John Kassab is a multi award winning Australian producer, sound designer, story teller and law school dropout.
John's film career launched in 2010 as the sound designer of the Australian short films, Deeper Than Yesterday which won 3 prizes at Cannes and the Sundance International Grand Jury Prize, and The Lost Thing, which went on to receive an Oscar at the 2010 Academy Awards. That same year, John was also the recipient of a Winston Churchill Fellowship and embarked on an intentional tour to research the latest developments in sound post production workflows and techniques at Skywalker, De Lane Lea, Pinewood, Todd-AO / Soundelux, Pixar and the five major Hollywood studios.
In 2011, John relocated to the United States and began producing films in Los Angeles, New York, Massachusetts, Baltimore and his beloved Atlanta. Throughout his producing career, his focus has been to provide a platform to underrepresented voices.
His debut feature documentary 12 O’Clock Boys told the story of a disenfranchised African American boy living below the poverty line in Baltimore who dreams of joining the city's notorious illegal bike gang. This film premiered at SXSW in 2013 to considerable critical acclaim and has been adapted into the forthcoming feature film Twelve by Oscar winner Barry Jenkins (Moonlight) and is being produced by Oscar boycotter Jada Pickett Smith. In 2015, John returned to Australia to produce and direct the web series Renaissance Woman which was written and performed by comedian Hannah Gadsby.
In 2016, John co-produced the Spanish language thriller Debris, a film about undocumented Mexican workers in Los Angeles whose organs are harvested for the medical black market. That film premiered at Telluride Film Festival in 2017 and qualified for Oscar consideration in 2018. His next co-production, the Atlanta based Nobody's Darling premiered at Sidewalk Film Festival in 2018 and told the story of a conservative southern father coming to terms with his daughter’s decision to marry her girlfriend.
John’s latest production They Wait for Us is a psychedelic science fiction told from the perspective of a Chinese night shift worker at an upmarket British palliative care facility. It premiered at Fantasia Film Festival in 2018 and has received multiple prizes and nominations including an Australian Screen Sound Guild Award. All three productions are still touring the international film festival circuit often ending up in the same programs.
John is now developing new projects as a writer. In early 2019, he received the Cinespace Social Change Screenwriter’s Fellowship and published his research in Diversity, Cultural Appropriation and Telling the Stories of Others.
He also continues to work in sound design. His latest tracks can be heard on the animated paper stop motion The Grave of St Oran (narrated by and based on a poem by Neil Gaiman) and Morgana, a feature documentary about the Australian feminist middle age porn star.