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John Dingwall John Dingwall i(A25298 works by)
Born: Established: 13 Jul 1940 Rockhampton, Rockhampton - Yeppoon area, Maryborough - Rockhampton area, Queensland, ; Died: Ceased: 3 May 2004 Gold Coast, Queensland,
Gender: Male
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Screenwriter, producer, director.

A former journalist and Sydney Morning Herald newspaper police reporter, John Dingwall utilised his experiences by writing episodes for Crawford Production's 'cop shows' during his early years as a television scriptwriter. Among the series that he was associated with during the late 1960s and early 1970s were Homicide, Matlock Police and Division Four. His 'Johnny Reb' teleplay for an episode of Homicide won a 1970 Australian Writers' Guild award. After establishing his reputation with police dramas, Dingwall eventually branched out into writing straight drama and comedy.

In 1974 Dingwall conceived and wrote the feature film Sunday Too Far Away! (q.v., 1975). The screenplay, based on his brother-in-law's experiences as a sheep shearer, is credited by many critics as having opened the country's films to the world. It was, for example, the first Australian film to compete in the Director's Fortnight in Cannes and one of the first to receive international distribution. Two years after Sunday Too Far Away!, Dingwall co-created and co-wrote the award-winning television series Pig in a Poke (1977). His success in these ventures led him to consider becoming an independent producer and, in the early 1980s, he formed his own film production company, JD Productions.

The company's first feature film production was Buddies in 1983. Faced with distribution difficulties, Dingwall took a print and posters of the film on the road, touring it successfully around rural cinemas in Queensland. In 1988 he mortgaged his house and raised funds to make the psychodrama, Phobia (q.v.), which he wrote and directed. Well received at the 1988 Cannes Film Festival, it was also nominated in each and every category as one of two final nominations for the 1991 Australian Critics Society Awards. The film ultimately won Best Actor and Best Screenplay awards. His final film, The Custodian (q.v.), was released in 1993.

During his distinguished career, John Dingwall's work won him fourteen Australia film awards including AFI, Awgie, Logie and Penguin awards. He died in Murwillumbah of cancer in 2004 and is survived by five children and his partner Dimitra Meleti.

Most Referenced Works


  • Filmography (as writer and/or director) includes:

    • 1968-1974: Homicide (12 episodes)
    • 1970: Dynasty (q.v., writer - 1 episode)
    • 1970-74: Division Four (writer - 8 episodes)
    • 1972: Matlock Police (q.v., writer - 1 episode)
    • 1973: The Comedy Game (writer - 1 episode)
    • 1975: The Seven Ages of Man (writer/director - 1 episode)
    • 1975: Sunday Too Far Away * (q.v., writer)
    • 1975: Pig in a Poke (writer - series)
    • 1980: Spring and Fall (writer - 1 episode)
    • 1983: Buddies * (writer)
    • 1990: Phobia * (q.v., writer/director)
    • 1993: The Custodian * (q.v., writer/director)

    * indicates feature film

Awards for Works

form y separately published work icon Buddies ( dir. Arch Nicholson ) Australia : JD Productions , 1983 7891437 1983 single work film/TV humour adventure (taught in 2 units)

'In the gem fields of central Queensland, knockabout young miners Mike and Johnny (Colin Friels and Harry Hopkins) borrow heavily to take on a claim-jumping newcomer (Dennis Miller) who has money and muscle. Help arrives from an unlikely source – a city doctor (Norman Kaye) and his family, passing though on holiday, and a lonely pilot (Simon Chilvers), who sells them a plane. They band together against the enemy, but Mike and Johnny argue over strategy and the doctor’s adventurous daughter (Lisa Peers).'

Source: Australian Screen.

1983 winner Australian Film Institute Awards Best Original Screenplay
form y separately published work icon Pig in a Poke ( dir. Michael Jenkins ) Sydney : Australian Broadcasting Commission , 1977 7200984 1977 series - publisher film/TV

A Melbourne-based doctor gives up his practice to take a practice in Redfern, sight unseen, and is drawn into the conflicts of the impoverished, inner-city suburb.

1978 winner Logie Awards Best Dramatic Script The particular episode for which the award was given is not specified in contemporary reports.
form y separately published work icon Sunday Too Far Away! ( dir. Ken Hannam ) 1975 South Australia : South Australian Film Corporation , 1975 Z437559 1975 single work film/TV (taught in 2 units)

Set in 1956 on an outback sheep station, the narrative explores the life of the old-time shearers: sweat-soaked days and rum-soaked nights, bloody two-fisted punch ups ... and the scab labour brought in during the shearers' strike of 1956. Central to the main storyline is Foley, a gun shearer who has been unbeaten in the tally for ten years, but who now arrives at the station aware that his days as the fastest shearer are now numbered.

1974 winner Australian Film Institute Awards Best Film Winner for the combined years 1974-1975.
Last amended 23 Sep 2010 14:27:27
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