This year’s standout box office hit The Sapphires, is up against Burning Man, Lore and Wish You Were Here for the crown of best film in the AACTA (Australian Academy Cinema Television Arts) Awards, to be presented at the end of January in Sydney.

With 18 nominations, The Sapphires is the most nominated film in what are Australia’s most prestigious annual film awards, it was revealed in Sydney today. The Goalpost Pictures musical about a group of indigenous women who sing for the troops during the Vietnam War in the late 1960s, has had a dream run since its world premiere at Cannes this year.

Burning Man, a dramatic, structurally complex film about how a bereaved man uses relationships with women to recover from the death of his wife, has ten nominations.

Wish You Were Here, a drama with thriller undertones about a Cambodian holiday that goes terribly wrong, has eight nominations, as has Lore, in which the teenage daughter of Nazi parents leads her siblings across Germany with the help of a stranger directly after the fall of Hitler. Saskia Rosendahl has been nominated for a young actor award for her performance in this role.

Lore is an official co-production with Germany and Australia’s entry in the foreign language category of the Academy Awards. If it wins best film Sydney producer Liz Watts will share the honour with non-Australians Karsten Stöter, Paul Welsh and Benny Drechsel.

Burning Man also has a non-Australian producer, being the UK’s Andy Paterson; it’s also the only film in which the director – Jonathan Teplitzky – has a producing credit.

The four contenders for best film are also the films nominated in the category for best direction: Teplizky is nominated alongside Cate Shortland (Lore) and debut directors Wayne Blair (The Sapphires) and Kieran Darcy-Smith (Wish You Were Here).

Teplitzky and Darcy-Smith also have nominations in one of the two screenplay categories, with Darcy-Smith credited alongside his wife Felicity Price, who is also nominated in the category for best actress, alongside Sarah Snook (Not For Children), Deborah Mailman (The Sapphires) and Toni Collette (Mental). Mailman is also nominated for her performance in Mental in the category for best supporting actress. In fact, five of Mental’s eight nominations are for acting.

In the acting category, the UK’s Matthew Goode (Burning Man) and Ireland’s Chris O’Dowd (The Sapphires) are up against Australia’s Joel Edgerton (Wish You Were Here) and Guy Pearce (33 POSTCARDS, a co-production with China).

In all, 13 films are nominated in at least one category.

The AACTA Awards were known as the Australian Film Institute Awards up until 2010 when an Australian Academy was formed.

The presentations will be split across two events: a luncheon on January 28, and an evening ceremony on January 30. They will be the first public events held at The Star Event Centre, which is part of a refurbished casino, entertainment and retail complex in Sydney.

The full list of film awards, and some selected TV, documentary and short film awards are as follows:


Burning Man, producers Andy Paterson, Jonathan Teplitzky

Lore, Karsten Stöter, Liz Watts, Paul Welsh, Benny Drechsel

The Sapphires, Rosemary Blight, Kylie du Fresne

Wish You Were Here, Angie Fielder


Burning Man, Jonathan Teplitzky

Lore, Cate Shortland

The Sapphires, Wayne Blair

Wish You Were Here, Kieran Darcy-Smith


Burning Man, Jonathan Teplitzky

Mental, PJ Hogan

Not Suitable For Children, Michael Lucas

Wish You Were Here, Kieran Darcy-Smith, Felicity Price


Lore, Cate Shortland, Robin Mukherjee

The Sapphires, Keith Thompson, Tony Briggs 


Joel Edgerton, Wish You Were Here

Matthew Goode, Burning Man

Chris O’Dowd, The Sapphires

Guy Pearce, 33 POSTCARDS


Toni Collette, Mental

Deborah Mailman, The Sapphires

Felicity Price, Wish You Were Here

Sarah Snook, Not Suitable For Children


Ryan Corr, Not Suitable For Children

Liev Schreiber, Mental

Antony Starr, Wish You Were Here

Gary Waddell, The King Is Dead!


Essie Davis, Burning Man

Rebecca Gibney, Mental

Deborah Mailman, Mental

Jessica Mauboy, The Sapphires


Burning Man, Garry Phillips ACS

Lore, Adam Arkapaw

The Sapphires, Warwick Thornton

Wish You Were Here, Jules O’Loughlin ACS


Burning Man, Martin Connor

The Sapphires, Dany Cooper ASE

Wish You Were Here, Jason Ballantine ASE

X, Cindy Clarkson


Burning Man, David Lee, Andrew Plain, Gethin Creagh

Lore, Sam Petty, Michael Busch, Robert Mackenzie, Antony Gray, Yulia Akerholt, Brooke 

The Sapphires, Andrew Plain, Bry Jones, Pete Smith, Ben Osmo, John Simpson

Swerve, Pete Smith, John Simpson, Martyn Zub, Des Kenneally


33 POSTCARDS, Antony Partos

A Few Best Men, Guy Gross

Mental, Michael Yezerski

Not Suitable For Children, Matteo Zingales, Jono Ma


Burning Man, Steven Jones-Evans APDG

Killer Elite, Michelle McGahey

Lore, Silke Fischer

The Sapphires, Melinda Doring


Burning Man, Lizzy Gardiner

Lore, Stefanie Bieker

Mental, Tim Chappel

The Sapphires, Tess Schofield


Al Clark, producer.


A Common Purpose, producer Mitzi Goldman

The Curse Of The Gothic Symphony, Veronica Fury

Dr Sarmast’s Music School, Beth Frey

Storm Surfers 3D, Ellenor Cox, Marcus Gillezeau


The Hunter, Marieka Walsh

LEGO® Star Wars®: The Padawan Menace TM,David Scott, Mark Thorley, Amber Naismith

The Maker, Christopher Kezelos, Christine Kezelos

Sleight Of Hand, Michael Cusack, Richard Chataway ACS


B I N O, Billie Pleffer, Rita Walsh

Dumpy Goes To The Big Smoke, Mirrah Foulkes, David Michôd, Michael Cody

Julian, Robert Jago, Matthew Moore

Transmission, Zak Hilditch, Liz Kearney


Puberty Blues, John Edwards, Imogen Banks

Rake – Season 2, Ian Collie, Peter Duncan, Richard Roxburgh

Redfern Now, Darren Dale, Miranda Dear

Tangle – Season 3, John Edwards, Imogen Banks


Beaconsfield, John Edwards, Jane Liscombe

Devil’s Dust, Antonia Barnard, Stephen Corvini

Howzat! Kerry Packer’s War, John Edwards, Mimi Butler

Underground, Helen Bowden


Brenna Harding, Puberty Blues (TV)

Ed Oxenbould, Julian (short film)

Saskia Rosendahl, Lore

Lily Sullivan, Mental


Iron Sky, Samuli Torssonen, Jussi Lehtiniemi, Juuso Kaari, Kelly Myers

Killer Elite, Ineke Majoor, Julian Dimsey

The Sapphires, James Rogers

Utopia Girls — How Women Won The Vote (TV), Kylie Robertson, Rebecca Stegh, Monica Monin