In 2018 Mannion won the Australian Directors Guild Awards (nominee in 2013) for directing The Defector, a Cold War thriller and first chapter of the anthology series on Steam The Defector was viewed over 3.6 million times online, was the #1 movie on Steam and Vimeo. The Defector garnered international critical acclaim and coverage across Gizmodo, Vice/DM, Polygon, Io9, Kotaku, Geektyrant, from Sundance and Tiff program directors, Vimeo Staff Pick, Want Magazine, Vintage News, The Age, SMH, alongside thousands of 5-star reviews across platforms. Mannion's collaborators were Oscar and Bafta winner Russell Boyd, two-time Australian Academy Award winner Matt Villa. Mannion is currently co-authoring a non-fiction book for Cambridge University Press.

Mannion received Australian Directors Guild award nomination for his film Anima, which secured grants from Screen Australia and Screen NSW. Anima had its international premiere at the prestigious Clermont-Ferrand film Festival and TV premieres on Canal+ and SBS , and SVOD on Amazon Prime.

Mannion’s written several feature films, his first won the Tracking Board Screenplay competition and was invited to develop the project at Benderspink in LA. He’s produced 2 successful crowdfunding campaigns, one record breaking, his films have been programmed at top five film festivals, and licensed by international cable and national television networks (with former Australian of the Year Patrick Mcgorry, and Gold Logie-winning actor Samuel Johnson, award winning Actor John Noble)



“There is no doubt that Mannion possesses some serious cinematographic talent and potentially someone who can join people like David Michôd and Zak Hilditch. I hope he gets a chance to try this as soon as possible.

Menacing. If The Defector was any single emotion, it would be pure, unfiltered sense of menace. Like a bus with that might or might not carry a suicide bomber, this short film expertly racks up the tension without doing too much. Instead, it allows its conflicting ideas to battle in the mind of the viewer. Who is justified in his action and who is the real menace? Defector leaves the audience guessing as the story quickly moves through its plot.

The film follows the real-life figure of Australian Prime Minister Harold Holt as he engages with his security chiefs about the Reds, individuals suspected of working against the state. However, Holt has his own agenda and begins to explore one of the secret threads, culminating in a single night of dangerous confrontation, which the film depicts.

Created by Scott Mannion, the film shows the power of a precisely executed thriller, combined with a modest layer of science fiction. As the film unravels, this layer begins to fill up, but still thankfully remains neither naive nor pretentious. On the other hand, the visual style of Defector, like its superb cast, especially Sean Taylor as Holt, is spot on. The decor and fashion of 1960’s offer a great backdrop to the mystery of the real life death of this figure.

All of these elements resemble movies like Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, telling a story of incredibly dangerous men who decide the fate of the world and still manage to look like everyday bureaucrats. These gray and almost faceless persons (even though this changes later on as well) are ideal personification of this menace.”

—IMDB, Myriam Nys

“Wonderfully atmospheric and stylish short, both an homage to, and a satire of, Cold War spy dramas à la LeCarré. The beginning of the movie reminds one of a really faithful, really meticulous LeCarré adaptation – think BBC at its best – and then gradually ever more uncanny elements creep in. The finale is deeply disquieting, proving once again that horrors hinted at are more frightening than horrors explained. Nice, natural performances and very high production values.”