Max Stahl is an award winning Director, Writer, Producer and Cameraman who has worked in front and behind the camera. Over more than 25 years his films for UK’s ITV Channels 3, 4, and BBC, for national broadcasters in France, Germany, Scandinavia, Australia, Canada and the USA, have been shown around the world.
Max began in the theatre as actor and director, then presented BBC’s popular children’s program Blue Peter, before turning to investigative documentaries, news and features in Latin America, the former communist countries, the Caucasus, Baltic, the Balkans as well as writing and developing scripts for feature films. But Max is perhaps best known worldwide for films on Indonesia and East Timor. He filmed the 1991 Dili massacre when more than 400 peaceful demonstrators were killed by Indonesian troops, ‘breaking’ the East Timor story internationally. His images and 4 major documentaries he made there over ten years as well as scores of news reports played a key part in forcing the referendum eventually granted 9 years later to East Timor. His images from the mountains where he alone stayed in September 1999 when all other TV journalists fled the murderous attacks of Indonesian sponsored militia played a key role in forcing the UN intervention which finally brought an end to Timor’s occupation. Max won many awards, and received the Medal of Freedom from Portugal and medals from Timor Leste after independence for this work.
More recently Max has developed his work with film makers in developing countries. In 1999 Max lectured on film making to Macedonian TV stations and produced a series of short films made from different perspectives in the Balkan conflict authored by local people from different communities in conflict. Since 2003 he has based himself in Timor Leste, where he has founded the CAMS Timor Leste, the Max Stahl Audiovisual centre for East Timor. This is both an audiovisual archive of the struggle for independence and birth of the world’s youngest nation, and a production, training and film making centre for local and regional film makers interested in the issues of struggle for peace and development which Timor Leste has embodied. CAMSTL which now has documented and preserved over 3500 hours of material on Timor Leste has been nominated for registration with UNESCO the Memory of the World.