Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, you are reading here an inaugural report on the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Awards, (aka AACTA) formally known as the AFI Awards.
AACTA President Geoffrey Rush was joined on stage by internationally acclaimed Australian actors including Cate Blanchett, Mia Wasikowska (wearing Miu Miu), Jonathan and Anthony LaPaglia, Jacki Weaver and Rachael Taylor and Miranda Kerr to honour the year\’s best achievements in Australian film and television at the inaugural Samsung AACTA Awards Ceremony, held at the Sydney Opera House.
The celebration began in true Hollywood style as glamboyant attendees showed their support and flocked to the red carpet in designer gowns and jewels with actress Radha Mitchell being one of the stunning celebrities, dressed in Bianca Splendour and Bvlgari. Others included Rove McManus and his wife Tasma Walton, model Samantha Harris, dressed in Alex Perry.
One of my favourite female actresses, the lovely Rachael Taylor, was dressed in Dion Lee and very glad to be back home for the awards. Rachel expressed her secret desire to win an award and revealing she had been:
“practicing in front of her mirror since she was five.”
Actor Xavier Samuel, known for his role in Twilight, was dressed in a Louis Vuitton suit. Fashionably late, was gorgeous mother and model Miranda Kerr, dressed by Colette Dinnaganand Bvlgari and shoes by Prada. Miranda worked all day on a David Jones job and purchased Flynn a little toy from the department store and got a few moments to play with her son just moments before hair and make up commenced for the award show.
When it came to the gasping moment, Cate Blanchett took that moment when she graced the red carpet briefly in an Alexander McQueen gown. Media went in a frenzy and the photographers went into flash overdrive to get a quick snap of Cate before she was rushed to the proceedings of the evening.
Also seen on the red carpet were: Elizabeth Debicki in Collette Dinnigan, Emma Booth in Yeojin Bae, Asher Keddie in J’Aton, Megan Washington, Maeve Dermody in Carla Zampatti, Claudia Karvan in Dolce & Gabbana, Gracie Otto in Collette Dinnigan, Leanna Walsman in Emilio Pucci, Julia Morris in Carla Zampatti, Susie Porter in Victoria Beckham, Indiana Evans and Gigi Edgley.
Model and business mogul Megan Gale executed elegance in a black and white Alex Perry gown. There was no intense diet regime for Megan to slip into the well-fitted gown that accentuated all her best assets for the awards, just a complete healthy lifestyle.
We had the pleasure of catching up with Megan, moments before the award ceremony to get her opinion on the Television and Cinema industries. Megan is sticking around town gearing up for the David Jones Launch in weeks to come so stay tuned!
Natasa: What\’s great about the Australian Cinema and Television industry?
Megan Gale: “I think what\’s great is there is a lot of dedication there, whether it be the actors, the directors, the producers who are dedicated in extending their talent to the overseas market. We are seeing more and more films that are getting distributed overseas and Australian actors are getting more and more accepted and loved overseas which I think is great so that is one thing that is great about the industry, everyone is constantly proactive in getting out industry noticed”
Natasa: How important is it to be recognised at awards ceremonies like tonight\’s AACTA to industry professionals?
Megan Gale: “I think being acknowledged with an award just adds to the strings to the overseas market, especially for an up and coming actor or actress and for them to go to LA or America and meet up with agents and say “Hi I just won this award for best actress, best actor etc” they listen to things like that. The overseas market very much takes notice of recognition like that and I think it is great if you can earn your stripes that way”
Natasa: So what do you think we could do to help support our industry professionals?
Megan Gale: “I think it can be done in various ways, I think film goers have to go and watch Australian films. So when the figures start ticking in the box offices that is when we will get more interest overseas, that way the actors get recognised for their work, then they will get requested overseas and it all is a snowballing effect really. Australians need to really start realizing how talented their own really are”.
