Throughout the late 1990s Ivan Sen worked on numerous short films, before making his feature film debut withBeneath Clouds in 2002. It won Ivan global acclaim, screening at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival and winning the Premiere First Movie Award at the 2002 Berlin Film Festival and the 2002 Best Director Award at the Australian Film Institute Awards.
Ivan has subsequently written and produced a number of award winning documentaries. His documentary Yellow Fella screened in Un Certain Regard at the Cannes Film Festival in 2005.
In 2008 Ivan commenced production on his experimental second feature Dreamland. It screened in competition at the 2010 Busan Film Festival in South Korea and in the Brisbane and Melbourne Film Festivals.
In 2011 Ivan completed his feature Toomelah, which was selected for the Cannes International Film Festival 2011 – Un Certain Regard. The world premiere of the film at Cannes received a standing ovation. The film won the Grand Prix at the Pacific Meridian Film Festival 2011 and the UNESCO Prize at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards 2011.
In 2012 Ivan was awarded the prestigious Byron Kennedy Award, for “his unique artistic vision and for showing, by his resourceful, multidisciplinary filmmaking, that telling stories on screen is in reach of all who have something consequential to say”.
In 2013 Ivan completed Mystery Road starring Aaron Pedersen, Hugo Weaving, Ryan Kwanten, Tasma Walton and Jack Thompson. Mystery Road had its international premiere with a “Special Presentation”at the 2013 Toronto Film Festival.
In 2015 Ivan directed his Goldstone starring Aaron Pedersen, Alex Russell, Jacki Weaver, David Gulpilil, Cheng Pei Pei and David Wenham. Ivan is currently in production on his latest feature This Winter.