David Jowsey Films | BUNYA Productions


This was the website for David Jowsey's film production company, BUNYA Productions.
Content is from the site's 2010-2012 archived pages, as well as other sources.


BUNYA Productions is a boutique feature film production company based in Sydney. David Jowsey and Ivan Sen are the principals of BUNYA. David Jowsey is a former Television Executive with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC TV). David has an extensive background in television production across many genres and programming styles. In 2009 he teamed up with Award winning writer, director Ivan Sen (Beneath Clouds, Dreamland) to produce a slate of original and unique digital feature films. A new feature Toomelah has just been approved for production in Australia and shoots April 2010.


In 2009 David Jowsey formed a new production company with acclaimed director Ivan Sen. BUNYA Productions is a boutique digital feature film production house based out of Sydney. 

BUNYA first produced the Ivan Sen's experimental digital Sci Fi feature DREAMLAND. The latest feature by Ivan Sen is TOOMELAH selected in Un Certain Regard at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival. 

David has also produced the features MAD BASTARDS by Brendan Fletcher which was selected in competition at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, World Cinema section. He is currently producing SATELLITE BOY by Catriona McKenzie. 

A former Commissioning Editor and Executive Producer for twelve years with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC TV). David Jowsey oversaw many television programs, including, live entertainment and special events, magazine series, music programs, drama and over a hundred documentaries and documentary series, many of which have won awards both in Australia and Internationally. 

BUNYA Productions 
P. O. Box 7237 
Bondi Beach 
Sydney NSW 2026 
+61 (0)419 445 374 

Chasing the Dragon

An Ivan Sen Film
Producer: David Jowsey
Writer/Director: Ivan Sen

Genre: Feature, Martial Arts 
Status: Scripting, Casting, Financing
Locations: Hong Kong, Macau, China
Delivery: 30 June 2011
Duration: 95 mins

Production Company
BUNYA Productions Pty Ltd 
P. O. Box 7237 Bondi Beach, 
Sydney 2026, Australia

Chasing the Dragon Is a martial arts assassin film. Set at night in the neon of Hong Kong – the film is like Bladerunner meets Raise the Red Lantern. Dark, rich and textured. 
Chasing the Dragon is the story of a master assassin who comes to Hong Kong to do his work and falls in love – but can love change the heart of a cold blooded killer?
Writer, director Ivan Sen is an accomplished film maker. His first feature film “Beneath Clouds” won a Silver Bear at Berlin and played at Sundance. 
He has just completed his second feature – Dreamland, a digital sci-fi film about a UFO hunter’s quest for contact. Dreamland is set around AREA51 in Nevada.
Ivan is passionate about working in Hong Kong and has already spent a significant amount of time working on detailed plans for locations, casting and scripting Chasing the Dragon.
We are currently seeking partners for the Chasing the Dragon.





An Ivan Sen Film
Producer: David Jowsey
Writer/Director: Ivan Sen

Format: HD Cam
Completed: Feb 19 2010

BUNYA Productions Pty Ltd 
P. O. Box 7237 Bondi Beach, 
Sydney 2026, Australia

Dreamland: An Ivan Sen film.

Dan Freeman, an obsessive UFO hunter, roams the Nevada desert around ‘AREA 51’ searching the skies for contact … 
But alone in the desert he awakens to a bigger mystery ….

Dan Freeman is an obsessive UFO hunter, alienated by life. Dan has left his wife, his Las Vegas home and his former world behind...

Living out of his Ford Bronco, he drives the desert roads surrounding AREA 51, the secret American military base in Nevada.

His Bronco is dwarfed by the scale of the mountains and the endless road ahead… a passing sign reads “ Welcome to the Extra Terrestrial Highway”.

Spellbound by dreams of galactic journeys to new worlds… Dan is slowly hypnotized by the desert, his passage of time eroded.

Constantly searching the skies for contact, binoculars hanging from his neck, he is a space traveller, on the ultimate quest. 
Searching for the highway to the heavens.

His wife April, arrives in the desert to find him. She is haunted by a sense of loss and of life forgone. April searches for a sense of truth within herself, to reconcile her intentions.

Dan totally alone, craves the fulfillment of undefined desire…The isolation of the desert and his vivid nightly dreams induce a profound intimacy with the natural world … he surrenders to its beauty and power…

He finds himself on the border of reality, at the edge of the restricted zone of AREA 51 – the world’s most mysterious space of non existence – Codenamed: Dreamland.

