AACTA Awards 2017: winners

Seven Types of Ambiguity, Sunshine, MasterChef & Top of the Lake: China Girl were amongst winners at the 7th AACTA Awards last night in Sydney.

The ceremony at the Star Event Centre saw ABC, Foxtel, Nine and TEN all take home awards -but not the host broadcaster, Seven.

In a night low on highlights, the bright spots were left to thank-you speeches by the Best Asian Film, a video message from Roots star Malachi Kirby to director Phillip Noyce and a surprise win for the boys of SBS drama, Sunshine.

Amongst the clangers, Josh Lawson joked that his Hoges wig was in the running for best performance by a dead rat, and Russell Crowe made jokes about sodomising Jacqueline McKenzie during the original Romper Stomper -likely to have been cut by the broadcast.

But the elephant in the room was not addressed until the final acceptance speech by Lion, encouraging continued discussion to end years of harassment.

Lion swept the film categories including Best Film and two three acting awards.

David Anderson, Director of Television, ABC TV said: “The ABC congratulates our 2017 AACTA’s winners, seven wins is an excellent result. These successes are a testament to the rich and diverse range of content we offer our audience, and the investment the ABC makes in commissioning quality Australian content. I look forward to further success with our 2018 programming slate.”

Network Ten Chief Content Officer, Beverley McGarvey, said: “As MasterChef Australia heads for its exciting and highly engaging 10th season in 2018, we are delighted that it has again won the AACTA Award for Best Reality Television Series.

MasterChef Australia is the best in its category thanks to the talent, passion and hard work of a lot of people, including our extraordinary judges and mentors – Gary Mehigan, George Calombaris, Matt Preston and Shannon Bennett – our wonderful partners at Endemol Shine Australia led by Peter Newman and Marty Benson, and the great team at Network Ten led by Executive Producer Rick Maier.”

“It’s incredible to see 16 Screen Australia supported titles amongst those awarded by AACTA this year and I’d like to offer our congratulations to all recipients and nominees. Particular mention must be made to the team behind Lion, now the fifth highest-earning Australian film of all time at the local box office, who took home an astounding 12 awards from 12 nominations. Also thrilled for the teams behind Ali’s Wedding and Hounds of Love for their deserved wins,” said Screen Australia CEO, Graeme Mason.

“Australian television drama production has enjoyed a record year and we’re pleased to see high-quality series like Seven Types of Ambiguity, Sunshine and Wake in Fright recognised by AACTA. The range of stories our talented creatives bring to the screen is reflected in the award wins for documentaries Casting JonBenet, Whiteley and War on Waste.”

Film Victoria CEO, Jenni Tosi said “a huge congratulations to all the award recipients and nominees and especially those from who Victoria who were so strongly represented at these prestigious awards.
“The calibre of drama, comedy, features and documentaries being produced out of Melbourne is a testament to the talent of all the individuals involved and we congratulate them on their contribution to the success of Australia’s screen industry.”

Winners in bold:

Drama Series 
Janet King
Top of the Lake: China Girl

Best Telefeature or Mini-series
Blue Murder: Killer Cop
Seven Types of Ambiguity
Wake in Fright

Reality Series
Australian Survivor
Little Big Shots
MasterChef Australia
My Kitchen Rules

Best Light Entertainment Television Series
Australian Ninja Warrior
Hard Quiz
Julia Zemiro’s Home Delivery

Destination Flavour Singapore
Gourmet Farmer
Grand Designs Australia
Selling Houses Australia

Lead Actor in a Television Drama:
David Dencick, Top of the Lake: China Girl
Sean Keenan, Wake in Fright
Richard Roxburgh, Blue Murder: Killer Cop
Hugo Weaving, Seven Types of Ambiguity

Lead Actress in a Television Drama:
Toni Collette, Blue Murder: Killer Cop
Marta Dusseldorp, Janet King
Elisabeth Moss, Top of the Lake: China Girl
Pamela Rabe, Wentworth

