Australia’s finest listed as AACTA Awards nominations revealed

• The winners will be announced at the two major 2018 AACTA Awards

With just five weeks until the 2018 AACTA Awards presented by Foxtel, anticipation about who could win the nation’s top screen awards increased when the Australian Academy announced the nominees in all categories.

The winners will be announced at the two major 2018 AACTA Awards presented by Foxtel events, held at The Star Event Centre in Sydney, home of the AACTA Awards: The Industry Luncheon on Monday December 3, and the AACTA Awards Ceremony on Wednesday December 5, telecast on Seven with encore screenings on Foxtel.

Tickets to both events are on sale now from www.aacta.org/whats-on.

The 2018 AACTA Awards mark the 60th Anniversary of AFI | AACTA, giving the Australian Academy and the screen industry the opportunity to celebrate its incredible history, talented practitioners and world-class productions.

Comedy-drama LADIES IN BLACK, drama series MYSTERY ROAD and gay rights movement miniseries RIOT lead the way with 11 nominations each, followed closely by Australian western SWEET COUNTRY with 10 nominations.

FEATURE FILM

In another record-breaking year, a total of 19 feature films have received nominations, with five films competing for the highly coveted AACTA Award for Best Film presented by Foxtel: BOY ERASED, BREATH, CARGO, LADIES IN BLACK and SWEET COUNTRY.

The five nominees for the inaugural AACTA Award for Best Indie Film presented by Event Cinemas – which honours the finest Australian films of the past year with a budget of under $2 million – are: The Jacobson Brothers’ dark comedy BROTHERS’ NEST; Benjamin Gilmour’s JIRGA, which was recently announced as Australia’s entry for this year’s Best Foreign Language Film Oscar®; Stan’s first Australian “Original” feature film, Mairi Cameron’s THE SECOND; Alena Lodkina’s Venice Film Festival Biennale College-funded film STRANGE COLOURS; and Jason Raftopoulos’s WEST OF SUNSHINE, whose star, the late Damian Hill, also received a posthumous nomination for Best Lead Actor.

Leading individual nominations are Joel Edgerton (BOY ERASED) and Simon Baker (BREATH), who compete in four categories: Best Film, Best Direction, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor. Not only does this mark first-time production and direction nominations for the AFI and AACTA Award-winning auteurs, it also marks the first time in AFI | AACTA history that an individual has been nominated in both direction and acting categories in the same year.

Egderton and Baker compete for Best Direction alongside two past category winners: Cannes Golden Camera Award-winner Warwick Thornton (SWEET COUNTRY), and two-time Oscar® nominee Bruce Beresford (LADIES IN BLACK), whose nomination marks his seventh Best Direction nomination, tying him with Paul Cox for the most nominations in the category.

Emmy winner Julia Ormond receives her first AACTA Award nomination for LADIES IN BLACK, while Oscar® nominees Lucas Hedges and Rooney Mara follow past recognition at the AACTA International Awards with nominations for their performances in BOY ERASED and MARY MAGDALENE, respectively.

Also receiving nominations for BOY ERASED are Oscar® and multi-AFI and AACTA Award-winners Russell Crowe and Nicole Kidman, who is vying for her second consecutive Best Supporting Actress win.

SWEET COUNTRY’s Hamilton Morris and Natassia Gorey-Furber both receive nominations for their acting debuts, while Daniel Monks receives a Best Lead Actor nomination for his feature film debut in PULSE.

Feature films BREATH and SWEET COUNTRY are nominated for the inaugural AACTA Award for Best Casting presented by Casting Networks alongside television miniseries FRIDAY ON MY MIND and RIOT.

TELEVISION

In television, 51 productions compete for 21 awards, with five nominees competing for the AACTA Award for Best Drama Series: JACK IRISH, MR INBETWEEN, MYSTERY ROAD, RAKE and WENTWORTH.

The AACTA Award for Best Comedy Program sees four previous AACTA Award-winning and nominated productions – ROSEHAVEN, TRUE STORY WITH HAMISH AND ANDY, THE LETDOWN and BLACK COMEDY – compete against the first AACTA nominated stand-up special, NANETTE, which had garnered worldwide critical acclaim following its release on Netflix in June.

Nominated for Best Direction in a Television Drama or Comedy are Rachel Perkins (MYSTERY ROAD), Nash Edgerton (MR INBETWEEN), Jeffrey Walker (RIOT) and last year’s winner Glendyn Ivin (SAFE HARBOUR).

