One of the biggest names inshow business anywhere in the world, actor Russell Crowe, is to host the 2005Australian Film Institute (AFI) Awards in November in Melbourne.

In a statement announcing thenews, Crowe said the ceremony will be "irreverent and respectful in equalmeasures". He continued: "Interesting TV, that's the aim. Fast-paced, fun andmost importantly, celebratory of this year's nominees."

The producer of this year'sevent, entrepreneur Paul Dainty, says the awards will be significantly differentfrom any other year and securing Crowe as host is a major coup: "It confirmsthe fact that the AFI Awards are the country's premier film awards. Russellwill bring an unprecedented level of excitement to the event."

This latest news suggeststhat the AFI Awards will be broadcast live. They will be held either onNovember 25 or 26 and will honour not just features, but also documentary,short films and television.

The feature film nominationswill be announced on October 21. The 17 films that were entered include:

A Man's Gotta Do
Dreams For Life
Hating Alison Ashley
Human Touch
Little Fish
Look Both Ways
Lost Things
Oyster Farmer
The Extra
The Illustrated Family Doctor
The Magician
The Proposition
The Widower
Three Dollars
Wolf Creek
You And Your Stupid Mate