Eric Murray Lui is one of Australia’s leading cinematographers with over 20 years’ experience bringing his exceptional talents to feature films, television series and shorts. His practice is marked by his collaborative nature, stunning visual storytelling, and dedication to craft. Murray is from the Kulkulgal nation of the remote Torres Strait Island region and is currently based in North Queensland.
International audiences have experienced his craft on recent series including Black Snow (2023), Irreverent (2022) and True Colours (2022), as well as feature films Top End Wedding (2019) and We Are Still Here (2022).
Starting as a teenager experimenting with photography and video, Murray became the first Torres Strait Islander to graduate with a Masters in Cinematography from the Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS) and has built a highly successful and impactful full-time career in the field.
Murray now pursues projects that inspire his enthusiasm for visual storytelling and push the boundaries of cinematography practice.
Murray expresses his passion for his craft in his own words:
Storytelling is such a cherished aspect of human life. Stories bind, connect and in many instances can help define us. It can inhabit so many forms — painting, sculpting, oral history etc. My particular favourite is filmmaking. Greater minds than mine consider this the newest and possibly the most potent tool in the storytelling arsenal!
All filmmakers have different stories about what attracted/drew them into the industry, and what keeps them there. I never thought being in a camera department could be a career. I saw every opportunity to work as a growing and learning experience. This way of thinking has stayed with me whenever I approach a new job. I’d be worried if I didn’t see that every new project had some way for me to learn something new, or offered me a way that I could contribute to its narrative process.
My love of images and stories came through photography via a family connection (and that story is probably too long to go into here) but because of that family connection I do feel a responsibility in representing a story appropriately.
I consider myself very lucky to have been around to have seen so many fantastic Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander filmmakers emerge and go onto such incredible careers — and even luckier still to have worked with a few of them. Their stories are cultural, personal, painful, joyous, angry, insightful, inclusively hopeful and for me personally, these stories are deeply inspirational and perceptively aspirational.
I am very hopeful for the future of Australian filmmaking and in particular the Indigenous representation via Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander practitioners.