AACTA Awards 2021: winners

Wins for Nitram, The Newsreader, Gardening Australia, Fisk and Mr. Inbetween. 

Winners have been announced in the 2021 AACTA Awards.

The event was held earlier yesterday afternoon at the Sydney Opera House.

Nitram and The Newsreader dominated the wins.

Stan movie Nitram took out all the major categories for film, including Best Director and Best Film and wins for Caleb Landry Jones, Anthony LaPaglia, Judy Davis and Essie Davis.

The Newsreader claimed five AACTAs, including Best Drama Series and acting wins for Anna Torv and William McInnes.  

There were double gongs for Gardening Australia, Fisk and Mr. Inbetween. 

David Gulpilil Ridjimiraril Dalaithngu was awarded the Longford Lyell Award, with an introduction by Jack Thompson and Rachel Perkins. Rove McManus paid tribute to Bert Newton.

AACTAs President Russell Crowe encouraged recipients to use their voice for causes they believed in, saying, “I’m supposed to now tell the winners to be as time-efficient and as apolitical as they can be in their acceptance speeches. But this is the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts – that last word ‘Arts’, to my mind, is your licence to be as political as you want to be.

“As artists, you have the licence to overthrow empires. To hold mirrors to hypocrisy. To shine lights into dark corners and bring humanity into political discourse in a way that other professions simply can’t. Respect that. Use your voice efficiently.”

TV winners are in bold:

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 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 Documentary
• Girls Can’t Surf
• I’m Wanita
• My Name is Gulpilil
• Playing With Sharks
• Strong Female Lead
• When the Camera Stopped Rolling

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 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

Longford Lyell Award:

David Gulpilil Ridjimiraril Dalaithngu AM


Favourite Australian Actor
• Asher Keddie – Nine Perfect Strangers
• Celia Pacquola – Rosehaven
• Deborah Mailman – Total Control
• Eric Bana – The Dry
• Pamela Rabe – Wentworth

Favourite Australian Competition Reality Show
• Australian Survivor
• LEGO Masters Australia
• MasterChef Australia
• The Block
• The Voice

Favourite Australian Entertainment Show
• Anh’s Brush With Fame
• Bondi Rescue
• Gardening Australia
• Gogglebox Australia
• Have You Been Paying Attention

Favourite Australian TV Drama
• Clickbait
• Home and Away
• Jack Irish
• Wentworth

Favourite Australian TV Host
• Adam Hills – Spicks and Specks
• Carrie Bickmore – The Project
• Costa Georgiadis – Gardening Australia
• Hamish Blake – LEGO Masters Australia
• Tom Gleeson – Hard Quiz

On Monday winners were also announced in the AACTA Industry Awards.

Photos: Getty Images

14 Responses

  1. So glad that The Newsreader won quite a few awards. A great show. Also happy that Scott Ryan won Best Actor for Mr Inbetween.

    Also, just echoing what others have said – a shame that some awards were cut (for both television categories and some movie ones too). But at least it was better than last years awards on Seven, where they showed 90 seconds of the awards, which were preceded by a “best of the decade” 20-to-1 type show.

  2. Other than the ridiculous omission of Outstanding Actress, Supp Actor in TV and Feature Director, which others have pointed out, there were some highlights for me

    Seeing Judy Davis in attendance and accept her prize was glorious. I loved her telling the audience ‘that’s enough’ when the ovation for her continued. The woman is an acting titan.

    Wentworth winning, and Tina Bursill looking like a million bucks! It is rude to reveal a lady’s age, but have been watching Tina since 1975! I had the honour of working with her a couple of decades ago. All class.

    Steve Kilby performing his classic ‘Under The Milky Way’ – what an inspired choice for the In Memoriam.

      1. Best Director though? Justin was there; the movie swept. Odd omission. And to have Outstanding TV Actor (who was not there – but a pre-record included) but not the same for Outstanding TV Actress Anna Torv was just wrong.

      1. Nitram was at the cinemas. Wentworth started life on Ten and then on ABC (I think),
        Why would Nine and 10 commission series/movies that they use to show for free when they can show them on Stan/Paramount+ and charge people? That’s the real issue.

  3. Congratulations to all the winners.

    I thought coverage was good, however there were around eight categories which were not aired on TV last night (including some major ones like best film director) despite the AACTA Awards being a delayed telecast. I think 10’s initial decision to only allocate 90 minutes to the ceremony in the advance guide (it eventually went for nearly two hours) meant some categories had to be dropped. Next year 10 needs to allocate at least 2.5 hours so all the major categories in film and TV can be shown.

  4. While I though The Newsreader was good, I thought Wakefield was a show that did surprise me with its story, writing and acting. It certainty left left a lasting impression with me, especially about the subject matter.

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