John Polson

John Polson

Australian John Polson's long and successful career has included acting, directing, producing, and festival curation. His time as an actor began with a role in a made-for-TV movie about a 1950s rocker and ended with his appearance as Impossible Mission Force team-member Billy Baird in the spy thriller "Mission: Impossible II" (2000) and the spun-off video game "Mission: Impossible - Operation Surma" (2003). In 1993, at the Tropicana Cafe--a small, family-owned Italian restaurant in Sydney--Polson held the first annual Tropicana Short Film Festival. Now known as TropFest, it has grown into the largest short film festival in the world with satellite competitions in Paris, Las Vegas and New York City. Polson's breakthrough feature as a director, "Siam Sunset," was a 1999 comedy about a vacation gone wrong. But since then he has worked primarily in the action and thriller genres, from 2002's Hitchcock-influenced teen movie "Swimfan" to the 2009 mystery "Tenderness," with Academy Award-winner Russell Crowe. Polson has applied his aptitude for directing grippingly suspenseful scenes to episodes of several television shows, including FOX's "Fringe" and ABC's "FlashForward"--two shows that employ that proven hit combination of science fiction and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.