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Jennifer Kent      

Actress, Writer & Director; Best Known for "The Babadook"

Kent began her career as an actress, working primarily in television. She was a main cast member of Murder Call, from creator Hal McElroy, playing Constable Dee Suzeraine in all 31 episodes of the series. She also appeared in several episodes of other Australian TV series such as All Saints, Police Rescue and Above the Law. Kent also had a small role in Babe: Pig in the City. She has also been an acting teacher for 13 years at major institutions such as NIDA and the Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS).

After losing interest in acting, Kent was inspired after seeing Dancer in the Dark to pursue a career as a filmmaker. She wrote to director Lars von Trier, asking to study under him and explaining that she found the idea of film school repellent. In 2002 von Trier allowed her to assist him as part of a directing attachment on the set of his film Dogville starring Nicole Kidman.

In 2006 Kent directed an episode of Two Twisted, an Australian series following in the tradition of The Twilight Zone.

In 2005 Kent directed her short film Monster, which was screened at over 50 festivals around the world. In 2014 she adapted her short into a feature-length film The Babadook starring Essie Davis whom Kent had known through drama school. The film tells the story of a single mother played by Davis who must confront a sinister presence in her home while dealing with the death of her husband. The Babadook premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival in the prestigious Midnight section. The film was quickly picked up for distribution in the U.S. by IFC Films. Kent did five drafts of the feature script, received most of her funding from the Australian government, then conducted a Kickstarter campaign to help raise US$30,000 to pay for set construction. The Babadook received widespread critical acclaim, with The Exorcist director William Friedkin tweeting that he’d never seen a more terrifying film, and doubled its budget with $4.9 million in worldwide box office.

Kent has been vocal in the press about the lack of female directors in horror cinema.

"It will shift, as the world shifts. Women do love watching scary films. It’s been proven, and they’ve done all the tests. The demographics are half men, half women. And we know fear. It’s not like we can’t explore the subject."

Kent met with executives at Warner Bros. in late 2014 to talk about possibly directing the Wonder Woman film, a job which eventually went to Patty Jenkins.


Jennifer Kent's 'The Nightingale' Begins Production in Tasmania ...

Jennifer Kent goes into production this month on “The Nightingale,” the follow-up to her acclaimed debut “The Babadook.” Aisling Franciosi (“Ambition,” “Jimmy's ...

'The Nightingale': Jennifer Kent's Film Moves Forward With Bron ...

The Nightingale, a period thriller written and directed by The Babadook writer- director Jennifer Kent, will move forward with Bron Creative executive producing  ...

'The Babadook' Director Jennifer Kent Sets Cast for 'The Nightingale'

If one is still getting nightmares from Jennifer Kent's impeccably-realized debut film The Babadook, start getting prepared for more frightful imagery as she's ...

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