Joined Sydney television station ATN-7, where he worked as a production assistant
Directed first short film, "Count Vim's Last Exercise"
Directed and acted in his second short film, "The Life and Flight of the Reverend Buckshotte"
Made several documentaries while working for the Commonwealth Film Institute (now Film Australia)
Directed the 30-minute segment "Michael" of the three-part, three-director feature film "Three To Go"
Made his first major independent film, the short feature "Homesdale"
Directed and co-wrote his first feature film, the underground cult classic "The Cars That Ate Paris"
Major feature breakthrough was "Picnic at Hanging Rock," the Australian film based on the novel by Joan Lindsay
Wrote and directed the offbeat low-budget telemovie, "The Plumber"
Earned international praise with the Australian hit, "Gallipoli"; first screen collaboration with Mel Gibson
Re-teamed with Gibson for "The Year of Living Dangerously"
First American film was the successful thriller, "Witness"; first collaboration with Harrison Ford; earned first Oscar nomination as Best Director
Again collaborated with Ford for "The Mosquito Coast," Paul Schrader's adaptation of Paul Theroux's novel
Had major international success with "Dead Poets Society," starring Robin Williams in a dramatic role; earned second Oscar nomination for Best Director
Directed Gérard Depardieu and Andie MacDowell in the romantic comedy, "Green Card"; earned third Oscar nomination for his Original Screenplay
Directed "Fearless," starring Jeff Bridges as a man who believes he has become invincible after surviving a catastrophic air crash
Directed Jim Carrey in rare dramatic role in "The Truman Show"; received a Best Director Oscar nomination
Directed "Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World," an adaptation of Patrick O'Brian's series of action-adventure novels; earned Golden Globe nominations for Best Picture and Best Screenplay; nominated by the Directors Guild of America for Outstanding Directorial Achievement; received Academy Award nominations for Best Picture and Best Director
Returned to directing with "The Way Back," a film about a group of prisoners who escaped from a Siberian gulag during World War II