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Zdenka Simandlova

Position: Screenwriter/Film & TV director


Zdenka is a Czech-born Australian screenwriter and director.

Graduating from the International Film School Sydney in 2009, her short films ‘Defect’ and ‘Thrust’ both political drama/thrillers went on the world festivals' circuit in 2010, winning at Soho NYC, USA International Film Festival.

Her feature script, historical drama/political thriller ‘Toman’ has been optioned in 2013 by Czech producer&director Ondrej Trojan, who was twice nominated for foreign Oscars (“Zelary”, “Divided We Fall”). The film ‘Toman’ premiered in October 2018, with prospects for Czech Lions (AACTA awards equivalent) numerous awards.

Since late 2013 Zdenka has written numerous TV and feature scripts in the fields of military investigations, war/special forces/espionage/political, psychological and action dramas and a couple of love stories/thrillers.

Zdenka’s extensive work is often based on true stories, supported by thorough research and a knowledge of those subject.


International Film School Sydney 2007-2009
Advanced Diploma in Screen (writing/directing/producing)


Experienced writer and director - 11 years in the industry


TOMAN / Feature film - historical drama, political thriller/2018 (released October 2018) - writer

TRUST / Short film - action, psychological drama, political thriller/2009 - writer/director/producer

DEFECT / Short film - drama-political thriller/2009 (winner “Best Film in Progress” Soho NYC IFF) - writer/director/producer


“THOSE WHO DARE” - High-end TV Drama from our current war conflict/2017 - writer - Pilot long-listed for AWG Prime Time TV competition in 2017. The script was described by the judges as “raw, realistic, fresh, unique voice of a subject-knowledgeable newcomer”.

“PREDATOR STRIKE" - Feature - political thriller/2015 - writer - Script considered by judges of Gateway LA screenwriting competition to qualify for Australian Top 10 feature and TV scripts in 2015.


BREAKING BREAD - Feature film script - Political Thriller/drama
Golden Reel Award Winner, Nevada Film Festival 2009
Honourable Mention (10th-best in the world), Independent Short Film And Arts Festival Long Beach 2009
Winner, Cinema City on Line Film Festival California 2009

** DEFECT - Short Film – Drama
Winner, Best Short Film, SoHo International Film Festival NYC 2010
Winner, Jury Award for Best Short Film under 20 min, 5th Monaco Charity Film Festival, Monaco
Golden Palm Award Winner, Best Short Film, Mexico International Film Festival 2010
Award Nominee, Best Short Film under 20min, Swansea International Film Festival, UK 2010
Award Nominee, Best short film, Okanagan Film Festival, Canada 2010
Royal Reel Award for Excellence in Filmmaking at the 2010 Canada International Film Festival
Aloha Accolade Award for Excellence in Filmmaking at the 2010 Honolulu International Film Festival
Award Nominee, Ireland International Film Festival 2010
Official Selection, Rincon International Film Festival, Brazil 2010
Official Selection, Egypt International Film Festival 2010
Official Selection, Strasghborough International Film Festival, France 2010
Official Selection, Canberra Short Film Festival, Australia 2009
Bronze DVD (3rd place) in Annual Australian Cinematography Awards 2009

*** TRUST - Short Film – drama
Award Nominee, Swansea Film Festival, UK 2010
Award Nominee, 5th Monaco Charity Film Festival, Monaco 2010
Golden Palm Award nominee, Mexico International Film Festival 2010
Official Selection, Egypt International Film Festival 2010
Official Selection, Ireland International Film Festival 2010
Official Selection, Swansea International Film Festival 2010 TRUST/ Short Film – drama
Official Selection, Coasties Film Festival Avoca Beach Australia 2009


“SHIVER” - TV Miniseries Drama-Love Story - based on the Australian journalist and award-winning author Nikki Gemmell’s book.

