"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
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
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.
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
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.
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