is real Australian cinema.” - RAVE MAGAZINE

“Absolutely compelling... extraordinary... a must see” - FILMINK

“Astonishing... You don’t know Jack... but you soon will.” - HERALD SUN

★★★★★ Uncompromising” - SBS FILM ONLINE

★★★★★” - THE BIG ISSUE

“Magnificent” - INSIDE FILM

Winner Grand Jury Prize FIFO International Documentary Film Festival 2010

Winner Australian Film Critics Circle Best Documentary Jury Prize 2009

Winner Best Documentary Human Story ATOM Awards 2009

Nominated Best Documentary, Best Direction, Best Editing Australian Film Institute Awards 2009

Nominated Best Documentary Sydney Film Festival 2009

Nominated Best Documentary Asia Pacific Awards 2009


Official Selection Aboriginal Australian Film Festival Paris 2016

Official Selection Melbourne International Film Festival 2008

Official Selection Singapore International Film Festival 2009

Official Selection Sheffield International Film Festival 2009

Official Selection Mexico International Film Festival 2010

Official Selection Kiev International Film Festival 2010

Official Selection International RADO Film Festival Cameroon 2010

Official Selection London Australian International Film Festival 2010

Screened National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) Timeline Exhibition

Screened ACCA as part of the Sovereignty Survey Exhibition 2017

Screened at The Barbican, London 2014