Producer Jan Chapman won the best film award for Lantana at the Film Critics Circle Awards on Feb 22, while Baz Luhrmann took home the best director trophy for Moulin Rouge, making it less of a one-horse race than the Australian Film Institute Awards in November had been.

Lantana also won best adapted screenplay for Andrew Bovell, and actor gongs for Kerry Armstrong, Anthony LaPaglia and Daniela Farinacci.

Moulin Rouge, meanwhile, also earned Donald McAlpine best cinematography, a craft which had a high profile at the awards, with the critics honouring another cinematographer, Russell Boyd, for his contribution to the Australian film industry.

The critics also presented a special award to director Rachel Perkins for her one-hour One Night The Moon, for its "unique achievement in the combination of sound, image and music". The project, which was originally made for television but received a theatrical release, also earned Mairead Hannan, Kev Carmody and Paul Kelly best music score.

The best original screenplay award went to David Caesar for Mullet, and it was the vehicle by which Andrew S Gilbert won the award for best supporting actor. Best editing went to Nick Meyers for The Bank and actor-turned-director Rachel Ward won the award for best Australian short for The Big House. The two best foreign film awards - one an in English category and the other not in English -went to Traffic and Amelie, respectively.