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By Lola Pinder


Samuel Leighton-Dore is a writer and director. In spite of his years, he has etched a career in music videos and has completed two books and writes as a queer columnist. Last year Leighton-Dore’s debut short film Showboy, premiered at the Dendy Short Film Awards at the Sydney International Film Festival in 2014. The film details the story of a closeted young football player supporting his widower father by performing drag shows at night. As with much of his online writing, for outlets such as DNA Magazine and Mia Freedman’s Mamamia, Leighton-Dore’s film explores freedom and sexuality against social and political difficulty. Showboy was made possible through Metro Screen’s First Break program, in which Leighton-Dore was selected to participate, along with a group of writers and directors to develop their projects with the help of experienced industry professionals mentoring and pushing students creatively and personally. 

In Leighton-Dore’s personal work he is interested in the characters and stories that make up the queer community, of individual stories of struggle and success, of love and family bonds. Leighton-Dore has also written a best-selling eBook Love or Something Like It and has just released his children’s book I Think I’m a Poof. One dollar from each copy is donated to Qlife - Australia’s first nationally-oriented counselling and referral service for LGBTI people.


Leighton-Dore graduated from AFTRS with a Foundation Diploma in 2010. In 2012 Leighton-Dore worked on directing press kits for Wayne Blair’s The Sapphires and Joel Edgerton's Felony. He has made a name for himself directing music videos, including Jessica Mauboy’s neo-soul songs from the soundtrack The Sapphires, as well as the likes of Lanrae, Marina Prior and indie-folk group Sons of the East. He continues to develop his ideas for short films.


This post is part of the Art Month event Creative Paddington taking place on March 7th in conjunction with Metro Screen and UNSW Art & Design.