The Society of Australian Cinema Pioneers presented legendary film showman John Cronin with its highest honour – 2020 National Cinema Pioneer of the Year - in a ceremony in South Australia yesterday. 

Recognising extraordinary achievements in and contribution to the Australian Cinema industry, the Award was first presented in 1969, with previous recipients including Academy Award* winning cinematographer Russell Boyd ACS ASC (Picnic At Hanging Rock, Master & Commander: The Far Side of the World*), producers Jill Robb (Careful He Might Hear You) and Patricia Lovell AM MBE (Gallipoli, Picnic At Hanging Rock), arthouse distributor and cinema owner/exhibitor Natalie Miller AO, and Animal Logic’s Zareh Nalbandian (Peter Rabbit, The Lego Movie, Happy Feet), to name a few.

2020 National Cinema Pioneer of the Year John Cronin carved a stellar career in marketing and promotions of feature films including Alvin Purple, Star Wars, The Man from Snowy River, Phar Lap, Careful He Might Hear You, Crocodile Dundee, Malcolm, The Year My Voice Broke, The Light Horseman, Australia, Titanic, Avatar and many of the Bond titles.  In later years he established his own marketing and publicity consultancy, and managed the Capri Theatre, as well as introducing to South Australia the local weekly television movie show Clapperboard hosted by Anne Wills, which received a TV Week Logie Award for Best Local Show in 1981.

With the original presentation delayed due to travel and gathering restrictions, John Cronin was presented the Award by Anne Wills OAM in a ceremony in Adelaide last evening.

President of The Society of Australian Cinema Pioneers Russell Anderson said: “Highly respected throughout the cinema industry for his integrity and contributions to marketing and promoting film, particularly Australian films, John has that rare talent of creativity and acumen. 

“Admired for his career and ongoing support of the industry through his work with the South Australia Benevolent Society and various volunteering, John is a legendary film showman and a fitting recipient of the Australian Cinema Pioneer’s highest honour,” he continued. 

In receiving the award John Cronin said: “I am honoured to be recognised by my peers with such a prestigious award.  I have lived and breathed cinema for over half a century – so much so that I have never felt that it was a career - but more a wonderful life choice.” 


About The Society of Australian Cinema Pioneers

The Society of Australian Cinema Pioneers was founded in 1933 to recognise those who have made a significant contribution to Australian Cinema (encompassing production, distribution and exhibition) over a career of twenty years or more. With a 3000 strong membership, overseen by a National Executive Committee and State Branches, the Society arranges National and State based events and communications to keep Pioneers connected, as well as honouring the careers of its members with Annual State and National Pioneer ceremonies.