Ben Lawrence

Australia, 2018 / 100 min / English OV with partial EN subt. (EN OV with partial EN subt.) / Documentary

Sometimes the most terrifying ghosts are our own.

A western Sydney security guard and part-time ghost hunter, Jason King, has spent two decades searching for his absent father. Jason may spend his spare time hunting the supernatural for others, but it soon becomes clear that what he’s really seeking are the ghosts of his own past. As a survivor of a violent childhood, he seeks to reconcile his fractured memories and piece together his past. When his search ignites a police investigation and subsequent manhunt, a horrific family secret is exposed – forcing him to face a dark legacy and its many victims to reclaim his future.

“This film explores how our identities are forged from a very young age, and how our ability to forget protects us while we construct our lies. And while we survive by this ability to forget, our compulsion to remember and our desire to know the truth, creates an irreconcilable war that plays out deep within our hearts. Ghosthunter began as a story about a man facing grief by healing the haunted lives of others. It revealed itself to be the tale of one man’s overwhelming desire to confront a past that threatened to destroy him.” Director’s statement by Ben Lawrence


Sat 09/03 16:30 Ciné Utopia EN OV with partial EN subt. Public
Mon 11/03 16:30 Cinémathèque EN OV with partial EN subt. Public
Wed 13/03 21:00 Ciné Utopia EN OV with partial EN subt. Public

“Ben Lawrence's debut documentary is simply remarkable – not just for the story, which tells of a man in western Sydney who hunts ghosts, most of them in his own past – but for the sensitivity with which Lawrence tells it.” Paul Byrnes, The Sydney Morning Herald, 18/09/2018

“What begins as a portrait of a grieving man helping others with their supposedly haunted homes gradually becomes an account of extreme distress.” Sarah Ward, Screen Daily, 12/06/2018

“A Sydney security guard’s ghostbusting business becomes a metaphor for unearthing the spectres of his past.” Jenny Valentish, The Guardian, 11.09.2018

  • Best Editing in a Documentary, Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards, 2018 (Australia)
  • Documentary Foundation Australia Award, Sydney Film Festival, 2018 (Australia)
Cast & Credits
Ben Lawrence
Hugh Miller
Andy Wright
Pete Davies
Rafael May
Ghosthunter One, Exit Films
Autlook Filmsales

Ben Lawrence, born in 1973, is an internationally-awarded TV commercial director and photographer based in Sydney, Australia. He studied directing, acting and screenwriting at New York University. His short film Paul’s Dream (2007) has screened at Edinburgh, Clermont-Ferrand, Los Angeles, San Gio and São Paulo film festivals. His photographs have been recognized at the International Photography Awards in New York, The Australian National Photographic Gallery Portrait Prize, the HeadOn Portrait Festival and The Spider Awards for photojournalism in London. In 2016, he co-directed Man Up, a documentary series for the ABC which focused on Australian men’s mental health and suicide. Ghosthunter (2018)is his debut feature documentary and won the Documentary Australia Foundation Award at the Sydney Film Festival where it premiered in 2018.

  • 2018 – Ghosthunter (documentary)
  • 2016 – Man Up (documentary mini-series)
  • 2007 – Paul’s Dream (short)