Bunya Productions dominates AACTA Awards with Nine wins

• Sweet Country and Mystery Road chosen as year’s best by industry

The Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) celebrated its 60th year last night at the 2018 AACTA Awards Ceremony presented by Foxtel in Sydney at The Star Event Centre.

In a big year for Australian screen stories, Sweet Country, Mystery Road, Riot, Ladies In Black, Nicole Kidman, Warwick Thornton, Deborah Mailman and Simon Baker were among the winners.

Warwick Thornton

Leading the 2018 AACTA Awards season with a total of six awards, Sweet Country scooped three awards at the Wednesday ceremony, including Best Film presented by Foxtel and Best Direction for Warwick Thornton, who also won Best Cinematography at Monday’s Industry Luncheon.

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• Mediaweek sat down with producer David Jowsey to hear about the Mystery Road trilogy – two movies and a six-part drama series

Receiving their first AACTA Awards, Sweet Country’s Hamilton Morris and Ladies In Black’s Angourie Rice took home the Best Lead Actor and Best Lead Actress awards respectively, while Simon Baker received the AACTA Award for Best Supporting Actor for Breath.

Making AFI | AACTA history, Oscar, BAFTA and Emmy Award winner Nicole Kidman won the AACTA Award for Best Supporting Actress for Boy Erased, becoming the first actress to win two consecutive Best Supporting Actress Awards (winning last year for Lion).

Mystery Road and Riot swept the television categories, receiving three awards each including Best Drama Series and Best Telefeature or Mini Series, respectively.

Also winning her first AACTA Award was first-time nominee Hannah Gadsby, who received the AACTA Award for Best Performance in a Television Comedy for her critically acclaimed stand-up Netflix special, Nanette.

Twenty years after receiving her first AFI Award for her acting debut in Radiance (1998), Deborah Mailman took home her fifth Award – Best Guest or Supporting Actress in a Television Drama for Mystery Road – while co-star Wayne Blair won the AACTA Award for Best Guest or Supporting Actor in a Television Drama.

The remaining television awards went to Australian Survivor: Champions Vs Contenders for Best Reality Series, The Weekly With Charlie Pickering for Best Entertainment Program and Selling Houses Australia, which won Best Lifestyle Program for the second consecutive year.

Marking first-time AACTA Award wins for both director Paul Damien Williams and producer Shannon Swan, Gurrumul won the AACTA Award for Best Feature Documentary.

Bryan Brown

Bryan Brown accepted the AACTA Longford Lyell Award, Australia’s highest screen accolade. The Award was presented to Brown by Simon Baker, with touching tributes from Warwick Thornton, Sam Neill, Sigourney Weaver, Tom Cruise, Baz Luhrmann, Ben Mendelsohn and Rose Byrne, among others.

2018 AACTA Award Winners

Best film
• Sweet Country

Best direction
• Warwick Thornton, Sweet Country

Best lead actor
• Hamilton Morris, Sweet Country

Best lead actress
• Angourie Rice, Ladies in Black

Best supporting actor
• Simon Baker, Breath

Best supporting actress
• Nicole Kidman, Boy Erased

Best adapted screenplay
• Boy Erased

Best Asian film
• Dying to Survive

Best feature documentary
• Gurrumul

Best drama series
• Mystery Road (ABC/Bunya Productions)

Best telefeature or miniseries
• Riot (ABC/Werner Film Productions)

Best entertainment program
• The Weekly with Charlie Pickering (ABC/Thinkative TV)

Best lifestyle program
• Selling Houses Australia (Foxtel/Lifestyle/Beyond Productions)

Best reality series
• Australian Survivor: Champions vs Contenders (Network 10/Endemol Shine Australia)

Best lead actor in a television drama
• Damon Herriman, Riot

Best lead actress in a television drama
• Kate Box, Riot

Best performance in a television comedy
• Hannah Gadsby, Nanette

Best guest or supporting actor in a television drama
• Wayne Blair, Mystery Road

Best guest or supporting actress in a television drama
• Deborah Mailman, Mystery Road

Longford Lyell Award
• Bryan Brown

Byron Kennedy Award
• Ian Darling AO

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