User:William Bemister

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Biography

William Bemister is an Emmy and Golden Eagle award-winning film producer-director and journalist with more than 35 years’ experience in investigative reporting and documentary production.

He started his career in journalism with the Rhodesia Herald and Sunday Mail newspaper group in pre-independence Rhodesia before joining the Rhodesia Broadcasting Corporation and Rhodesia Television as a news sub-editor.

In 1974, he worked as a general reporter for NZ Truth, Auckland, New Zealand, and then moved to Australia where he joined Rupert Murdoch's News Limited newspaper titles: Melbourne Truth, Sydney Sunday Telegraph, and the national daily, The Australian.

Returning to the broadcast media, he joined the Australian Broadcasting Commission in both Melbourne and Sydney, and the Australian (Television) Network Ten as Special Investigative Producer in Sydney.

Since leaving Network Ten, Bemister worked as an independent producer-director in Australia, Japan, Germany, France, Sweden, and the United States. In 1997, he joined Thames Television/Financial Times Television at Teddington Studios, London as Special Projects Producer.

Bemister spent the last five years working on a forensic investigation of war crimes using experimental technologies not commercially available to the film industry or to forensic science.

In 2007, Bemister’s work featured in Richard Trank’s documentary 'I Have Never Forgotten You: The Life & Legacy of Simon Wiesenthal', narrated by Nicole Kidman, which premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival.

He is a partner of Cassini Films (together with Nigel Wooll, Executive and Co-Producer of major Hollywood feature films including Miss Potter, G.I. Jane, Son of the Pink Panther, Shining Through, and The Dresser, among many others).

Bemister received the Undergraduate Diploma in Film Studies at the University of Oxford and read for a Masters in European Cinema at the University of Exeter, England.

Filmography

As an independent television journalist, Bemister's first Australian film was 'The Confessions of Ronald Biggs', a feature documentary, directed by Barry Sloane, about British train robber Ronald Biggs, who was then a fugitive in Brazil.

Bemister's 90-minute documentary 'The Hunter and the Hunted', about Nazi war criminals, their whereabouts, and the Nazi hunters who sought their arrest and prosecution, was commissioned by the Australian Seven Network and filmed on location in South America, France, Germany, Israel and the UK.

Coinciding with the 1978 telecast of the American miniseries Holocaust, directed by Marvin J. Chomsky, 'The Hunter and the Hunted' documented the real people fictionalized in Chomsky’s miniseries.

Included in the film were scenes identifying the then whereabouts of two of the most wanted Nazi criminals, Klaus Barbie and Walter Rauff, and the only interview with Rauff. Adolf Eichmann's son Horst also controversially discusses the case against his father in the film.

A 58-minute version of the film was later telecast on PBS in the United States for which Bemister won the 1981 Emmy for Outstanding Investigative Journalism on U.S. Network Television and the 1982 CINE Gold Eagle Award.

Bemister's other international producer credits include 'Moscow's Man' on Thames Television in Britain, Sveriges Television, WDR-Fernsehen in Germany, and the Discovery Channel worldwide; and the Home Box Office documentary special 'America Undercover: The Search for Dr Josef Mengele' for which he worked as Producer-Correspondent. He was also Investigative Reporter for Fremantle Media's 'The Seven Million Dollar Fugitive'.

His productions for Australian television networks include a two-hour feature documentary, 'Spy Trap: The True Story Of Vladimir Petrov And Kim Philby', telecast by the Australian Broadcasting Commission; the one-hour documentary special 'Psychic Visions Of The Future', about the world's leading psychics for the Australian Ten Television Network, and 'Warriors Of The Deep', a docudrama about the audacious Japanese midget submarine attack into the heart of Sydney Harbor in 1942, then the base for American and Australian warships. This film was telecast by the Australian Seven Network.

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