The inaugural AACTA Awards, the revamped AFI Awards, have been staged at the Sydney Opera House and broadcast on Nine.
ABC1’s The Slap has dominated the Television categories winning 5 accolades from industry peers. Other winners included East West 101, Cloudstreet, Killing Time, Sisters of War and The Gruen Transfer.
The Red Carpet was hosted by Richard Wilkins and Julia Morris, but the interview with Megan Gale turned into an advertorial for David Jones (complete with in-store footage), not exactly fitting for a prestigious event looking to realign itself. That said, the Tim Minchin song for Red Dog in the foyer was pure Australiana.
Olivia Newton-John opened the show with a medley, looking as glam as ever. She was followed by Cate Blanchett, AACTA President and Geoffrey Rush.
TV NOMINEES include (winners in bold):
AUDIENCE AWARD FOR BEST PERFORMANCE (News. Ltd. voted)
Erik Thomson (Packed to the rafters)
Rebecca Gibney (Packed to the Rafters)
Jeremy Lindsay Taylor (Underbelly Razor)
Asher Keddie (Paper Giants)
Asher Keddie won for Paper Giants but during her speech began to thank the Offspring team -this was edited out of the Nine broadcast.
AACTA AWARD FOR BEST TELEFEATURE, MINI SERIES OR SHORT RUN SERIES
• Cloudstreet. Greg Haddrick, Brenda Pam. FOXTEL – Showcase
• Paper Giants: The Birth Of Cleo. John Edwards, Karen Radzyner. ABC1
• Sisters Of War. Andrew Wiseman. ABC1
• The Slap. Tony Ayres, Helen Bowden, Michael McMahon. ABC1
AACTA AWARD FOR BEST LIGHT ENTERTAINMENT TELEVISION SERIES
• The Gruen Transfer, Series 4. Andrew Denton, Anita Jacoby, Jon Casimir. ABC1
• Hungry Beast, Series 3. Andrew Denton, Anita Jacoby, Andy Nehl, Jon Casimir. ABC1
• Judith Lucy’s Spiritual Journey. Todd Abbott. ABC1
• Junior MasterChef, Series 1. Tara McWilliams. Network Ten
• RocKwiz. Brian Nankervis, Ken Connor, Peter Bain-Hogg, Joe Connor. SBS
Uh oh, we’re getting awards trimmed from the broadcast. Not wise for the first event…
AACTA AWARD FOR BEST TELEVISION DRAMA SERIES
• East West 101, Season 3 – The Heroes’ Journey. Steve Knapman, Kris Wyld. SBS
• Offspring, Season 2. John Edwards, Imogen Banks. Network Ten
• Rake. Ian Collie, Peter Duncan, Richard Roxburgh. ABC1
• Spirited, Season 2. Claudia Karvan, Jacquelin Perske. FOXTEL – W
AACTA AWARD FOR BEST LEAD ACTOR IN A TELEVISION DRAMA
• Rob Carlton. Paper Giants: The Birth Of Cleo. ABC1
• Alex Dimitriades. The Slap. ABC1
• Don Hany. East West 101, Season 3 – The Heroes’ Journey. SBS
• Jonathan LaPaglia. The Slap. ABC1
INAUGURAL SAMSUNG AACTA AWARDS NOMINEES (includes film)
AACTA AWARD FOR BEST YOUNG ACTOR
• Olivia DeJonge. Good Pretender.
• Emma Jefferson. My Place, Series 2 – Episode 17 ’1848 – Johanna’. ABC3
• Lara Robinson. Cloudstreet – Part 1. FOXTEL – Showcase
• Lucas Yeeda. Mad Bastards.
