Lawrence Johnston

writer, director, producer

Melbourne, AU

documentary film drama

Lawrence Johnston is an internationally award-winning Writer, Director and Producer who began his career as a Film Repairer at 20th Century-Fox. He is a graduate of the prestigious Swinburne Film and Television School in Melbourne, Australia with a Bachelor of Arts in Film and Television. He has worked in both drama and documentary. His films have been screened and awarded at Cannes, Toronto, Berlin, Telluride, Chicago and London Film Festivals among many others. His first film, the short dramatic feature, 'Night Out' was an Official Selection at the 1990 Cannes Film Festival (Un Certain Regard) and named 'one of the year's ten best' in the New York Village Voice. He followed this with the documentary feature 'Eternity' which won the Best Feature Award at the Los Angeles International Documentary Association and Best Cinematography at the 1995 Australian Film Institute Awards for Oscar Winning Cinematographer Dion Beebe (Chicago, Memoirs of a Geisha). It was also named 'one of the year's ten best' in WHO Magazine and shortlisted for an Academy Award. His debut feature drama, 'Life' won the FIPRESCI International Critic's Prize at the 1997 Toronto Film Festival and was nominated for four Australian Oscars and four Australian Film Critic's Circle Awards including Best Actor, Best Screenplay, Co-Written with John Brumpton, Best Editing and Best Cinematography for Mandy Walker ('Hidden Figures', 'Mulan' and Baz Lurhman's 'Elvis'). Lawrence's work has been shown in major retrospectives on Australia Cinema at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. He has also worked as a Development and Production Executive at Screen Australia between the production of his films. !n 2005, his company Rough Trade Pictures produced 'The Dream of Love' and 'Once a Queen', both for SBS Television as well as his second feature film, 'Night' which he wrote, directed and co-produced in conjunction with Circe Films. 'Night' had its international premiere at The 2007 Toronto International Film Festival was In Competition at IDFA in Amsterdam and also released theatrically in the United States by Film Festival Flix. In 2013 he completed the feature documentary 'Fallout' for SBS and distributed by Transmission Films, based on Nevil Shute's famous novel 'On the Beach' and the Hollywood film made in Australia starring Ava Gardner and Gregory Peck. In 2016 Lawrence completed the U.S feature documentary 'Neon' with Veronica Fury at Wildbear Entertainment which premiered at the 2016 Melbourne International Film Festival. In 2019 The Australian National Film and Sound Archive Digitally restored his film 'Eternity' on it's 25th Anniversary which will now be part of Australia's national collection of films of historic worth. Lawrence is currently in pre-production on his feature film 'Love Me Tender' which will star Aaron Pedersen ('Mystery Road', 'Jack Irish') along with the development of a fiction feature version of 'Once a Queen' with Screen Australia and Screen Queensland.