The Tracker has won best film prize at Australia's Film Critics Circle awards. Julie Ryan accepted the award, saying that Rolf de Heer, her co-producer on the film, was not just an inspiration to her but to the whole film community.

Rolf de Heer had already been on stage to collect the award for music score he shared with Graham Tardif and David Gulpilil's leading man award. A delighted Ian Jones also personally accepted his cinematography gong for Tracker.

The other three best film nominees also won significant awards. Walking On Water won two, thanks to Roger Monk for his best original screenplay, and big screen newcomer Maria Theodorakis for her performance in a leading role. Rabbit-Proof Fence won best director for expatriate Phil Noyce and best adapted screenplay for Christine Olsen.

Also, Simon Westaway and Celia Ireland, from Australian Rules, both won supporting actor awards, and before leaving the table to accept the honours, warmly thanked their co-stars and fellow nominees Lisa Flanagan and Luke Carroll.

The foreign awards went to Y Tu Mama Tambien, for best film not in English, and Mulholland Drive.

The two documentary awards went to an emotional director/producer Sherine Salama for A Wedding In Ramallah, and director Gary Doust and producer Tom Zubrycki for Making Venus, a study of the making of a never released feature film which has changed names several times.