AACTA Awards 2021: nominations

Nominees include The Newsreader, Wakefield, Mr. Inbetween as awards return to Network 10.

Nominees have been announced for the 2021 AACTA Awards returning to the Sydney Opera House and screening on Network 10 on Wednesday, December 8th.

Leading the TV categories is ABC’s The Newsreader with 10 nominations including Best Drama Series, with director Emma Freeman and actors Anna Torv, Sam Reid, William McInnes, Stephen Peacocke, Michelle Lim Davidson and Marg Downey all nominated.

Wakefield follows with 8 nominations for Best Drama Series and cast including Rudi Dharmalingam, Mandy McElhinney, Harry Greenwood & Harriet Dyer.

Other nominees includes Stan movie Nitram (7), Mr. Inbetween (6), Fires and Total Control (both 4).

Competing for Best Drama Series are Clickbait, Jack Irish, Mr Inbetween, The Newsreader, Total Control, Wakefield & Wentworth.

Best Miniseries or Telefeature nominees include A Sunburnt Christmas, The End, Fires, New Gold Mountain & The Unusual Suspects.

This year the Best Comedy Performer category expands to eight nominees and a new category of Best Stand-Up is added with nominees Hannah Gadsby, Tom Gleeson, Celia Pacquola, Rhys Nicholson, Lano & Woodley, Anne Edmonds and Lloyd Langford.

AACTA CEO Damian Trewhella said: “AACTA is proud to be able to host and honour the work of Australia’s established and emerging talent; whose work kept us entertained and connected for the past year. 2021 has been a challenging year for many Australian industries and ours is no exception.

“We are privileged to be able to host an event that brings together some of Australia’s most talented and creative practitioners and allows us to recognise the people who have kept us entertained over the past year. Being able to do this at the iconic Sydney Opera House is icing on the cake.”

Foxtel Group Executive Director of Television, Brian Walsh said: “We are delighted the Australian film and television industry can come together to celebrate at the AACTA Awards after the challenging year we have had, and what better location than the iconic Sydney Opera House? This is a great opportunity to acknowledge and applaud our incredible Australian talent – both in front of and behind the camera – and we look forward to sharing the broadcast with our viewers across the Foxtel Group.”

Senior Vice President, Content and Programming, ViacomCBS, Daniel Monaghan said: “Network 10 is thrilled to be the broadcast partner of the prestigious AACTA Awards once again. It’s a privilege to showcase the best our local television and film industries have to offer and to celebrate the best of the best in such a special way.”

NSW Minister for Tourism Stuart Ayres said: “We are delighted to roll out the red carpet in Sydney for this year’s AACTA Awards. I would like to congratulate all the nominees for their contribution to the ongoing success of Australia’s screen industry. The AACTA Awards honour the many talented people involved in our unique Australian entertainment sector, one that has faced enormous challenges this past two years. It is fantastic to see the tremendous achievements of those working in front and behind the scenes of our world-class film and television productions. The Awards generate significant publicity through extensive media coverage, positioning Sydney as the centre for Australian screen production, generating screen industry revenue and attracting visitors to the city.”

AACTA is also returning the AACTA Audience Choice Awards. Voting opens today via news.com.au and will close Sunday, November 7. Voting will run online, with the top five nominees in each category announced in early December ahead of the awards on December 8.

Broadcaster nominations (total):

ABC: 60
Foxtel: 14
Stan: 9
10: 8
Netflix: 7
SBS: 6
Nine: 4
Paramount+: 4
Amazon Prime Video: 2
Seven: 1

Television nominees:

Best Drama Series
• Clickbait
• Jack Irish
• Mr Inbetween
• The Newsreader
• Total Control
• Wakefield
• Wentworth

Best Miniseries or Telefeature
• A Sunburnt Christmas
• The End
• Fires
• New Gold Mountain
• The Unusual Suspects

Best Lead Actor in a Drama
• Rudi Dharmalingam – Wakefield
• Guy Pearce – Jack Irish
• Sam Reid – The Newsreader
• Richard Roxburgh – Fires
• Scott Ryan – Mr Inbetween

Best Lead Actress in a Drama
• Deborah Mailman – Total Control
• Mandy McElhinney – Wakefield
• Miranda Otto – Fires
• Pamela Rabe – Wentworth
• Anna Torv – The Newsreader

Best Supporting Actor in a Drama
• Harry Greenwood – Wakefield
• William McInnes – The Newsreader
• Matt Nable – Mr Inbetween
• Stephen Peacocke – The Newsreader
• Justin Rosniak – Mr Inbetween

