Tim Burstall AM was an English Australian film director, writer and producer, best known for the motion picture Alvin Purple.
Burstall was a key figure in Australian postwar cinema and was instrumental in rebuilding the Australian film industry at a time when it had been effectively dead for years. He created groundbreaking Australian films including Stork, Alvin Purple, End Play, Eliza Fraser, The Last of the Knucklemen and the 1986 adaptation of D.H. Lawrence's novel Kangaroo.
Burstall also launched the film careers of many well-known actors including Bruce Spence, Jacki Weaver, Graeme Blundell, Jack Thompson, John Waters and Judy Davis. His wife, Betty Burstall, an important figure in her own right, founded the pioneering La Mama Theatre in Melbourne in the late 1960s. Many leading Australian 'new wave' playwrights including David Williamson had their first successes there, and Burstall was an integral part of the fertile creative scene that centred on the theatre.
Speaking just after Burstall's death, Williamson said that Burstall "couldn't stomach" Australia's lack of a film industry. "He was determined to do something about it and he had the energy and spirit to do it. was a very important cultural figure: highly intelligent, widely read, with a succinct and often highly controversial opinion on everything."