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RedDog, Snowtown honoured at Australian Academy awards

AACTA gives best film honours to box-office hit Red Dog.

Last year’s big crowd pleaser, Red Dog, was tonight (Tuesday) crowned best film at the inaugural awards presentation of the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA), but Snowtown was honoured for its direction and script.

While Red Dog is a big-hearted piece of feel-good entertainment set under the big skies of the outback, Snowtown is a visceral, claustrophobic piece of horror telling the real-life tale of “one man who convinced three other men to kidnap, torture and murder 11 people”.

During their acceptance speeches at the Sydney Opera House, Snowtown’s director Justin Kurzel and writer Shaun Grant both mentioned the support of the communities within which the serial killings occurred.

Kurzel compared the process of making Snowtown to “jumping off a cliff and hoping to land on your feet” but Grant described him as “not just a good director but a fucking genius”.

Snowtown was also the vehicle that earned Daniel Henshall the AACTA Award for best actor for his role as the ring leader and Louise Harris the award for best supporting actress for her performance as his one of the people who fell under his spell. Judy Davis won best actress for The Eye Of The Storm and an absent Hugo Weaving the best supporting actor for his role in the UK/Australian co-production Oranges And Sunshine.

Griff The Invisible was honoured in the category for original screenplay.

The AACTA Awards are the old Australian Film Institute Awards, renamed and repositioned. Tonight’s ceremony had plenty of style and sparkle and Cate Blanchett and AACTA president Geoffrey Rush were among the actors who had presentation duties.  

The impetus behind the establishment of the Academy five months ago was to better honour the film and television achievements of Australia, including on the world stage: at a ceremony in West Hollywood on the weekend, five awards, including three for The Artist, were presented to international films.

A first big batch of AACTA Awards were presented at a lunch two weeks ago, with highlights including veteran cinematographer Don McAlpine being awarded the Raymond Longford Award and filmmaker Ivan Sen being named recipient of the $10,000 Byron Kennedy Award. Sen is currently in China writing and researching the film Loveland.

The Slap featured most prominently in the television awards this evening. A full list of feature film, documentary, short film and special awards are below.

FEATURE FILM

BEST FILM

Red Dog, Nelson Woss, Julie Ryan

BEST DIRECTION

Snowtown, Justin Kurzel

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Griff The Invisible, Leon Ford

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

Snowtown, Shaun Grant

BEST LEAD ACTOR

Daniel Henshall, Snowtown

BEST LEAD ACTRESS

Judy Davis, The Eye Of The Storm

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Hugo Weaving, Oranges And Sunshine

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Louise Harris, Snowtown

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

The Hunter, Robert Humphreys

BEST EDITING

Snowtown, Veronika Jenet

BEST SOUND

Snowtown, Frank Lipson, Andrew McGrath, Des Kenneally, Michael Carden, John Simpson, Erin McKimm

BEST ORIGINAL MUSIC SCORE

The Hunter, Matteo Zingales, Michael Lira, Andrew Lancaster

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

The Eye Of The Storm, Melinda Doring

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

The Eye Of The Storm, Terry Ryan

AFI MEMBERS’ CHOICE AWARD

Red Dog, Nelson Woss, Julie Ryan

SHORT FILM

BEST SHORT ANIMATION

Nullarbor, Alister Lockhart, Patrick Sarell, Katrina Mathers, Merrin Jensen, Daryl Munton

BEST SHORT FICTION FILM

The Palace, Kate Croser, Anthony Maras, Andros Achilleos

BEST SCREENPLAY IN A SHORT FILM

The Palace, Anthony Maras

DOCUMENTARY

BEST FEATURE LENGTH DOCUMENTARY

Mrs Carey’s Concert, Bob Connolly, Helen Panckhurst, Sophie Raymond. ABC1

BEST DOCUMENTARY UNDER ONE HOUR

Jandamarra’s War, Andrew Ogilvie, Andrea Quesnelle, Eileen Torres. ABC1

BEST DOCUMENTARY SERIES

SAS - The Search for Warriors, Julia Redwood, Ed Punchard. SBS  

BEST DIRECTION

Mrs Carey’s Concert, Bob Connolly, Sophie Raymond. ABC1

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Out Of The Ashes, David Parer. ABC1

BEST EDITING

Shut Up Little Man! An Audio Misadventure, Bryan Mason.

BEST SOUND

Murundak - songs of freedom, Emma Bortignon, Michael Letho, Peter Smith, Christopher O’Young, Simon Walbrook. SBS  

SPECIAL AWARDS

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

Legend Of The Guardians: The Owls Of Ga’Hoole, Grant Freckelton.

BYRON KENNEDY AWARD

IvanSen

RAYMOND LONGFORD AWARD

Don McAlpine

AFI MEMBERS’ CHOICE AWARDS

Red Dog, producers Nelson Woss, Julie Ryan

 

INTERNATIONAL AWARDS

BEST FILM

The Artist, producer Thomas Langmann

BEST DIRECTOR

Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist

BEST ACTOR

Jean Dujardin, The Artist

BEST ACTRESS

Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady

BEST SCREENPLAY (shared)

George Clooney Grant Heslov, Beau Willimon, The Ides Of March

JC Chandor, Margin Call

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