The inaugural Samsung AACTA Awards Luncheon, presented by Digital Pictures, was held yesterday (January 15th) at Sydney\’s Westin Hotel. The awards aim to recognise the talent and innovation of artists and craftspeople working across the television, documentary, short fiction film, short animation and feature film categories in Australia.
Hosted by acclaimed actress Sigrid Thornton, presenters at the event included Rhada Mitchell, Rebecca Gibney, Susie Porter, internationally renowned directors such as Bruce Beresford and Fred Schepisi and entertaining OscarÂ® winner Adam Elliot.
Showing their support for the awards, well known Australian personalties hitting the red carpet included Ita Buttrose, Hamish Blake and Zoe Foster, Sophie Lowe, Jessica McNamee, Elizabeth Debicki, Judith Lucy, Gary Mehigan and Manu Fiedel.
We caught up with the gorgeous Sophie Lowe who â€“ dressed head to toe in Burberry â€“ said she was attending the awards to support the industry and catch up with friends. Speaking of the awards, Sophie said:
“I think they\’re really important, especially this day, which celebrates not just actors and everything but the industry and all the behind-the-scenes stuff.”
Also rocking the red carpet was Jessica McNamee who looked absolutely stunning in a knee length Manning Cartell dress. Jessica joked about the cut out feature on the back of the dress saying:
“I like the back even more than the front so I was planning on moonwalking in.” On the awards she said, “It\’s really important that we acknowledge all the great film making that happens in this country. We\’re a small little place but we make some awesome films… so I think it\’s really important to be here to acknowledge the work that people do.”
Rebecca Gibney who is busy filming Packed to the Rafters up until May also said of the awards:
“I think because we\’re honouring the people behind the scenes as well as those in front of the cameras and that\’s incredibly important because film making is a collaborative process and so we wouldn\’t be here without these people.”
Big winners at the daytime event included the films The Eye of the Storm, The Hunter and Snowtown, which each picked up two awards. RED DOG was also awarded the AFI Members\’ Choice Award, while Mrs Carey\’s Concert led the documentary wins taking home two Awards.
The prestigious AACTA Raymond Longford Award, the nation\’s highest screen accolade, was presented to Australian cinematography legend, Donald M. McAlpine, accompanied by moving and insightful tributes from director Bruce Beresford, and long time friend and colleague Jack Thompson.
AFI | AACTA CEO, Damian Trewhella, commented on the awards saying:
“The Australian Academy is proud to have made history today by announcing its first ever Award winners. Whilst the AFI has been awarding screen excellence in Australia since 1958, by creating the Australian Academy, we are increasing the profile of, and prospects for, our talented industry.
“Today\’s Awards are the first of our two Awards events, and highlight the exceptional work of our craftspeople. We encourage all Australians to support our local screen industry by watching the Samsung AACTA Awards Ceremony in two weeks\’ time to see which films and television productions are awarded our nation\’s best.”
The remaining AACTA Awards across film and television, including the Samsung AACTA Award for Best Film, the AACTA Award for Best Television Drama Series, and the remaining acting, screenplay and direction Awards, will be announced at the glamorous red carpet Samsung AACTA Awards Ceremony at the Sydney Opera House on January 31, and broadcast that night on the Nine Network.
The complete list of winners announced at the Samsung AACTA Awards Luncheon, presented by Digital Pictures is as follows:
- AACTA RAYMOND LONGFORD AWARD: Don McAlpine
- Byron Kennedy Award: Ivan Sen
- AACTA Award for Best Visual Effects: Legend Of The Guardians: The Owls Of Ga’Hoole. Grant Freckelton.
- AACTA Award for Best Television Comedy Series: Laid. Liz Watts. ABC1
- AACTA Award for Best Performance in a Television Comedy: Chris Lilley. Angry Boys. ABC1
- AACTA Award for Best Children’s Television Series: My Place, Series 2. Penny Chapman. ABC3
- AACTA Award for Outstanding Achievement in Television screen craft: Herbert Pinter – Production Design. Cloudstreet. FOXTEL – Showcase
- AACTA Award for Best SHORT ANIMATION: Nullarbor. Alister Lockhart, Patrick Sarell, Katrina Mathers, Merrin Jensen, Daryl Munton.
- AACTA Award for Best SHORT Fiction Film: The Palace. Kate Croser, Anthony Maras, Andros Achilleos.
- AACTA Award for Best Screenplay in a Short Film: The Palace. Anthony Maras.
- AACTA Award for Best Feature Length Documentary: Mrs Carey’s Concert. Bob Connolly, Helen Panckhurst, Sophie Raymond. ABC1
- AACTA Award for Best Documentary Under One Hour: Jandamarra’s War. Andrew Ogilvie, Andrea Quesnelle, Eileen Torres. ABC1
- AACTA Award for Best Documentary Series: SAS – The Search for Warriors. Julia Redwood, Ed Punchard. SBS
- AACTA Award for Best Direction in a Documentary: Mrs Carey’s Concert. Bob Connolly, Sophie Raymond. ABC1
- AACTA Award for Best Cinematography in a Documentary: Out Of The Ashes. David Parer ACS. ABC1
- AACTA Award for Best Editing in a Documentary: Shut Up Little Man! An Audio Misadventure. Bryan Mason.
- AACTA Award for Best Sound in a Documentary: murundak – songs of freedom. Emma Bortignon, Michael Letho, Peter Smith, Christopher O’Young, Simon Walbrook. SBS
- AACTA Award for Best Cinematography: The Hunter. Robert Humphreys ACS.
- AACTA Award for Best EDITING: Snowtown. Veronika Jenet ASE.
- AACTA Award for Best SOUND: Snowtown. Frank Lipson MPSE, Andrew McGrath, Des Kenneally, Michael Carden, John Simpson, Erin McKimm.
- AACTA Award for Best Original Music Score: The Hunter. Matteo Zingales, Michael Lira, Andrew Lancaster.
- AACTA Award for Best Production Design: The Eye Of The Storm. Melinda Doring.
- AACTA Award for Best Costume Design: The Eye Of The Storm. Terry Ryan.
- AFI Members’ Choice Award: RED DOG. Nelson Woss, Julie Ryan.
Congratulations to all of the winners.
Photography Dave Petranker