AACTA Awards loses key sponsor

The AACTA Awards have lost their naming-rights sponsor Samsung, but remain upbeat about proceeding with their 2013 event.

Yesterday president Geoffrey Rush told Encore: “We’re hoping to find someone who can identify their company as a sponsor of the second year of the Australian Academy because we’d hate to see, for financial reasons the whole thing come to an unnecessary fullstop… or dash.”

However today Australian Film Institute CEO Damian Trewhella acknowledged the concern but without quite as much drama.

”I wouldn’t like to be seen to be contradicting Geoffrey too much, but ultimately I don’t think the risk on the scale is a fatal risk,” he told News Limited.

”GR has been the most phenomenal leader as Pres, and if his remarks help mobilise the corporate sector to get behind us, that’s great. It’s a call to action.

”There’s always swings and roundabouts every year, and this year has been a great swing with The Sapphires, Mental, Howzat, The Voice – it’s quite an incredible time. It’s probably going to be the best Awards we’ve seen for a long time.”

Samsung had been a major sponsor of the former AFI Awards since 2006, taking over naming-rights in 2009.

”Fortunately, it isn’t the sky falling. Sponsorship is always a difficult matter but it only makes up one portion of the overall support base. It’s not ideal. But it’s a great opportunity for another naming-rights partner now.”

The AACTAs are hoping to pin down potential replacements within the next six to seven weeks .

In April, Inside Film announced the IF Awards would not run in 2012 due to sponsorship competition and a ‘lack of funding options.’

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