The Australian Independent Distributor’s Association has presented its Independent Spirit Award to industry veteran John Politzer.

The award was presented at the Australian International Movie Convention by last year’s recipient, Bob Parr, and accepted on Politzer’s behalf by entertainment publicist Fiona Nix. The award recognises individuals who have devoted much of their lives to independent film.

“We’re sorry John cannot be here tonight – he is a great champion of Australian cinema,” Parr said.

“John started working at Twentieth Century Fox in the late-50s and moved into distribution at Village Roadshow when Greg Coote offered him a job. From there he went into exhibition at Greater Union from 1979 – 1995 as the programming manager. His love of and commitment to Australian films and the local industry became evident. John secured screens for Australian films so producers and distributors could be confident of strong, wide releases and was a champion of films like Sunday Too Far Away, Caddie, Fran and Praise to name but a few.

“John's initiative and support for Bliss, in particular, saved the film from obscurity and launched its amazing six month record-breaking season at the Pitt Centre. John’s contribution to the Australian industry during that flourishing period cannot be underestimated. He was, and has continued to be, a consultant to many distributors and has greatly influenced the films bought for our market. John is an amazing man who brings incredible style and glamour to our industry, as well as generosity of heart.”

The other awards presented on the night by guests actor/writer Brendan Cowell and actor Bindi Irwin were:

Best Independent Urban Cinema
Winner: Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace

Best Independent Regional Cinema
Winner: Avoca Beach Picture Theatre

Best Multiplex
Winner: Event Cinemas Bondi Junction

Best New Zealand Cinema
Winner: Bridgeway Auckland

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