AACTA Awards 2015: winners

Aact1The 4th AACTA Awards are now underway at The Star in Sydney, hosted by Cate Blanchett and Deborah Mailman.

ABC titles including The Code, Please Like Me, Utopia, Janet King and Carlotta have been honoured in this year’s awards.

Nine also won with Hamish & Andy and The Voice while Foxtel’s Devil’s Playground drama was also recognised.

TV Winners in bold


Lead Actress in a Television Drama
Danielle Cormack, Wentworth
Ashleigh Cummings, Puberty Blues
Marta Dusseldorp, Janet King
Kat Stewart, Offspring

“I have to share this with the cast it was the most amazing ensemble… so I’d like to thank you,” Marta Dusseldorp said.

“The juggernauts ABC and Screentime thank you so much. Your commitment to Australian drama is phenomenal.”


Lead Actor in a Television Drama
Luke Arnold, INXS – Never Tear Us Apart
Richard Roxburgh, Rake
Dan Spielman, The Code
Ashley Zukerman, The Code

“I don’t really understand this award unless it’s shared with the people I got to work with on this,” Zukerman said.

(Zukerman’s speech was edited by TEN)


Best Miniseries / Telefeature
Devil’s Playground
INXS: Never Tear Us Apart
Secrets and Lies


“Fred (Schepisi) thank you for letting me run with this audacious idea of returning to (this) character,” said Simon Burke.

“Foxtel was the only place that could be so daring to make this, so thank you.”

AACTA Longford Lyell Award to writer / producer Andrew Knight. Very well deserved for a body of work including Fast Forward, SeaChange, Tripping Over, Jack Irish, Rake, The Broken Shore, The Water Diviner.

“This almost makes up for the Australia Day knighthood I was expecting,” he said. “And finally…”

Another speech heavily edited by TEN.

act7AACTA Trailblazer Award: Rose Byrne.

“Thank you so much for this award, it’s very dear to my heart. I’m so proud to be Australian,” she said.


Best Light Entertainment
The Checkout,
Hamish & Andy’s Gap Year South America,
Paddock to Plate,
The Project

“Andy and I just go on holidays and pass it off as a television show,” said Hamish Blake.

“Thanks to Channel Nine, that will probably get edited out. David Gyngell, Michael Healy…!”


Best Screenplay in Television
The Code
The Moodys
Please Like Me

“I want to thank my parents because they made me and get me alive,” said Josh Thomas.

“All the while creating enough damage that I could grow up to be an ok writer.”

(Josh Thomas won for the episode which I noted would win awards!)


Best Drama series
The Code
Janet King
Puberty Blues

“Shelley Birse wrote the most amazing script. I want to thank the ABC. Brendan Dahill from the very start said ‘Why don’t we make political thrillers?’

Awards not aired:

Best Comedy
It’s a Date
The Moodys
Please Like Me
Shaun Micallef’s Mad as Hell

Best Reality
MasterChef Australia,
The Voice Australia ,
The Voice Kids,
The X Factor

Best Performance in a Comedy
Patrick Brammall, The Moodys
Debra Lawrance, Please Like Me
Celia Pacquola, Utopia
Josh Thomas, Please Like Me

Best Guest or Supporting Actor in a Drama
Eamon Farren, Carlotta (ABC)
Andrew McFarlane, Devil’s Playground –
Andy Ryan, INXS – Never Tear Us Apart – Part 1
Dan Wyllie, Rake Series

Best Guest or Supporting Actress in a Drama
Charlotte Best, Puberty Blues
Piper Morrissey, Secrets & Lies
Chelsie Preston Crayford, The Code
Denise Roberts, Schapelle

Craft awards handed out earlier this week were awarded to:

Best Children’s Television Series
The Flamin’ Thongs ABC3.

Best Direction in a Television Light Entertainment or Reality Series went to
Beck Cole and Craig Anderson, Black Comedy episode 3. ABC

Best Cinematography in Television
Martin McGrath ACS, The Broken Shore. ABC.

Best Editing in Television
Deborah Peart ASE, The Code episode 1. ABC.

BestOriginal Music Score in Television
Roger Mason The Code episode 1. ABC.

Best Sound in Television
Tom Heuzenroeder, Des Kenneally, Belinda Trimboli and Pete Best ANZAC Girls, episode 6, ABC.

Best Production Design in Television
Murray Picknett Carlotta, ABC.

Best Costume Design in Television
Jenny Miles Carlotta, ABC.

Best Documentary Television Program
Tender, ABC.


  1. Producers should boycott entering the AACTA awards unless they have made a program for ABC or Foxtel, as they won’t get a look in if on a commercial network and they are wasting hard earned money on entering, instead of industry judges on the panel it needs to be spread to the general public as well!

  2. Secret Squirrel

    Thanks, Lizzie May. Am aware of AACTA history and their various sources of funding. Perhaps I’m being naïve but I still don’t see how funding a not-for-profit organisation equates to running an event fronted by that NFP.

    Since they receive funding from both the Commonwealth and NSW govts, my question as to which level of govt you were claiming is running these awards still stands.

