“It is with deep sadness that Ultrafilms announces the death of founder David Lightfoot,” read their statement. “David Lightfoot was one of the most experienced and widely regarded production executives in the country…David dedicated his life to the film industry, and was passionate about Australian film and telling Australian stories.”
Lightfoot embarked on his career in film in 1982, joining the South Australian Film Corporation after playing cricket for South Australia and spending a period of time in the army.
The award-winning producer’s most notable projects included two films from Greg McLean, including 2005 horror-thriller Wolf Creek, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, before moving on to the Directors’ Fortnight section of Cannes. The other, distributed by the Weinstein Company, was the 2007 action-thriller Rogue, which starred Radha Mitchell, Michael Vartan, Sam Worthington and more.
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Lightfoot also produced the Australian films Babe, Bad Boy Bubby, The Sound of One Hand Clapping and Japanese Story, among others. The last project the producer completed was the 2020 Tony Ginnane film Never Too Late, starring James Cromwell, Dennis Waterman, Roy Billing, Shane Jacobson, Jack Thompson, Jacki Weaver and more. At present, Ultrafilms is looking to bring another film, A Faraway Christmas, to completion, in Lightfoot’s honor. That film will be produced by Sugar and Roadshow Films’ former Head of Productions, Seph McKenna.
During the course of his 30+ years in the entertainment industry, Lightfoot also worked as a location manager, production manager and first assistant director, and occasionally, as an actor. He was also the founding director of the SHORTS Film Festival, a national short film festival and competition dedicated to celebrating the art of storytelling.
Ultrafilms currently has a number of projects in process and will forge ahead with its slate, which is now under Sugar’s direction.
Lightfoot is survived by his son, Joshua. No memorial plans have been revealed.
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