In a record-breaking year for Australian films at the local box office, taking more than $85 million to date, anticipation was great at last nights AACTA Awards about which films would take Australia’s top screen accolades.
MAD MAX: FURY ROAD continued its impressive run in the 5th AACTA Awards season. Following six wins at last week’s Industry Dinner, last night it received two Awards: the AACTA Award for Best Direction went to George Miller; and the AACTA Award for Best Film was awarded to Miller along with Doug Mitchell and PJ Voeten.
Following its win for Best Costume Design at the Industry Dinner, comedic revenge drama THE DRESSMAKER scooped three Awards for performance last night, as well as the AACTA People’s Choice Award for Favourite Australian Film, totalling five wins for the 5th AACTA Awards season.
Kate Winslet won the AACTA Award for Best Lead Actress in THE DRESSMAKER; Hugo Weaving received the AACTA Award for Best Supporting Actor; and Judy Davis received the AACTA Award for Best Supporting Actress.
Michael Caton received the AACTA Award for Best Lead Actor for his moving performance in LAST TO CAB DARWIN, marking a first-time AFI or AACTA Award win for the seasoned performer.
Following its outstanding success with audiences, attracting more than one million viewers across two nights in September, the Seven Network’s PETER ALLEN – NOT THE BOY NEXT DOOR has received all five of the Awards for which it was competing tonight, making PETER ALLEN – NOT THE BOY NEXT DOOR the most awarded television production of the 5th AACTA Awards season, bringing its total number of Awards to seven, following two Awards at last week’s Industry Dinner.
The AACTA Award for Best Lead Actress in a Television Drama went to Pamela Rabe for her chilling performance as Joan ‘The Freak’ Ferguson on WENTWORTH SERIES 3 (FOXTEL SoHo).
The ABC’s debut supernatural drama, GLITCH, received the AACTA Award for Best Television Drama Series for multi-AFI and AACTA Award winner, Tony Ayres, along with first-time winners, Louise Fox and Ewan Burnett.
From its third consecutive nomination, SHAUN MICALLEF’S MAD AS HELL (ABC) earned its first AACTA Award for Best Television Comedy Series.
The AACTA Award for Best Reality Television Series was hotly contested this year. Network Ten’s MASTERCHEF AUSTRALIA took home the Award for the second time in four years, staving off strong competition from the Nine Network’s THE VOICE AUSTRALIA (4th AACTA Award winner), Network Seven’s MY KITCHEN RULES 6 and THE X FACTOR (both past nominees), and first-time nominee in this category REAL HOUSEWIVES OF MELBOURNE SEASON 2 (FOXTEL Arena).
A highlight of the show was the presentation of Australia’s highest screen accolade, the AACTA Longford Lyell Award to five-time AFI or AACTA Award winner, Cate Blanchett. Among Blanchett’s many screen awards, which total more than 130 accolades from around the world, her Oscar, BAFTA and Golden Globe award-winning work includes performances in BLUE JASMINE and THE AVIATOR. Last night’s Ceremony saw Richard Roxburgh and Hugo Weaving, both of whom have performed with Blanchett on screen and stage, present Blanchett with her Award, with a touching tribute from Gillian Armstrong, who directed Blanchett at the beginning of her career in OSCAR AND LUCINDA. Attesting to Blanchett’s brilliance as one of the world’s leading and most in-demand performers, filmed tributes were received from screen luminaries including Martin Scorsese, Alejandro González Iñárritu, Robert Redford, Bruce Beresford, Ron Howard, Todd Haynes, Sam Raimi and Ridley Scott.
Cinematographer Adam Arkapaw received the Byron Kennedy Award—an Award given to an individual or organisation whose work embodies innovation and the relentless pursuit of excellence—which includes a $10,000 prize, for outstanding creative enterprise within the film and television industries. Arkapaw has received acclaim and accolades across short films, commercials, television, and feature films. His body of work includes hard-hitting local feature films ANIMAL KINGDOM, SNOWTOWN and LORE, as well as the haunting television mystery series TOP OF THE LAKE and TRUE DETECTIVE, which earned him two Prime Time Emmy Awards for Outstanding Cinematography. Most recently, Arkapaw re-teamed with SNOWTOWN director Justin Kurzel to shoot MACBETH, and the pair is currently working together on the feature film adaptation of the video game ASSASSIN’S CREED.
For lists of all AACTA Award winners click here.
The AACTA Awards are proudly supported by the New South Wales Government through its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW.