Philippa Bateman is an award-winning director, producer, and writer who works across scripted and documentary.

She is the founder and owner of Enigma Machine P/L.  

Enigma’s most recent production, Wash My Soul In The River’s Flow, winner of the top prize at AIDC for Best Feature Documentary 2023, was described by the Jury as "elegant", "confident" and "outrightly beautiful". Philippa was also nominated by the ADG for Best Direction in a Debut Feature Film.

In documentary, Bateman is a recipient of the She-Doc Fellowship 2019 (Documentary Australia and Screen NSW) and embedded at Alex Gibney’s Jigsaw Productions in New York. She started work on Wash My Soul In The River’s Flow on her return to Sydney, Australia in January 2020.

Philippa produced the non-linear hybrid documentary The Beehive (2018/19) commissioned by ACMI and Artbank, featuring Pamela Rabe, Maria Tran and Nicolas Hope. For several years, she has consulted as a writer/producer for Ian Darling (AO) at the Shark Island Institute (Good Pitch Australia, Shark Island Story and Impact Lab, and Voxdocs).

In the scripted domain, Philippa has a 25-year background in feature film (drama and comedy) in Australia, the US and UK as a story editor, screenwriter, producer and production executive. She has also consulted on story and script in television drama series, for directors and leading production companies. As a creative producer, Philippa and Enigma had a First Look Producer Deal with United Artists/MGM (President: Bingham Ray), which acquired and released films such as Bowling for Columbine, Hotel Rwanda and Capote).  She also consulted on acquisitions for United Artists.

In the early 2000s Philippa was recruited by Universal Studios in the US to head up the newly established and privately financed April Films. She travelled regularly to Los Angeles and New York and attended all major markets and festivals.  She was responsible for pitching projects, and relations with the studio. Notable acquisitions include Geraldine Brook’s March, prior to winning the Pulitzer Prize (which Bateman adapted for the screen) and the children’s book Toad Rage which was later acquired by Fox Animation.

April Films financed, produced and marketed Jindabyne starring Laura Linney and Gabriel Byrne, Directed by Ray Lawrence, written by Bea Christian and based on the Raymond Carver story 'So Much Water So Close to Home'. The film launched at Director’s Fortnight, Cannes 2006 and sold around the world, including to Sony Classics in the US. In Australia, it was distributed by Roadshow Films and was one of the top 3 grossing Australian films at the local box office. It was nominated for 11 AFI Awards, including Best Film.

As CEO of April Films, Philippa won the SPA Independent Producer of the Year Award (2006).

Philippa’s photographs have been exhibited at the Australian Centre for Photography (ACP). Prior to working in film in Los Angeles and London, she wrote for magazines such as Harper’s Bazaar and Elle and worked as an academic researcher in the Department of Art History and Film at the University of Sydney, from where she graduated with a degree in Philosophy and English Literature.

She’s lived in many cities around the world, and travelled widely but now resides in Kings Cross, Sydney among other natural-world-loving human barbarians and wild urban creatures.


Deep Dive: Wash My Soul In The River’s Flow

NFSA, 2022
In March 2022, the NFSA presented the documentary Wash My Soul in the River’s Flow (2021) at the Arc Cinema. After the screening, Karina Libby hosted a Q&A session with director Philippa Bateman

Talking TV: Big Little Lies

Philippa Bateman (Guest Critic) with Lauren Carrol Harris and Jason Di Rosso

The Lady Vanishes: ‘The Beehive’

Zanny Begg and Philippa Bateman on their enigmatic film that explores the unsolved disappearance of Juanita Nielsen

UA Inks Bateman And Her Banner

United Artists has tapped Philippa Bateman as its acquisitions rep Down Under and, separately, inked a first-look deal with her development/production banner April Films