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.
Red Dog, Nelson Woss, Julie Ryan
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
The Hunter, Robert Humphreys
Snowtown, Veronika Jenet
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
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
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
Mrs Carey’s Concert, Bob Connolly, Sophie Raymond. ABC1
Out Of The Ashes, David Parer. ABC1
Shut Up Little Man! An Audio Misadventure, Bryan Mason.
Murundak - songs of freedom, Emma Bortignon, Michael Letho, Peter Smith, Christopher O’Young, Simon Walbrook. SBS
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
Legend Of The Guardians: The Owls Of Ga’Hoole, Grant Freckelton.
BYRON KENNEDY AWARD
RAYMOND LONGFORD AWARD
AFI MEMBERS’ CHOICE AWARDS
Red Dog, producers Nelson Woss, Julie Ryan
The Artist, producer Thomas Langmann
Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
Jean Dujardin, The Artist
Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady
BEST SCREENPLAY (shared)
George Clooney Grant Heslov, Beau Willimon, The Ides Of March
JC Chandor, Margin Call