AACTA AWARD FOR BEST GUEST OR SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A TELEVISION DRAMA
• Richard Cawthorne. Killing Time – Episode 2. FOXTEL – TV1
• Aaron Fa’aoso. East West 101, Season 3 – The Heroes’ Journey – Episode 18 ‘The Price Of Salvation’. SBS
• Jacek Koman. Spirited, Season 2 – Episode 2 ‘Time After Time’. FOXTEL – W
• Todd Lasance. Cloudstreet – Part 3. FOXTEL – Showcase
AACTA AWARD FOR BEST GUEST OR SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION DRAMA
• Diana Glenn. The Slap – Episode 3 ‘Harry’. ABC1
• Rena Owen. East West 101, Season 3 – The Heroes’ Journey – Episode 18 ‘The Price Of Salvation’. SBS
• Susie Porter. Sisters Of War. ABC1
• Lara Robinson. Cloudstreet – Part 1. FOXTEL – Showcase
Three more awards edited out of the broadcast…..
AUDIENCE AWARD FOR BEST TV PROGRAM (News. Ltd. voted)
Packed to the Rafters
AACTA AWARD FOR BEST LEAD ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION DRAMA
• Essie Davis. Cloudstreet. FOXTEL – Showcase
• Kerry Fox. Cloudstreet. FOXTEL – Showcase
• Asher Keddie. Paper Giants: The Birth Of Cleo. ABC1
• Sarah Snook. Sisters Of War. ABC1
So we have time to show a preview for a US movie about super-heroes but not time to hear from Australian winners? What the?
AACTA AWARD FOR BEST DIRECTION IN TELEVISION
• Paper Giants: The Birth Of Cleo – Episode 1. Daina Reid. ABC1
• The Slap – Episode 1 ‘Hector’. Jessica Hobbs. ABC1
• The Slap – Episode 3 ‘Harry’. Matthew Saville. ABC1
• Small Time Gangster – Episode 1 ‘Jingle Bells’. Jeffrey Walker. FOXTEL – Movie Network
AACTA AWARD FOR BEST SCREENPLAY IN TELEVISION
• Cloudstreet – Part 3. Tim Winton, Ellen Fontana. FOXTEL – Showcase
• Laid – Episode 3. Kirsty Fisher. ABC1
• The Slap – Episode 1 ‘Hector’. Kris Mrksa. ABC1
• The Slap – Episode 3 ‘Harry’. Brendan Cowell. ABC1
3 more awards edited out of the night, but hey Disney has a new film coming this year, now here’s a trailer.
Russell Crowe introduces Megan Washington who sings the In Memoriam segment. Lots of talented faces we have lost…
The broadcast also edited out a passionate speech by film director Stephan Elliott who made a political push for gay marriage and slammed Age film critic Jim Schembri who had called his film A Few Best Men “unreleasable.”
Here were the other Awards announced earlier in January:
AACTA AWARD FOR BEST TELEVISION COMEDY SERIES
• At Home With Julia. Rick Kalowski, Greg Quail, Carol Hughes. ABC1
• Laid. Liz Watts. ABC1
• twentysomething. Nicole Minchin. ABC2
AACTA AWARD FOR BEST PERFORMANCE IN A TELEVISION COMEDY
• Alison Bell. Laid. ABC1
• Jess Harris. twentysomething. ABC2
• Chris Lilley. Angry Boys. ABC1
• Celia Pacquola. Laid. ABC1
AACTA AWARD FOR BEST CHILDREN’S TELEVISION SERIES
• a gURLs wURLd. Noel Price. Nine Network
• Gasp! Suzanne Ryan. Nine Network
• H2O: Just Add Water, Series 3. Jonathan M. Shiff. Network Ten
• My Place, Series 2. Penny Chapman. ABC3
AACTA AWARD FOR BEST VISUAL EFFECTS (incl. film)
• Cloudstreet. Scott Zero. FOXTEL – Showcase
• Legend Of The Guardians: The Owls Of Ga’Hoole. Grant Freckelton.
• Sanctum. David Booth, Peter Webb, Ineke Majoor, Glenn Melenhorst.
• The Hunter. Felix Crawshaw, James Rogers.
