Nominees for 4th AACTA Awards announced

The Water Diviner editorialThe countdown to Australia’s top screen awards is on, following the announcement this week of nominations for the 4th Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) Awards.

Feature Film Nominees:
A total of 14 feature film Awards will be presented – with just two nominations separating the top three most nominated feature films. Sci-Fi thriller Predestination by the Spierig brothers leads the race with nine nominations, followed by Russell Crowe’s World War I epic The Water Diviner with eight nominations and David Michôd’s dystopian thriller The Rover with seven nominations.

Competition within the category of Best Lead Actor is strong, with past AFI Award winners Russell Crowe (The Water Diviner) and David Gulpilil (Charlie’s Country) compete with Guy Pearce (The Rover), marking his sixth nomination from the AFI and AACTA since 2005, and Damon Herriman (The Little Death), who received an nomination at the 2nd AACTA Awards for his performance in Laid Series 2.

Three of the four Best Lead Actress nominees are also past AFI or AACTA Award winners – Mia Wasikowska (Tracks), Essie Davis (The Babadook) and Sarah Snook (Predestination) – whilst the 4th AACTA Awards mark a nomination debut for Kate Box (The Little Death).

The Babadook received six nominations (including a Best Direction nomination for debut Director Jennifer Kent, who was also nominated for Best Original Screenplay), as did The Little Death (which was nominated in every acting category) and The Railway Man (nominated for six awards, including a Best Costume Design nomination for past AFI Award winner Lizzy Gardiner).

Rolf de Heer received two nominations – Best Direction and Best Original Screenplay – for Charlie’s Country (which received a total of five nominations), adding to his illustrious career which includes six AFI Awards. Matt Villa ASE also received two nominations for Best Editing (Predestination and The Water Diviner), competing against Bryan Mason (52 Tuesdays) and Simon Njoo (The Babadook).

The six feature films nominated for Best Film are: The Babadook; Charlie’s Country; Predestination; The Railway Man; The Water Diviner; and Tracks.

Television Nominees:
A total of 20 television awards will be presented with the ABC’s The Code leading the count with 10 nominations, followed by Please Like Me (ABC 2) with six nominations, and The Broken Shore, Carlotta, and Rake Series 3, with each of these ABC productions earning five nominations.

A nomination for Best Television Drama Series sees industry acclaim continue for Puberty Blues Season 2 (Network Ten) by John Edwards and Imogen Banks, following a win for the drama’s debut series at the 2nd AACTA Awards. Two new dramas – The Code and Janet King (both ABC) – were also nominated along with the returning Rake Series 3 (ABC) – marking a nomination in this category for every series of Rake.

Best Lead Actor in a Television Drama Series nominees include Richard Roxburgh (Rake, ABC), Luke Arnold (INXS – Never Tear Us Apart, Seven Network), Ashley Zukerman (The Code, ABC) and  Dan Spielman (The Code, ABC). While Best Lead Actress in a Television Drama include Kat Stewart (Offspring Season 5, Network Ten), Ashleigh Cummings(Puberty Blues Season 2, Network Ten), Danielle Cormack (Wentworth Series 2, Foxtel), and Marta Dusseldorp (Janet King, ABC).

Best Television Comedy Series nominees include: Utopia (ABC), The Moodys (ABC), Please Like Me (ABC2), Shaun Micallef’s Mad as Hell Series 3 (ABC), and It’s a Date Series 2 (ABC). While Best Light Entertainment Television Series nominees include: The Project (Network Ten), Paddock to Plate Series 1 (Foxtel), The Checkout (ABC), and Hamish & Andy’s Gap Year South America (Nine Network).

Documentary Nominees:
Best Documentary Television Program nominees include: The Network (SBS Television), Tender (ABC), Brilliant Creatures: Germaine, Clive, Barry & Bob (ABC), and Taking on the Chocolate Frog (Foxtel). While Australian music icons Nick Cave and Warren Ellis are among the nominees for the new AACTA Award for Best Original Music Score in a Documentary for Tender (ABC). Jed Kurzel (All This Mayhem), Jed Palmer and Zoë Barry (Ukraine is not a Brothel) and Ricky Edwards, Brett Aplin and Amy Bastow (Deepsea Challenge 3D) round out the nominees in this category.

“This year has been a great year for the Academy, and a strong year for competition in our screen industry,” says Damian Trewhella, AFI / AACTA CEO. “The Academy has seen a five year high in the total number of entries (combined across all categories) for the 4th AACTA Awards, and we’ve achieved record high voting for the 4th AACTAs.”

“The industry is engaged with the Academy and the Awards, and we know from research that AACTA Award wins and nominations create tangible results for the industry. This record engagement has been driven by our commitment to work with the guilds and the industry broadly to ensure Award categories are relevant to and reflective of industry trends.”

Winners will be revealed at two major events: the 4th AACTA Awards Luncheon on Tuesday 27 January; and the 4th AACTA Awards Ceremony on Thursday 29 January. For more information, visit: www.aacta.org for details.

Image: Ryan Corr and Russell Crowe in The Water Diviner – courtesy of Entertainment One Films

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