Michael Dillon – A Life of Adventure

Highly Awarded Filmmaker:

Michael Dillon AM ACS FRGS is one of Australia’s most highly awarded cinematographers and producers of adventure and expedition documentaries. His multi award wining documentaries include Everest Sea to Summit (1990), one of the most internationally awarded adventure documentaries ever,  Beyond Everest (1999) about Hillary’s ongoing work with the Sherpa people, Hillary: Ocean to Sky (2019),  A Little Bit Mongolian (2013) and  The Great White Whale (2023)

Adventures he has filmed include the first Australian ascent of Everest in 1984,  Everest Climbs in 1990 and 2006, two Everest ballooning expeditions seven documentaries with Sir Edmund Hillary, a base jumping expedition in the Karakoram, six Antarctic Expeditions, two English Channel swims, expeditions in Siberia, Irian Jaya, Africa and the Andes, and a journey by London taxi from Buckingham Palace to the Sydney Opera House.

His international awards span the diverse fields of Natural History, Adventure and General Documentary Cinematography as well as Direction, Production and Scriptwriting.

In 2004 Michael became a Member in the General Division of the Order of Australia for service to the Australian Film Industry as a pioneer in adventure and mountain film cinematography, and to the community through support for international humanitarian work.

In 2022 he was awarded the International Alliance of Mountain Film Grand Prize for Lifetime Achievement.

An Adventurous Life:

High altitude malaria in the Andes, a broken collar bone in an Indonesian tomb, trailing polar bears across the Arctic, days adrift in the pack ice on fire ravaged Aurora Australis, Michael has walked across deserts and tracked gorillas in war torn jungles, climbed 4 of the 7 Summits and been turned back by bad weather and sick team mates near the top of 2 others. On Everest in 2006, his team mate Lincoln Hall was left for dead but regained consciousness and miraculously survived a night in the Death Zone.

Trekking to Lo Manthang, Upper Mustang, Nepal

Michael is a Fellow of the Royal Geographic Society. In 1986 he was awarded the inaugural Australian Geographic Society Silver Medallion for Excellence and was the first Australian to achieve the Duke of Edinburgh’s Gold Award.  

Inspired by Hillary’s work among the Sherpas, he became a founding director of the Australian Himalayan Foundation and volunteer filmmaker for the Himalayan Trust NZ.  In May 2023 Michael led a trek into the Solo Khumbu region of Nepal for World Expeditions to coincide with the celebrations for the 70th Anniversary of Hillary and Tenzing’s Ascent of Everest.

Interviews and Podcsasts

Read more about Michael’s filmmaking, and TV documentaries here.

Contact: mcdillonfilms@gmail.com