  3. I didn’t watch the awards. It was a no-brainer with the excellent ‘We’ll Take Manhatten’ on ABC. To be honest, I seriously doubt the credibility of an awards system that failed to recognise ‘Mad As Hell’ and ‘INXS: Never Tear Us Apart’ which were easily the most outstanding programmes of the year in this household.

  4. I didn’t enjoy the broadcast at all. So switched it off and went online to find out who had won as it was a delayed telecast. But I still remember the 2009 AFI Awards-largely because of Vanessa Amorosi’s stand out performance and the wonderful Samson and Delilah. Some shows appeal and some don’t I guess.

  5. @Secret Squirrel: AACTA is a subsidiary of AFI (which is govt funded) and receives funding from the AFI plus State and Federal funding.

    David, point taken.

  6. daveinprogress

    @Secret squirrel – I thought i may have missed it, but pretty sure Best Film Actress was cut out. Every year they have left one of the leading film acting categories out; perhaps as the eventual winner was not in attendance, leading me to wonder whether Cate and Deb both knew there was a tie for Best Film but played along to create the moment. For me; irrespective of whether a winner is in the room; to overlook a category in a year with truly great actresses – Essie Davis, Mia Wasikowska and Sarah Snook, is unforgiveable. Their work and films should be celebrated; otherwise what the frig is the show for?

  7. Secret Squirrel

    I tuned in for this and thought the ceremony itself was fine. Not so the broadcast. Was pretty p!ssed off with the editing of some of the speeches, esp Andrew Knight’s Lifetime Achievement Award

    I wasn’t sure if I had somehow missed hearing the Lead Actress award as I was out of the room during ad breaks so not sure why that was also not shown.

    @Lizzie May – nice bit of conspiracy theory there but I wasn’t aware that these awards were “government run”. State or federal?

  8. Terrible show last night. Also this ABC bias at awards ceremonies need to stop, as there were so many more deserving shows and talents from other networks that should of won or been nominated. Sorry but Puberty Blues shits on The Code any day and should of won. Charlotte Best also should of won.

  9. I thought it had some nice ideas, the opening sequence was fun and the camel was cute(!), but it didn’t quite come off. And as others have said, there was quite a lot of heavy editing to cut people’s speeches short (a good thing, no doubt!), and which obviously had to be done in a hurry.

    However, I do wish the organisers of such events would remind anyone who has to front a microphone, that these days there’s no need to bend over to speak into it, which is totally unnecessary and looks really stupid. It’s 2015 folks, sound systems have come a long way !

  10. barrington bumbaclaart

    A terrible broadcast and deadly boring ceremony aside, these awards, specifically the television and documentary sections, are a bit of a farce.

    The categories are so lacking that it allows some of the best TV to slip through the cracks without recognition. Where are the awards for factual series, specialist factual, news & current affairs, sport & live events, documentary series? They really need to do better to remain relevant.

  11. Maeta will also be appearing in the Jack Irish series. I suspect that if Janet King gets a second series, it won’t be until 2016. Another reason is the ABC Victorian drama initiative, which means that the ABC must produce most of its dramas/cpmedies in Victoria. A bit silly because it means me miss out on a lot of excellent stuff that could be produced outside of Victoria.

  12. Really hard to take the AACTAs seriously with their ABC bias. A government run awards working like a lobby group for a government broadcaster. Also The Code best drama over Puberty Blues and Rake. Really? And though Please Like Me was a lovely episode, there were more skilfully crafted scipts in that category.

  13. Completely agree with the comments about the editing of the speeches. Including editing of a lifetime achievement award recipient!!! Why bother screening it? Sooo frustrating!!

  14. I am very surprised at Hamish and Andy and The Voice winning their respective categories. What were the members of AACTA thinking? I wonder if the results from last night will have any influence on nomination for the upcoming TV Week Logie Awards in both popular and outstanding categories.

  15. daveinprogress

    Another abysmal AACTA telecast. Marginally better than last year for me; but still needing an overhaul. Again a major film award was left out Best Leading Actress. Never sure a package or an announcement for Sarah Snook. I had to find out thanks to an email from AACTA that came during the delayed broadcast.

  16. Maev....Sydney

    Well lucky I was unable to watch..edited speeches etc….heaps of awards not even shown….why bother at all…if you are not going to do it properly…
    I will look to see the ratings with some interest…
    @ Loz…not much chance of Janet King…until Marta is done with Foxtel/A Place to Call Home….I am thinking.

  17. so glad that Marta Dusseldorp won for Janet King. Good to see Devils Playground win Best Mini Series, and Utopia win Best Comedy.

    A shame that it was heavily edited, especially Andrew Knights speech. It’s not often that an Hall of Fame Inductee’s speech is edited.

    Surely, Ten can start it on the advertised time next year (ran 10 min late this year) and reduce the red carpet in order to show more awards!!

  18. Pity they edited Zukerman, poor edit.

    Also, fairly certain they had dubbed applause over the advertisement for Star leading into the crane sweep.

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