Best Supporting Actress in a Drama
• Michelle Lim Davidson – The Newsreader
• Marg Downey – The Newsreader
• Harriet Dyer – Wakefield
• Rachel Griffiths – Total Control
• Noni Hazlehurst – The End

Best Narrative Comedy Series
• Aftertaste
• Aunty Donna’s Big Ol’ House Of Fun
• Fisk
• Frayed
• Preppers
• Rosehaven

Best Comedy Entertainment Program
• Dom and Adrian 2020
• Hard Quiz
• The Moth Effect
• Spicks And Specks
• The Weekly

Best Comedy Performer
• Mark Samual Bonanno – Aunty Donna’s Big Ol’ House Of Fun
• Kitty Flanagan – Fisk
• Tom Gleeson – Hard Quiz
• Broden Kelly – Aunty Donna’s Big Ol’ House Of Fun
• Sarah Kendall – Frayed
• Nakkiah Lui – Preppers
• Luke McGregor – Rosehaven
• Celia Pacquola – Rosehaven

Best Entertainment Program
• Australian Ninja Warrior
• Lego Masters Australia
• The Masked Singer
• Mastermind
• Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras 2021
• The Voice

Best Factual Entertainment Program
• Australia Talks
• Courtney Act’s One Plus One
• Gogglebox Australia
• Love on the Spectrum
• The Project
• You Can’t Ask That

Best Lifestyle Program
• Adam and Poh’s Malaysia in Australia
• The Cook Up with Adam Liaw
• Gardening Australia
• Grand Designs Australia
• The Living Room
• Love it or List it Australia

Best Reality Program
• The Amazing Race Australia
• Australian Survivor: Brains v Brawn
• The Block
• Luxe Listings Sydney
• MasterChef Australia
• The Real Housewives of Melbourne

Best Documentary or Factual Program
• Brazen Hussies
• Exposed: The Ghost Train Fire
• Life in Colour with David Attenborough
• Ms Represented with Annabel Crabb
• Old People’s Home For 4 Year Olds
• The School That Tried to End Racism

Best Children’s Program
• 100% Wolf: Legend of the Moonstone
• Bluey
• The Bureau of Magical Things
• Dive Club
• Hardball
• Kangaroo Beach

Best Screenplay in Television
• Mr Inbetween (Episode 6) – Scott Ryan
• The Newsreader (Episode 1) – Michael Lucas
• The Newsreader (Episode 5) – Kim Ho & Michael Lucas
• Wakefield (Episode 5) – Kristen Dunphy & Sam Meikle
• Total Control (Episode 1) – Stuart Page

Best Stand-Up Special
• Anne Edmonds and Lloyd Langford – Business with Pleasure
• Celia Pacquola – Let Me Know How It All Works Out
• Hannah Gadsby – Douglas
• Lano and Woodley in Lano and Woodley
• Rhys Nicholson Live at the Athenaeum
• Tom Gleeson – Lighten Up

Best Direction in Drama or Comedy
• Fires (Episode 2) – Ana Kokkinos
• Mr Inbetween (Episode 6) – Nash Edgerton
• The Newsreader (Episode 1) – Emma Freeman
• Wakefield (Episode 5) – Kim Mordaunt
• Wakefield (Episode 8) – Jocelyn Moorhouse

Best Direction in Non-Fiction Television
• Brazen Hussies – Catherine Dwyer
• Hannah Gadsby – Douglas – Madeleine Parry
• Love on the Spectrum (Episode 4) – Cian O’Clery
• Ms Represented with Annabel Crabb (Episode 1) – Stamatia Maroupas
• You Can’t Ask That (Episode 1) – Kirk Docker

Nominees for Best Documentary were announced earlier this year.

AACTA Industry Awards, including Technical Craft Nominees, will be announced soon.

AACTA Awards screen 7:30pm Wednesday December 8 on Channel 10, and are replayed over the following days on FOX Arena, Binge, and AACTA TV.


9 Responses

  1. Glad that The Newsreader picked up so many nominations. Such a great show. The ABC sweeps the nomination list again. I am also happy that the final season of Mr Inbetween picked up many noms too.

    Glad that Channel 10 has picked up the awards this year. I hope they’ll show the ceremony in full (or close to it) compared to Seven that aired a 30 second segment last year….

    (I’m also expecting Nitram to sweep the film awards too)

  2. Nitram? Isn’t it a feature film? Am I misreading the list. Can’t see it on the nominees today. And why is The End a mini series it had as many eps as Total control and Wentworth. Odd.

  3. For me Mabel Li of New Gold Mountain absolutely stole every scene she was in. Very understated, but absolutely dominated the screen. She deserved a nomination.

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