Highlights of the AACTA International Awards Ceremony, held on 27 January in Los Angeles, were screened at tonight\’s event, the six winners across five categories were:
- AACTA International Award for Best Screenplay (Joint Winners): The Ides Of March. George Clooney, Grant Heslov, Beau Willimon and Margin Call. J.C. Chandor
- AACTA International Award for Best Direction: The Artist. Michel Hazanavicius
- AACTA International Award for Best Actor: Jean Dujardin. The Artist
- AACTA International Award for Best Actress: Meryl Streep. The Iron Lady
- AACTA International Award for Best Film: The Artist. Thomas Langmann
The Slap for ABC1 received the most awards in the television categories, with five AACTAs awarded. These included Best Telefeature, Mini Series or Short Run Series, with Episode 3 â€˜Harry\’ in particular acknowledged for Best Direction in Television for Matthew Saville and Best Screenplay in Television for Brendan Cowell. Diana Glenn was also awarded for her work in this episode, taking out the Best Guest or Supporting Actress in a Television Drama. The Slap also saw Alex Dimitriades awarded for Best Lead Actor in a Television Drama.
In addition to Award presentations by some of Australia\’s most successful performers and practitioners, the inaugural Samsung AACTA Awards Ceremony featured show-stopping performances by Olivia Newton-John and Megan Washington.
Speaking of the Samsung AACTA Awards Ceremony, AFI | AACTA CEO, Damian Trewhella, said:
“Tonight\’s stunning event capped an unprecedented Awards season for the Australian screen industry. “Within the last five months since the Australian Film Institute launched AACTA, we have held two of our most successful Awards events in the 54 year history of the AFI, with the internationally iconic Sydney Opera House proving the perfect location for tonight\’s stylish Ceremony.
The complete list of winners announced at the Samsung AACTA Awards Ceremony is as follows:
- FOR BEST YOUNG ACTOR: Lara Robinson. Cloudstreet – Part 1. FOXTEL – Showcase
- BEST TELEVISION DRAMA SERIES: East West 101, Season 3 – The Heroes’ Journey. Steve Knapman, Kris Wyld. SBS
- BEST TELEFEATURE, MINI SERIES OR SHORT RUN SERIES: The Slap. Tony Ayres, Helen Bowden, Michael McMahon. ABC1
- BEST LIGHT ENTERTAINMENT TELEVISION SERIES: The Gruen Transfer, Series 4. Andrew Denton, Anita Jacoby, Jon Casimir. ABC1
- BEST DIRECTION IN TELEVISION: The Slap – Episode 3 â€˜Harry\’. Matthew Saville. ABC1
- BEST SCREENPLAY IN TELEVISION: The Slap – Episode 3 ‘Harry’. Brendan Cowell. ABC1
- BEST LEAD ACTOR IN A TELEVISION DRAMA: Alex Dimitriades. The Slap. ABC1
- BEST LEAD ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION DRAMA: Sarah Snook. Sisters Of War. ABC1
- BEST GUEST OR SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A TELEVISION DRAMA: Richard Cawthorne. Killing Time – Episode 2. FOXTEL – TV1
- BEST GUEST OR SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION DRAMA: Diana Glenn. The Slap – Episode 3 ‘Harry’. ABC1
- SWITCHED ON AUDIENCE CHOICE AWARD FOR BEST TELEVISION PROGRAM: Packed To The Rafters. Seven Network
- SWITCHED ON AUDIENCE CHOICE AWARD FOR BEST PERFORMANCE IN A TELEVISION DRAMA: Asher Keddie. Paper Giants: The Birth Of Cleo. ABC1
- BEST FILM: Red Dog. Nelson Woss, Julie Ryan.
- BEST DIRECTION: Snowtown. Justin Kurzel.
- BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Griff The Invisible. Leon Ford.
- BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: Snowtown. Shaun Grant.
- BEST LEAD ACTOR: Daniel Henshall. Snowtown.
- BEST LEAD ACTRESS: Judy Davis. The Eye Of The Storm.
- BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Hugo Weaving. Oranges And Sunshine.
- BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Louise Harris. Snowtown.
Watch the Celebs on the red carpet:
All in all, a glamorous evening indeed!
Photography Dave Petranker