AACTA AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN TELEVISION SCREEN CRAFT
• Herbert Pinter ‐ Production Design. Cloudstreet. FOXTEL ‐ Showcase
AACTA AWARD FOR BEST FEATURE LENGTH DOCUMENTARY
• Life In Movement. Sophie Hyde, Bryan Mason.
• Mrs Carey’s Concert. Bob Connolly, Helen Panckhurst, Sophie Raymond. ABC1
• Shut Up Little Man! An Audio Misadventure. Sophie Hyde, Matthew Bate.
• The Tall Man. Darren Dale. SBS
AACTA AWARD FOR BEST DOCUMENTARY UNDER ONE HOUR
• The Ball. Yael Bergman, Laura Waters, Jessica Leski. ABC1
• Jandamarra’s War. Andrew Ogilvie, Andrea Quesnelle, Eileen Torres. ABC1
• Leaky Boat. Penny Chapman. ABC1
• Orchids: My Intersex Adventure. Phoebe Hart. ABC
AACTA AWARD FOR BEST DOCUMENTARY SERIES
• Immigration Nation, The Secret History Of Us. Jacob Hickey, Alex West, Lucy Maclaren. SBS
• Outback Fight Club. Paul Scott, Isabel Perez. SBS
• Outback Kids. Mike Bluett, Mark Hamlyn, Marc Radomsky. ABC1
• SAS – The Search for Warriors. Julia Redwood, Ed Punchard. SBS
AACTA AWARD FOR BEST DIRECTION IN A DOCUMENTARY
• Life In Movement. Bryan Mason, Sophie Hyde.
• Mrs Carey’s Concert. Bob Connolly, Sophie Raymond. ABC1
• Shut Up Little Man! An Audio Misadventure. Matthew Bate.
• The Tall Man. Tony Krawitz. SBS
AACTA AWARD FOR BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY IN A DOCUMENTARY
• Jandamarra’s War. Allan Collins ACS, Jim Frater, Rusty Geller SOC. ABC1
• Mrs Carey’s Concert. Bob Connolly. ABC1
• Out Of The Ashes. David Parer ACS. ABC1
• The Tall Man. Germain McMicking. SBS
AACTA AWARD FOR BEST EDITING IN A DOCUMENTARY
• Leaky Boat. Lawrie Silvestrin. ABC1
• Mrs Carey’s Concert. Sophie Raymond, Ray Thomas ASE, Nick Meyers ASE. ABC1
• Shut Up Little Man! An Audio Misadventure. Bryan Mason.
• The Tall Man. Rochelle Oshlack. SBS
AACTA AWARD FOR BEST SOUND IN A DOCUMENTARY
• Jandamarra’s War. Laurie Chlanda, Glenn Martin, Ric Curtin, Ash Gibson Greig, Petris Torres. ABC1
• Mrs Carey’s Concert. Sophie Raymond, Bob Scott, Doron Kipen. ABC1
• murundak – songs of freedom. Emma Bortignon, Michael Letho, Peter Smith, Christopher O’Young, Simon Walbrook. SBS
• Shut Up Little Man! An Audio Misadventure. Jonny Elk Walsh, Pete Best, Tom Heuzenroeder,
Emma Bortignon, Scott Illingworth.
In summary, the event worked well in its bid to elevate the former AFIs to a more prestigious event, largely by virtue of the venue and the endorsement by Geoffrey Rush and Cate Blanchett.
But to gain the attention that the wider Logies enjoys, this needs to be broadcast Live with an earlier starting time.
There was also too much padding at the expense of winners. 2011 was a very strong year, especially in Television. It is disappointing we had to gloss over worthy winners including Diana Glenn, Richard Cawthorne, and Anita Jacoby while songs and trailers for US films enjoyed more airtime. TV Comedy didn’t even make it to the main event.
Given the AACTAs are screened outside of ratings, what’s the harm in indulging a little more? If the event gains momentum, Nine could even plug its upcoming product better.
Hopefully next year the new Academy can assess some room for improvement. But congrats to the winners, especially the ABC. It was unfortunate Cloudstreet came up against some tough competition. In any other year it would have walked it in….