Best Performance in a Television Comedy:
Daren Gilshenan, No Activity
Debra Lawrance, Please Like Me
Celia Pacquola, Rosehaven
Rob Sitch, Utopia

Guest or Supporting Actor in a Television Drama:
Anthony LaPaglia, Sunshine
Ewan Leslie, Top of the Lake: China Girl
Matt Nable, Blue Murder: Killer Cop
David Wenham, Wake in Fright

Guest or Supporting Actress in a  Television Drama:
Emma Booth, Blue Murder: Killer Cop
Tina Bursill, Doctor Doctor
Andrea Demetriades, Seven Types of Ambiguity
Nicole Kidman, Top of the Lake: China Girl

Announced earlier:

Best Television Comedy Series
No Activity
True Story With Hamish & Andy

Little Lunch
Mustangs FC
Nowhere Boys: Two Moons Rising
The Wild Adventures of Blinky Bill

Best Cinematography in Television:

Blue Murder: Killer Cop, Bruce Young
Seven Types of Ambiguity, Bonnie Elliott
Top of the Lake: China Girl, Germain McMicking
Wake in Fright, Geoffrey Hall

Best Editing in Television:
Blue Murder: Killer Cop, 
Bill Russo
MasterChef Australia, Karen Crespo
Seven Types of Ambiguity, Joe Rodrigo
Utopia, Phil Simon, Santo Cilauro

Music Score in Television:
Blue Murder: Killer Cop, John Gray
Cleverman, Samuel Scott, Conrad Wedde, Lukasz Buda
Top of the Lake: China Girl, Mark Bradshaw
Wake in Fright, Antony Partos, Matteo Zingales

Costume Design in Television:
A Place to Call Home, Lisa Meagher
Blue Murder: Killer Cop, Damir Peranovic
Top of the Lake: China Girl, Emily Seresin
Wake in Fright, Mariot Kerr

Production Design in Television:
A Place to Call Home, Fiona Donovan
Blue Murder: Killer Cop, Murray Picknett
Seven Types of Ambiguity, Jo Ford
Top of the Lake: China Girl Annie Beauchamp

Best Direction in a Television Drama or Comedy
Cleverman Episode 4 – Muya Leah Purcell
Please Like Me Episode 4 – Degustation Matthew Saville
Seven Types Of Ambiguity Episode 2 – Alex Glendyn Ivin 
Top Of The Lake: China Girl Episode 5 – Who’s Your Daddy? Jane Campion

Best Direction in a Television Light Entertainment, Lifestyle Or Reality Series
Australian Ninja Warrior Episode 1 Gary Deans
Australian Survivor Episode 1 Richard Franc 
Ulia Zemiro’s Home Delivery Episode 1 –Sam Neill Damian Davis
Masterchef Australia Episode 1 Richard Franc

Best Sound in Television
Cleverman Episode 3 –Dark Clouds Tim Chaproniere, Emile De La Ray, Matt Stutter, Paul Brincat, Nigel Scott, Chris Sinclair
Seven Types Of Ambiguity Episode 1 –Joe Stephen Witherow, Justin Lloyd, Ian MacWilliams, Dan Young, Nigel Croyden, Stefan Kluka
Top Of The Lake: China Girl Episode 4 –Birthday Luke Mynott, David Lee, Tony Vaccher
Wake in Fright Episode 1 –Part 1 Stephen Smith, Liam Price, Paul Brincat, Shanti Burn, Tony Murtagh

Best Feature Length Documentary
Casting Jonbenét Kitty Green, Scott Macaulay, James Schamus
David Stratton: A Cinematic Life Jo-Anne McGowan
Deep Water: The Real Story Darren Dale
Whiteley Sue Clothier, James Bogle, Peta Ayres
Zach’s Ceremony Sarah Linton, Alec Doomadgee

Best Documentary Television Program
In My Own Words Darren Dale
Man Up Jennifer Cummins, Danielle Brigham, Jackie Turnure
Servant Or Slave Mitchell Stanley, Michaela Perske, Hetti Perkins
War On Waste Jodi Boylan 

