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Ronin Films


Lawrence Johnston

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 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 short 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), and was named 'one of the year's ten best' in WHO Magazine. His debut feature film LIFE won the FIPRESCI International Critic's Prize at the 1997 Toronto Film Festival and was nominated for four Australian Film Institute Awards and four Australian Film Critic's Circle Awards including Best Actor, Best Screenplay, Best Editing and Best Cinematography for Mandy Walker (LANTANA, AUSTRALIA).

Lawrence's work has been shown in major retrospectives on Australia Cinema at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. He recently completed three films, THE DREAM OF LOVE and ONCE A QUEEN, both for SBS Television as well as his second feature, NIGHT which he wrote, directed and co-produced. NIGHT had its international premiere at The 2007 Toronto International Film Festival was In Competition at IDFA and was recently released theatrically in the United States.

In 2013 he completed the feature documentary FALLOUT based on Nevil Shute's famous novel ON THE BEACH and the Hollywood film made in Australia starring Ava Gardner and Gregory Peck. Lawrence is currently in development on the following projects – the documentary feature, NEON, the feature drama LOVE ME TENDER, as well as the ABC drama series MONEY BUSINESS.



A universal story of a rural community with big aspirations … Grafton in the Northern Rivers area of New South Wales, and its inspired annual celebration of its rich history...


With remarkable frankness and emotional intensity, one of Australia's most distinctive documentary filmmakers, Lawrence Johnston, takes us inside the conflicted mixed-race marriage of his parents and its effect on family members...


"A story of dazzle and glow, scale and fragility, art and commerce, a documentary love letter to neon lighting and its vivid, singular history...