After graduating from the Australian National University with BAs in both Economics and Arts, Alister studied Japanese in Tokyo. But his passion was in film-making. He was accepted into the directing stream of the Masters course at the Australian Film, Television and Radio School (AFTRS) where he made six films in a range of genres.
His short, ‘BOMB’, won three awards at ‘Tropfest’, the world’s biggest short film festival in 2005 including best film and later, in 2012, it was chosen from twenty years of Tropfest finalists to screen in the ‘Best of the Best’ competition in Las Vegas.
He co-wrote and directed the gritty and experiential feature film ‘Kokoda’ (2006), Colin Fraser from Filmink praising it, ‘Kokoda draws comparisons with Gallipoli if for no other reason than it will come to be similarly regarded as a landmark in Australian cinema’.
His next film, 3D thriller ‘Sanctum’ (2011) produced by James Cameron secured a rare and highly successful release in China, and was the eighth highest grossing Australian film of all time with a world-wide box office gross of over 110 million US dollars.
Grierson has directed two series of the multi-award winning television show Nowhere Boys (Matchbox Productions) and Australia’s most popular TV series, the Dr Blake Mysteries (December Media) and the powerful TV movie, Parer’s War, for the ABC based on the real story of the life of combat cameraman Damien Parer.
In 2018 his movie, Tiger, a boxing film inspired by the true story of the persecution of a Sikh man was released theatrically in the U.S. Starring Mickey Rourke and Janelle Parish, it won Best Feature Film at the San Diego International Film Festival.
His latest film, Bloody Hell, was released theatrically and on digital platforms in January, 2021. It is a comedic thriller in a horror space and currently is 91% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. MorbidlyBeautiful.com's 5 star review describing it as ‘A pitch perfect, wonderfully weird, adrenaline-fuelled thrill ride; an uproariously good time’. It won best film at both the Gdansk Film Festival and the Brussels International Fantasy Film Festival.
He will be directing a thriller in Canada later this year.