Byron Kennedy

Byron Kennedy (18 August 1949 – 17 July 1983) was an Australian film producer known for co-creating the Mad Max series of films with George Miller.[1] Byron Kennedy was born in Melbourne. At the age of 18, he formed his own production company named "Warlok Films" and produced many amateur short films under this logo. In 1970, at the age of 21, he won The Kodak Trophy, Australia's Ten Best on Eight, for the short film "Hobson's Bay", a short documentary film about the Melbourne port suburb of Williamstown. This award enabled him to travel overseas and gain invaluable knowledge of the international film/television industry. Upon his return he embarked upon a television and film course at the University of New South Wales.

Byron Kennedy
Born18 August 1949
Died17 July 1983(1983-07-17) (aged 33)
OccupationFilm producer, cinematographer
Known forCo-creator of Mad Max

George Miller

Kennedy met George Miller at the University of Melbourne in 1969.[2][3] The first mini-film made by both was Violence in the Cinema, filmed in Yarraville, Melbourne. The film won international acclaim and this led to the formation of the new film company "Kennedy Miller", which was incorporated in 1975 with both George Miller and Byron Kennedy as co-directors.[4]

Their first major movie together was the international smash hit Mad Max (1979). This film set a record for the highest-grossing film relative to budget, a record which was only broken with the advent of The Blair Witch Project (1999).[5]

In 1982, Kennedy produced the film Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior, the sequel to Mad Max, which grossed over $100 million worldwide.[1][6]


In 1983, at the age of 33, Kennedy was killed at Warragamba Dam in New South Wales, Australia, when the helicopter he was piloting crashed.


In his honour, the Australian Film Institute, with George Miller as a panel member, established the Byron Kennedy Award. This award is bestowed upon those whose work is marked by their pursuit of excellence within the film and television industry and is sponsored by Kennedy Miller, Warner Bros., Village Roadshow, Greater Union, Cinemedia, and Steven Spielberg.

The film Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome is dedicated to Kennedy.[7]

His original co-production company, Kennedy Miller, is now called Kennedy Miller Mitchell.[8]


Motion pictures



  1. UPI (20 July 1983). "BYRON KENNEDY, 33, PRODUCER OF FILM, 'THE ROAD WARRIOR'". The New York Times.
  2. Moran, Albert; Vieth, Errol (2009). The A to Z of Australian and New Zealand Cinema. Lanham: Scarecrow Press. p. 174. ISBN 9780810868311.
  3. Brennan, Richard (2007). Kennedy, Byron Eric (1949–1983) (published first in hardcopy). Australian Dictionary of Biography. National Centre of Biography, Australian National University. Retrieved 2 July 2017.
  4. "A TRIBUTE TO BYRON KENNEDY". Filmnews. 13 (7). New South Wales, Australia. 1 July 1983. p. 3. Retrieved 20 December 2017 via National Library of Australia.
  5. "MAD MAX". Filmnews. 9 (7). New South Wales, Australia. 1 July 1979. p. 8. Retrieved 20 December 2017 via National Library of Australia.
  6. "George Miller an unlikely director of 'Mad Max II'". The Canberra Times. 57 (17, 147). Australian Capital Territory, Australia. 8 September 1982. p. 32. Retrieved 20 December 2017 via National Library of Australia.
  7. Brew, Simon (1 April 2015). "Dedications at the end of movies, and what they mean". Den of Geek. Dennis Publishing. Retrieved 8 August 2015.
  8. "Kennedy Miller Mitchell Filmography". InBaseline. Retrieved 24 January 2010.
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