Samson And Delilah, written and directed by Warwick Thornton, won the major AWGIE (Australian Writers Guild) Award and the category for original features on Friday night (Aug 28) in Sydney.
The film had already won a string of accolades including the audience award at the Adelaide Film Festival, where it premiered in February, and the Camera d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival in May.
Samson And Delilah is the most successful Australian film released so far this year and has earned $2.5m (A$3m) for distributors Paramount, Transmission and Footprint Films. It has been showing in cinemas for 16 weeks.
The prize for best adapted feature screenplay went to Andrew Bovell, Melissa Reeves, Patricia Cornelius and Christos Tsiolkas for Blessed, about wayward teenagers and their mothers. The film premiered last month at the Melbourne International Film Festival and is the only Australian film in official competition at San Sebastian.
Noticeable during the evening was the number of indigenous-themed projects that were celebrated alongside Samson And Delilah. Rachel Perkins and Louis Nowra won the best original documentary prize for First Australians, and Kelly Lefever, Dot West, Mitch Torres and Wayne Blair the category for best original mini-series for The Circuit.