This page remains on this site as a tribute to the late John Dingwall, who died in his 60s early in 2005. He would have been delighted at the many requests I receive for copies of his movie Buddies, but I regret that I have lost contact with his business interests and I do know that John had never allowed the film to be transferred for video hire. He had a deep distrust of the film distribution business and having spent many meetings with John in the company of the film distributors, I can assure you, his distrust was well placed.

So please don't ask me for a copy of Buddies. I can't help you and I don't know who can.

'Friday night too tired, Saturday night too drunk, Sunday too far away'

John Dingwall - Screenwriter, Producer, Director
Winner of 12 national writing awards

Writers spend a great deal of their time studying people - the way they live,
the way they react to things, the way they talk,
and their humour.
John Dingwall is no exception and he has captured the best of his experiences in a
syndicated newspaper column, called

His columns represent the essence of life
outside the big cities and the voice of the ordinary Oz family.

He exposes the bizarre, the injustices,
the oddities and the characters of Australia.

Like many people today, John Dingwall laments the decline of country towns.

His whimsical social commentary, in Runyonesque style,
will keep the spirit alive and bring knowing smiles to readers everywhere.

Read a sample  



"Sunday Too Far Away ~ many critics reckon this is one of the 10 best Australian films made."
"Sunday Too Far Away makes a cultural and political statement without words or malice and has earned a place in Australian film history."- Internet Film Critics

John Dingwall was born in Rockhampton, Queensland. He began as a cadet journalist on "The Morning Bulletin" at a time when it ranked among the best provincial newspapers in the country.

After serving only half of a four year cadetship before receiving his grading, John moved to Tasmania as a parliamentary and general reporter in the Hobart office of "The Examiner", Launceston.

On "The Sydney Morning Herald", he was general reporter and police roundsman, covering stories interstate and overseas. It was his experience in police and court reporting that led him into drama, writing for Hector Crawford Productions (Homicide, Division 4, Matlock).

In television, he wrote for other commercial producers and the ABC, co-creating the ABC's first and multi-award winning mini series, Pig in a Poke.

In film, he has written four produced plays, including the story of his brother-in-law who was a gun shearer, under the title Sunday Too Far Away. This film is credited with launching the Australian film industry into the modern world market, being the first Australian film to compete in Directors Fortnight, Cannes.

His other film credits are: Buddies (Writer/Producer), Phobia (Writer/Director), and The Custodian (Writer/Director). His own production company made three of these films. He is the recipient of 12 national writing awards including the AFI, Logie, AWG, Penguin and Australian Film Critics Award.

John Dingwall has spoken for and on behalf of the Australian film industry, throughout Australia and in the UK, France, Italy and the US.

His practical efficiency is well known in the industry. For example, as Production Company, Screenwriter and Director, he shot a full length feature film (Phobia) in three weeks and completed the post production in four weeks, compared to the normal four months.

This film was one of two final nominations in each of the five categories of the Australian Film Critics Awards and won Best Actor (Sean Scully) and Best Screenplay. Phobia, which has only two characters and which he made for $110,000, sold for more than three times that amount in a single world market.

John Dingwall was asked to reorganise the Australian Writers Guild, which he did as Chairman and subsequently was created a Life Member.

During 2000/2001 John has been engaged on a special project for the Australian Film Commission, creating a work to deal specifically with the perceived problems of the Australian script.

The outcome of this project is Lizard's Way, a feature length thriller screenplay completed early in 2001, which has an extraordinary predictive element. Its climax centres on an invasion of Australia by boat people.

The professional link between John Dingwall and Ken Newton, as flimsy as it may have been over many years of their respective careers, began at the Rockhampton Morning Bulletin. Both were cadet reporters at the same time, with Ken a couple of years ahead of John.

John and Ken joined forces in the early 80s to successfully raise the budget for the film, Buddies, shot on the Central Queensland gemfields. The two then took on the distribution of the film, in the face of traditional resistance from the big distribution networks.

Listen to some grabs from the sound track of "Sunday"


Copyright 2000 (c) Newtons Pty Ltd