Bob Connolly trained as a journalist at the Australian Broadcast Corporation and then spent a decade there as a foreign correspondent, current affairs reporter and documentary filmmaker. He made 30 documentaries for the ABC, winning several national awards for production and direction.
In 1978 Connolly left the ABC to work independently with Robin Anderson, producing First Contact (1983), followed by Joe Leahy’s Neighbours (1989) and Black Harvest (1992). Set in the PNG Highlands and shot over ten years, these 3 films won 30 national and international awards, including an Academy Award nomination for First Contact. All three won the Grand Prix at France’s prestigious Festival Cinema du Reel, and AFI awards for Best Documentary.
In 1996 Connolly and Anderson released Rats in the Ranks. The film ran 5 months in Australian cinemas. Their last film together was Facing the Music (2001) which like all its predecessors was judged Best Documentary by the Australian Film Critics Circle. It too won the AFI Award for Best Documentary, and was voted most popular film at the Sydney and Brisbane Film Festivals.
In March 2002, Bob Connolly’s wife and professional colleague Robin Anderson died aged 51. He and the couple’s two children (Katherine and Joanna) live in the inner Sydney suburb of Glebe.