Best Direction in a Documentary
A Sense Of Self Bentley Dean, Martin Butler, Liz Jackson
Casting Jonbenét Kitty Green
Deep Water: The Real Story Amanda Blue
Whiteley James Bogle

Best Cinematography in a Documentary
Blue Jody Muston, Jonshaw
Deep Water: The Real Story Simon Morris
Servant Or Slave Simon Chapman
Tales By Light Episode 3–Life and Death Abraham Joffe

Best Editing in a Documentary
Blue Vanessa Milton
Conviction Terry Carlyon
The Surgery Ship Episode 1–The Power Of Yes & No Orly Danon
Whiteley Lawrie Silvestrin

Best Sound in a Documentary
Blue David White, Cate Cahill, Dan Miau, Sarah Henty
Conviction Ben Banks, Keith Thomas
The Family Keith Thomas, Livia Ruzic, Mark Tarpey
Whiteley Ric Curtin, John Simpson, Lawrie Silvestrin

Best Original Music Score in A Documentary
Blue Ash Gibson Greig
The Family Amanda Brown
Servant Or Slave George Papanicolaou
Whiteley Ash Gibson Greig

Best Visual Effects Or Animation
Deepwater Horizon Jason Billington, James Whitlam, Linda Luong
Doctor Strange Brendan Seals, Steven Swanson, Raphael A. Pimentel, Andrew Zink
Game Of Thrones –The Spoils Of War Joe Bauer, Steve Kullback, Glenn Melenhorst, Ineke Majoor, Josh Simmonds 
The Lego Batman Movie Rob Coleman, Amber Naismith, Miles Green, Damien Gray, Craig Welsh

Best Hair and Makeup
Blue Murder: Killer Cop Nikki Gooley, Sheldon Wade
Cleverman Katherine Brown, Troy Follington, Simon Joseph 
Hounds Of Love Hayley Atherton, Kate Anderson
The Osiris Child: Science Fiction Volume One Jen Lamphee, Anna Gray, Melissa Chew

Subscription Television Award for Best Female Presenter
Shaynna Blaze Selling Houses Australia
Margaret Pomeranz Stage & Screen 
Yvonne Sampson Fox Sports
Jess Yates Fox Sports

Subscription Television Award for Best Male Presenter
Paul Murray Paul Murray Live
Neil Oliver Coast Australia
David Speers PM Agenda/Speers Tonight 
Andrew Winter Selling Houses Australia

Subscription Television Award for Best Live Event Production
The 7th Annual Cmc Music Awards Duane Hatherly
AFLW Michael Neill, Leigh Carlson
Jeff Horn v Manny Pacquiao Steve Crawley, Matt Weiss, Joe Bromham 
Paul Murray Live On The Road Paul Murray

Subscription Television Award for Best New Talent
Madeleine Clunies-Ross A Place To Call Home
Zahra Newman Wentworth 
Matt Okine The Other Guy
George Pullar A Place To Call Home
Susie Youssef No Activity

TV Tonight is a partner of the 2017 AACTA Awards.


  1. Sunshine was my favourite mini-series this year, or in years. And I agree with others, Top of the Lake: China Girl did absolutely nothing for me.

  2. Am glad that Sunshine won Best Mini-Series. It was a great show from SBS. Am happy to see the War on Waste win Best TV Documentary too.
    Disappointing that Top of the Lake: China Girl won some awards. Season 1 was better than this one.

  3. Pleased to see Sunshine win best miniseries it was really good and deserved to win.
    Surprised to see Top of the Lake-China Girl do so well. Loved Season 1 but found Season 2 a real disappointment. Was compelling in parts but not enough to compensate for the plodding, dragged out majority.

  4. Some interesting wins, though I didn’t waste my night watching the broadcast and it seems nobody else did either. Well done to MasterChef for the 3rd consecutive year. I don’t think Seven edited their broadcast, they had a classification warning at the start of “M” with “Some Violence, Some Coarse Language and Sexual References”.

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