John has a long career in the visual arts. He was the foundation director (1970) of the public art museum, GOVETT- BREWSTER ART GALLERY in New Zealand, which now houses the works of pioneer filmmaker and kinetic sculptor Len Lye. For more than 10 years John was the Director of THE LEN LYE FOUNDATION – at the same time producing feature films.
John is well known as a producer with an eye for talent, producing the debut feature films from a number of directors – Jane Campion, Vincent Ward, Rowan Woods, Robert Connolly, Richard Roxburgh and Kasimir Burgess.
John has had three films In Competition in Cannes (an unrivalled Australian record). With partner Bridget Ikin he co-produced Jane Campion’s AN ANGEL AT MY TABLE, winner of the ‘Silver Lion’ in Venice in 1990. THE BOYS, John’s first collaboration with producer Robert Connolly, debuted In Competition at Berlin in 1998. In 2007, John received the AFI Award for Best Film for ROMULUS, MY FATHER (co-produced with Robert Connolly), and in 1989 for THE NAVIGATOR.
His career as a distinguished producer of arthouse cinema is punctuated by documentaries in NZ including GUNG HO: REWI ALLEY OF CHINA; THE HUMBLE FORCE; HEI TIKI and MAN OF THE TREES. He was the EP of TANGATA TANGATA, the first doc series 100% created by Polynesian filmmakers. Recently, he produced THE DREAM OF PERFECTION, for the 40th Sydney Opera House celebrations (ABC broadcast). He also produced Lynette Wallworth’s award-winning CORAL: RE-KINDLING VENUS for fulldome cinema, fusing art + science to share the beauty of coral.
In 2003 John was awarded an Honorary Masters Degree at the Australian Film Television and Radio School for his “commitment, as a creative producer, to ground breaking independent cinema; for nurturing new Australian talent and reflecting diverse themes of social and cultural relevance”. In 2005 the Australian Directors Guild awarded their highest honour to John, The Cecil Holmes Memorial Award for his support of directors and the ADG.
Jirga (2017) - producer
The Rehearsal (2016) - executive producer
Sherpa (2015) - executive producer
Fell (2014) - producer
Dream of Perfection (2013) - producer
Coral (2012) - producer
Balibo (2008) - producer
Romulus My Father (2007) - producer
Three Dollars (2005) - producer
The Bank (2001) - producer
The Monkey’s Mask (2000) - producer
The Boys (1998) - producer
All Men Are Liars (1995) - producer
Loaded (1994) - producer
Tangata Tangata (1993) - producer
Sweetie (1989) - producer
The Navigator (1988) - producer
Vigil (1984) - producer
Man of the Trees (1981) - producer
Gung Ho: Rewi Alley of China (1979) - executive producer
The Humble Force (1979) - executive producer