Arguably one of his finest works, the 1994 film The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, solidified Stephan Elliott’s position as one of Australia’s finest modern directors. The film follows Anthony “Tick” Belrose and Adam Whitely, two drag queens who agree to perform a drag show alongside a transsexual in the sleepy resort town of Alice Springs. Tick and Adam, playing their drag queen characters Mitzi Del Bra and Felicia Jollygoodfellow, respectively, leave Sydney and head across the desert aboard a purple bus that has been playfully dubbed “Priscilla.” Things seem to go awry, however, when Priscilla breaks down en route to the pair’s performance, prompting them to pick up straight man Bob to repair the bus and join for the ride.
Australian screenwriter and director Stephan Elliott was born in 1964 in Sydney. He entered film making at the perfect time, joining in the Australian film industry boom of the 1980s. Starting as an assistant director, Elliott quickly gained the experience he needed in order to start directing his own films. He found success early with his first two films, Frauds and The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert in the early 1990s.
The prestigious Cannes Film Festival officially selected Elliott’s first three films to be screened, garnering him many accolades, including the Prix du Public award. His success continued until 2004, when a skiing accident sidelined the director for several months. In 2007, Elliott emerged from bedrest and teamed up with Fred Nassiri to direct one of the most expensive music videos ever made.
In 2012, during his presentation at the inaugural AACTA Awards in Sydney, Stephan Elliott came out as gay.
Stephan Elliott enjoyed early success with his first three films, Frauds, The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, and Welcome to Woop Woop. Each film was selected to screen at the Cannes Film Festival, with “Priscilla” later going on to claim an Academy Award for Best Costume Design.
In 2008, Elliott directed the film Easy Virtue, which starred big name actors such as Colin Firth, Jessica Biel, and Kristin Scott Thomas. The film received plenty of praise at various film festivals worldwide. Elliott’s latest film, A Few Best Men, was released in 2012. Elliott is also active in the Sydney and Melbourne theatres.