David Michod’s film has received a record 18 nominations for the Australian Film Institute Awards, including best film.

Animal Kingdom, Beneath Hill 60, Bran Nue Dae, Bright Star and Tomorrow, When The War Began are the five films nominated in both the best film and the members’ choice categories in the annual AFI (Australian Film Institute) Awards which takes place over two nights in Melbourne (Dec 11 and 12).

The general AFI membership chose to make their sixth nominee the UK/Australian co-production The Boys Are Back, while members who are accredited as professionals voted to include the French/Australian co-production The Tree.

Animal Kingdom received a record 18 nominations, including nominations in each of the four acting categories.

The next most popular film was Beneath Hill 60 with 12 nominations. The directors of both these films, Animal Kingdom’s David Michôd and Beneath Hill 60’s Jeremy Sims, are competing against Jane Campion (Bright Star) and France’s Julie Bertuccelli (The Tree) in the category for direction.

Michôd is also up against Campion for original screenplay, as is David Roach (Beneath Hill 60) and brothers Peter and Michael Spierig (Daybreakers).

Bertuccelli is competing with the UK’s Allan Cubitt (The Boys Are Back), Stuart Beattie (Tomorrow, When The War Began) and Reg Cribb, Rachel Perkins and Jimmy Chi (Bran Nue Dae) for best adapted screenplay.

In the last few years the AFI has acknowledged the achievements of Australian actors working abroad, alongside those strutting their stuff on local film and television. Kodi Smit-McPhee (The Road), Sam Worthington (Avatar), Bojana Novakovic (Edge Of Darkness), Mia Wasikowska (Alice In Wonderland) and Naomi Watts (Mother And Child) have been nominated this year for their work on international films.