Dreamland is a unique quest for purity and meaning, connected to our fear of what may be “out there” in the cosmos, and also ‘within’, when our essential aloneness is confronted.



This article first appeared in IF Magazine issue #156 (Dec-Jan).

Take Two: Ivan Sen and David Jowsey

Fri 20/06/2014 11:17 AM]

By Jessica Shields

The working relationship between David Jowsey and Ivan Sen goes way before they formed boutique feature film company BUNYA in 2009. Outback noir film, Mystery Road, marks the latest stepping stone in the pair’s shared career path.The director and producer duo talk to Emily Blatchford about their partnership. 


Ivan and I have a long history of working together at the ABC. Ivan made programs and documentaries for the ABC which I commissioned. For maybe four or five years we made a documentary every year.

Eventually there came a time where I said, “look, I want to get back into making drama.” Ivan had this plan to shoot a very low-budget, sci-fi film in Nevada called Dreamland so I ended up getting involved with discussions about that. One thing led to another and I said, “Right. I’ll leave and we’ll do this together and we’ll form a company and we’ll set out in the world and go on an adventure.” So I promptly left the ABC, we set up BUNYA productions and away we went.

Ivan is really the creative leader of the company and I’m the producer. I run the business and he is the creative engine. It’s a good balance and I think you do need both. A director could consider having an agent and getting people to negotiate for them but Ivan benefits more directly from being the owner of the company. He has more control over what he does. And me, I get to work beside Ivan, which is a big plus.

I don’t think either of us have a particularly commercial sensibility. Working out a way to be slightly more mainstream in the sense of finding a wider audience is a struggle for us. Our tendency is to talk one another into doing slightly crazy, arthouse stuff and to go off on tangents that are interesting to us rather than being more business-like. We’ve tried to become more focused on that and Mystery Road was a direct result.

Ivan is a very unusual person in the sense that he is highly creative but he’s also very technically-minded. It’s not something you find a lot, where there’s that crossover. I’m just a lucky person to be able to tap into a mind like that. On the reverse side of that, I had many years working in a TV station where I was able to manage the government systems and bureaucracies of film funding. So I’ve got a good understanding of how to manage that process and to make it work for us.

In the first few years we spent a lot of time in each other’s company, now we’ve sort of got our own lives. We live in separate locations and go about our business separately. You have to have an ongoing trust in the relationship and sometimes that’s a tricky thing. Ivan and I work in each other’s interests and I think that’s the key. 


I think my first contact with David was around 1997 in Alice Springs. He was the manager at CAAMA (Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association) and I was doing one of my first television documentaries for the ABC. He left CAAMA for the ABC and that’swhen we began working together. I distantly remember his relaxed attitude and his genuine understanding of Indigenous people.

After making a lot of TV documentaries, it was around 2008 that we decided to make an experimental feature film together. With this film and plans of making a production company together, David made the big decision to leave the ABC.

For the first film, it was only really the two of us. We funded it from our own pockets and that set up a model of working which was very efficient and intimate. Both of us developed multitasking abilities, which we have carried with us into larger projects. I guess it’s been David’s strong belief in me and my potential that has taught and encouraged me to be brave and push boundaries.

David and I are similar in the sense that we are both pretty calm and try not to get too carried away with negativity or unnecessary details. If something not so great happens, we just get on with it and do what we can to deal with the issue. Also, we both share our long term goals of reaching bigger audiences with meaningful films. I guess David is slightly more social than me, although I know he enjoys a bit of isolation, like myself. I admire David’s generosity, sincerity, his calmness and his ability to get excited and passionate about a project.

If David were to describe me, he’d probably say that I was a workaholic.

Over the years, I don’t think our relationship has really changed all that much. We don’t see a whole lot of each other these days. Maybe that’s the secret to our success!

There is certainly a long working future ahead of David and I, we’ve got a lot of stories we want to make with BUNYA. You’re always one film wiser when you go into the next one, so we always want to make sure we step up a level, not repeat ourselves and keep on learning.



Bunya Productions has produced a slate of award winning feature films, all of which have premiered in selection at a top international film festival; Mystery Road (Toronto) Toomelah (Cannes), Mad Bastards (Sundance), Satellite Boy (Berlin and Toronto), and Dreamland (Busan).