Andrew Dominik's Chopper, about one of Australia's best-known living criminals, topped the nominations for the AFI (Australian Film Institute) Awards with 10 nods including best film, best director and best screenplay.

The other three titles vying for best film are Looking For Alibrandi with a total of nine nominations and Better Than Sex and Bootmen with eight each. Looking For Alibrandi and Better Than Sex have also both been nominated for best screenplay - in either the adapted or original category - and best director. Rarely are the AFI nominations so orderly, and the results seem to underpin the exceptional quality of all four films.

Chopper was also written by Dominik and produced by Michele Bennett. Looking For Alibrandi was produced by Robyn Kershaw and directed by Kate Woods from a script by Melina Marchetta. Better Than Sex, produced by Bruna Papandrea and Frank Cox, was written and directed by Jonathan Teplitzky.

Should Bootmen win best film, the award will go to producer Hilary Linstead. The fourth director and screenplay nomination went to Pip Karmel for Me, Myself, I.

Vying for best actress are Pia Miranda from Alibrandi, Susie Porter from Better Than Sex, Rachel Griffiths from Me, Myself, I and veteran thespian Julia Blake from Innocence. It is probably an Australian first that Julia Blake's real-life husband Terry Norris has been nominated for his supporting role as her on-screen husband in Innocence. Eric Bana from Chopper, David Wenham from Better Than Sex, Sam Worthington from Bootmen and Steve Bastoni from 15 Amore have been nominated for best actor.

Me, Myself, I and 15 Amore each have four nominations. Eight other films, including this year's top earner The Wogboy, have one or two nominations. Eleven films went home from the announcements empty-handed.

American Beauty, Being John Malkovich, All About My Mother and The Sixth Sense are fighting for the honour of being Australia's best foreign film for the year 2000. The presentation will be held at Fox Studios Australia on November 18.