Oscar® nominee and eight-time AFI and AACTA Award winner Judy Davis – who currently holds the record for most wins across performance categories – receives her first nomination in a television category for MYSTERY ROAD.

Among those receiving their first nominations are: Hannah Gadsby (NANETTE); Hazem Shammas and Nicole Chamoun (SAFE HARBOUR); Xavier Samuel (RIOT); and the five nominees for the Subscription Television Award for Best New Talent, Inez Currõ (PICNIC AT HANGING ROCK), Markella Kavenagh (ROMPER STOMPER), Nick Riewoldt (AFL 360), Chika Yasumura and Scott Ryan (MR INBETWEEN).

Celia Pacquola’s nomination for ROSEHAVEN marks her fourth nomination for Best Performance in a Television Comedy and sees her chasing her fourth consecutive AACTA Award win. Other actors receiving consecutive nominations include: Tina Bursill (DOCTOR, DOCTOR), Leah Purcell (WENTWORTH), Wayne Hope (BACK IN VERY SMALL BUSINESS), and Richard Roxburgh, who received his seventh Best Lead Actor in a Television Drama nomination.

Also chasing a fourth consecutive AACTA Award win is MASTERCHEF AUSTRALIA, which receives its eighth consecutive nomination. Other productions receiving consecutive category nominations include: WENTWORTH (Best Drama Series); ROSEHAVEN and TRUE STORY WITH HAMISH & ANDY (Best Comedy Program); AUSTRALIAN SURVIVOR and MY KITCHEN RULES (Best Reality Series); HARD QUIZ, JULIA ZEMIRO’S HOME DELIVERY and LITTLE BIG SHOTS (Best Entertainment Program); and SELLING HOUSES AUSTRALIA, which is vying for its second consecutive win for Best Lifestyle Program.

In Subscription Television, presenters Margaret Pomeranz (SCREEN), Shaynna Blaze (SELLING HOUSES AUSTRALIA), Yvonne Sampson (LEAGUE LIFE, BIG LEAGUE WRAP, THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTY, SUPER SATURDAY) and Andrew Winter (LOVE IT OR LIST IT AUSTRALIA, SELLING HOUSES AUSTRALIA) all see consecutive nominations in the Best Presenter categories. Nominated in Best Live Event Production are BATHURST 2017, CMC MUSIC AWARDS 2018, JEFF HORN V GARY CORCORAN WORLD TITLE FIGHT and SKY NEWS LEADERSHIP SPILL.

Also announced today were the nominees for the inaugural AACTA Subscription Television Award for Best Sports Presentation: AFL 360, FINALS FOOTY ON FOX: RICHMOND V COLLINGWOOD, LEAGUE LIFE and SUNDAY NIGHT WITH MATTY JOHNS.

DOCUMENTARY AND ONLINE

GURRUMUL and MOUNTAIN lead nominations in the documentary categories with five each, both receiving nominations for Best Feature Documentary alongside GHOSTHUNTER, JILL BILCOCK: DANCING THE INVISIBLE and WORKING CLASS BOY.

Nominated for Best Documentary or Factual Program are: AFTER THE APOLOGY, EMPLOYABLE ME, HAWKE: THE LARRIKIN AND THE LEADER, THE QUEEN & ZAK GRIEVE and YOU CAN’T ASK THAT.

This year’s AACTA Award for Best Online Video or Series sees BC EXPLAINED, DEADLOCK, HOMECOMING QUEENS, KIKI AND KITTY and SMALL TOWN HACKERS all receive nominations.

“AFI | AACTA has been celebrating our industry and its immense talent since the first AFI Awards in 1958, where 10 awards were presented. 60 years on, we have 395 individuals from 105 productions competing for a total of 54 Awards, recognising excellence across all industry sectors, including feature film, television, documentary, short film, online, visual effects and animation,” said AFI | AACTA CEO Damian Trewhella. “We’re thrilled to see such a wealth of screen talent recognised at this year’s Awards – from some of the earliest AFI Award winners to many emerging and early-career practitioners – and we look forward to celebrating their fine achievements, as well as our 60th anniversary as the longest-standing national screen culture and industry development organisation at the 2018 AACTA Awards presented by Foxtel in Sydney.”

Top Photo: Mr Inbetween

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