The miniseries follows a young journalist, Fin, disillusioned with her suffocating city routine, Sydney
Morning Herald domestic reporting and disastrous relationships, who seizes the opportunity to break free and accept a prestige assignment on the Summer Antarctic mission. Unaware of the trip’s numerous challenges, strict written and unwritten rules and with a 96:8 ratio of men to women, she’s thrilled with the prospect of new beginnings, but soon she finds out what a bunch of quirky scientists she will have to put up with. Then she breaks rule number one — she falls in love... with shattering consequences.

“SISTERS” - a complex psychological drama/thriller/love story - inspired by a novel 'Carthage' by the renown American author Joyce Carol Oates and set on NSW South Coast.

The script addresses timeless family dynamics of love and hate between a husband and wife, between a more beautiful loved child and the rebellious difficult ‘unloved’ child, and how a family and war can defile and change a human soul, pit families of a small town community against each other leading to exile and even murder.

“QUALITY OF SILENCE” - a psychological family mystery/thriller that follows an Australian astrophysicist Yasmin and her deaf daughter Ruby, whose only means of communication is her laptop, on their perilous journey to find Ruby’s father, Matt Alfredson, a British-Australian wildlife filmmaker who goes missing in Alaska. Denying to accept the overwhelming proof - Matt’s wedding ring that has been found at a village of Anaktue that was devastated by an explosion and fire with no survivors, Yasmin and Ruby take a ride along the dangerous ice highway with an Afghan refugee truck driver in search of Matt... but someone is following them... a friend, messenger or foe?

“ADFIS” aka “Australian Defence Force Investigative Services” - a high-end military crime procedural drama series with a strong international appeal. A team of investigators with their idiosyncrasies must work together to solve complex, often politically sensitive crimes involving ADF personnel on operations, home and overseas.

“EXIT WOUNDS” - a psychological drama mini-series that follows one of our highest ranking Australian officer’s ‘War on Terror’, alongside his private war with his PTSD. While he is leading our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, he comes to question our involvement in the Afghanistan war and other conflicts because Yanks and Brits decided to go to war.

This high-end drama has a broad international appeal for its unique POV of the War on Terror and PTSD from the direct experience of our Army leader.



Author, Screenwriter, Documentary Filmmaker
mobile: +61(0)407226892

To whom it may concern:

As a graduate of the AFTRS, a Full Member of the AWG and the Producer/Director of numerous documentaries for television in 32 countries of Asia and the Pacific – as well as a similar number of corporate videos in Australia - I am delighted to have the opportunity to act as a referee for Zdenka Simandlova. She is an artistic creative of extraordinary range and depth. She is a director of great sensitivity and a screenwriter of enormous talent and accomplishment.

I have been collaborating with her on several television and feature film projects for the past two years and she has brought great depth and passion to every element of our work. She is a true professional with a European sophistication rarely seen in Australian productions but which adds a new and vital dimension to her work. I thoroughly recommend her for whatever position she seeks. She is an enormous asset to our industry.

Canberra, 14/10/2017


Former Directing Lecturer, IFSS, Sydney
Former Head of Directing, Australian Film, Television Radio School, Sydney.

To whom it may concern:

I tutored Zdenka Simandlova in the craft of direction at the International Film School of Sydney. Ms Simandlova was an outstanding student with a mature aesthetic and a strong understanding of the art of translating a story from page to screen. Zdenka impressed me in particular with her ability to create mood, atmosphere and tension on screen as evidenced in her excellent short film, Defect. In that film, she created 1950s Prague most believably, a considerable challenge considering it was filmed in inner Sydney, Australia with a student film budget.
That film shows that Zdenka Simandlova is a film director.
She satisfied me in all aspects of her craft: preparation, storyboard to screen and post-production. She is a very good communicator and was respected by her key creative crew. She is able to give direction to actors in a manner that earns their trust and I was impressed by her approach to working with actors and the performances they achieved under her guidance.
Her short film work demonstrates that Zdenka Simandlova is capable and ready to move to longer form filmed drama and I commend her to producers and funding organisations.

Sydney, 12/11/2016

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