Filmmaker Bio

Lawrence Johnson has been making films and videos professionally since 1983. His work in history and culture has been distinguished through many awards, including two from the American Association of State and Local History (Remembering Uniontown, 1985 and Steam Whistle Logging, 1987). His programs for the exhibition Sacred Encounters: Father DeSmet and the Indians of the Rocky Mountain West received the Golden Muse Award, the American Association of Museum’s recognition for the best Audio/Visual program in 1995. For the last twenty years he has written and produced several programs about Native Americans and produced audio/visual programming for major museums across the country. He produced programming for the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame in Ft. Worth, Texas, Tamástslikt Cultural Institute for the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla, and the Oregon Historical Society’s exhibit Oregon Voices. As a teacher, he has produced several half-hour programs in high school residencies, including the award-winning educational sci-fi fantasy Alien Invaders. Recently, he served as a mentor/instructor at Sabah Film Academy in Kota Kinabalu, East Malaysia. His documentary Hand Game (2000) opened the American Indian Film Festival, and played the Smithsonian’s Native American Film and Video Festival and the Montreal Native film Festival in June, 2001. His film three possible scenes won best
dramatic short at the 2004 River Run International Film Festival in Salem, North Carolina, and Honorable Mention in the experimental category of the Kansas City Jubilee. Video installations by Johnson have appeared in several galleries in the Portland area. Notably, Abandoned in Place as part of the Art Contemplates History series produced by The Willamette Falls Heritage Foundation. Johnson recently completed an Art-In-Schools video installation funded by RACC at Beaverton Arts and Communications Magnet Academy. He just completed a personal feature-length documentary called Stuff, about his father’s death and all the stuff he left behind. It received the Oregon Media Arts Fellowship in 2008, previewed at the Northwest Film and Video Festival and won a special jury prize at the 2011 Florida Film Festival and Best Documentary at the Talking Pictures Festival. In 2012, Johnson received the prestigious Fellowship Award in Media Arts from the Regional Arts and Culture Council, honoring artists in the Portland metropolitan area who are the strongest representatives of the range and diversity of art in the Northwest. Johnson’s work with Wisdom of the Elders began in 2002, as story editor and writer for the radio series, and has continued through the Native wisdom video series.

2015 – IndieFest Film Awards, Award of Merit Special Mention
2015 – IndieFest Film Awards, Award of Excellence
2013 – Northwest Filmmaker’s Festival
2012 – Portland International Film and Video Festival
2012 – American Association of State and Local History Leader in History Award
2012 – Individual Artist Fellowship, Media Arts, Regional Arts and Culture Council
2011 – Best Documentary, Astoria International film Festival
2011 – Special Jury Award for Feature Documentary, Florida Film Festival
2011 – Best Documentary, Talking Pictures Festival
2008 – Oregon Media Arts Fellowship
2006 – Honorable Mention, Experimental, Kansas City Jubilee Film Festival
2004 – Best Live Action Short, RiverRun International Film Festival
2003 Telly Bronze Award
2002 – Bearded Child Film Festival, Grand Rapids, Minnesota
2001 Northwest Film Festival, Spokane, Washington
2001 – Native Peoples Film & Video Festival, Montreal
2000 –Opening event, American Indian Film Festival, San Francisco
2000 -Native American Film & Video Festival, Smithsonian Institution, New York
2000 -Five Rivers Film Festival, University of Montana, Missoula
1999 –Certificate For Creative Excellence, U.S. International Film and Video Festival
1998 –Gold Apple, National Education Media Network
1998 Cine Eagle
1998 –Certificate of Merit, Outdoor Writers Association of America
1997 –Muse Award, Second Place, Cultural Studies, American Association of Museums
1996 –Second Place, World Populations Film and Video Festival
1996 Finalist, Cascade Awards, Documentary
1995 Golden Muse, American Association of Museums
1995 Muse Award, First Place, Cultural Studies, American Association of Museums
1995 – Muse Award, Third Place, Interactive, America Association of Museums
1994 Young People’s Film & Video Festival, Certificate of Achievement
1994 Cascade Award, Best of year, Multi-media
1992 –Best of Show, North American Association for Environmental Education
1991 Muse Award, Third Place, Artist Programs, American Association of Museums
1991 –Golden Reel, Local Documentary, National Federation of Community Broadcasters
1990 Gold, Houston International Film Festival
1990 – American Association of State and Local History, Award of Merit
1988 American Association of State and Local History Certificate of Commendation