Host Shane Jacobson was joined by a line-up of top Australian film and television talent to celebrate the nation’s top screen achievements at the 2019 AACTA Awards Ceremony presented by Foxtel, held at The Star Event Centre in Sydney.
It was certainly an Awards show with a difference, and possibly the first-ever to be hosted completely from the green room! At times it resembled an episode of Dancing with the Stars as host Jacobson interviewed guests before and after they were on stage.
Viewers watching on Seven would have been frustrated as the show edited or eliminated the presentation of some awards. The award for Best Asian Film was presented as was the acceptance speech, but the award for Best Drama was not shown nor were any of the acceptance speeches from the cast and producers of Total Control.
Jennifer Kent made AFI/AACTA history following the three awards received for her film, The Nightingale. Kent was awarded the AACTA Award for Best Direction, Best Screenplay and Best Film, of which she was a producer making her the first woman to have received Awards across all three categories, for the same film, in a single year. Although she received the AACTA Awards for Best Direction and Best Screenplay in 2015 for her debut feature The Babadook, this year she is recognised also for her work as a producer on her confronting feature.
The film’s vengeful female lead, Aisling Franciosi, received the AACTA Award for Best Lead Actress marking her first AACTA Award nomination and win.
In television, Lambs of God led the 2019 AACTA Awards season, receiving its eighth Award at the evening ceremony for Best Telefeature or Mini Series.
Total Control received the AACTA Award for Best Drama Series and also saw multi AFI/AACTA Award winners’ Deborah Mailman and Rachel Griffiths take home Best Lead Actress in a Television Drama and Best Guest or Supporting Actress in a Television Drama respectively.
The inaugural AACTA Award for Best Factual Entertainment went to Rose d’Or winning series You Can’t Ask That, with newcomer Lego Masters Australia taking home the AACTA Award for Best Entertainment Program. The AACTA Award for Best Comedy Program went to The Letdown which also saw Alison Bell receive her first AACTA Award for Best Performance in a Television Comedy, having received nominations in the category three times previously.
Mr Inbetween’s Scott Ryan took home the AACTA Award For Best Lead Actor In A Television Drama, having won the AACTA Subscription Television Award for Best New Talent in 2018.
Four-time AFI/AACTA Award winner and 14 time nominee Richard Roxburgh won the AACTA Award for Best Guest or Supporting Actor in a Television Drama for his role in The Hunting.
Additional television awards went to Love It or List It Australia for Best Lifestyle Program, and Australian Survivor: Champions Vs Contenders, which won Best Reality Series for the second consecutive year and marked their third consecutive AACTA Award nomination in the category.
Damon Herriman received his first AACTA Award in a feature film category, winning Best Lead Actor for Judy & Punch. The award marks Herriman’s second consecutive AACTA Award, having received Best Lead Actor in a Television Drama last year.
The AACTA Award for Best Documentary went to The Australian Dream for its portrayal of the remarkable story of AFL legend Adam Goodes, while the Award for Best Documentary or Factual Program went to Old People’s Home For 4 Year Olds. Broadening into the online space, the AACTA Award for Best Online Drama or Comedy went to Dylan River’s Robbie Hood.
Sam Neill accepted the Longford Lyell Award, Australia’s highest screen accolade for his remarkable career that spans almost five decades with over 130 film and television performance credits to his name. The Award was presented to Neill by Dr. George Miller, with touching tributes from Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman, Bryan Brown, Taika Waititi and Jane Campion, among many others.
2019 AACTA Awards presented by Foxtel
BEST LEAD ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION DRAMA
Deborah Mailman Total Control – Blackfella Films (ABC)
BEST GUEST OR SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A TELEVISION DRAMA
Richard Roxburgh The Hunting – Closer Productions (SBS)
BEST ENTERTAINMENT PROGRAM
Lego Masters Australia David McDonald, Eoin Maher, AJ Johnson – Endemol Shine Australia (Nine Network)
The Nightingale Jennifer Kent – Causeway Films, Made Up Stories
BEST DOCUMENTARY OR FACTUAL PROGRAM
Old People’s Home For 4 Year Olds Debbie Cuell, Brooke Hulsman – Endemol Shine Australia (ABC)
The Australian Dream Daniel Gordon, Sarah Thomson, Nick Batzias, Virginia Whitwell, John Battsek – GoodThing Production Company, Passion Pictures
BEST FACTUAL ENTERTAINMENT PROGRAM
You Can’t Ask That Kirk Docker, Aaron Smith, Frances O’Riordan – Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)
BEST TELEFEATURE OR MINI SERIES
Lambs Of God Jason Stephens, Helen Bowden, Sarah Lambert, Elisa Argenzio – Lingo Pictures (Foxtel – Showcase)
BEST PERFORMANCE IN A TELEVISION COMEDY
Alison Bell The Letdown – Giant Dwarf (ABC)
BEST ONLINE DRAMA OR COMEDY
Robbie Hood Dylan River, Tanith Glynn-Maloney, Meg O’Connell, Charlie Aspinwall – Ludo Studio, Since1788 Productions
BEST LEAD ACTOR
Damon Herriman Judy & Punch – Vice Media LLC, Blue-Tongue Films, Pariah Productions
BEST LEAD ACTOR IN A TELEVISION DRAMA
Scott Ryan Mr Inbetween – Blue-Tongue Films, Jungle Entertainment, Pariah Productions (Foxtel – Showcase)
BEST COMEDY PROGRAM
The Letdown Linda Micsko, Julian Morrow, Sarah Scheller, Alison Bell – Giant Dwarf (ABC)
BEST LEAD ACTRESS
Aisling Franciosi The Nightingale – Causeway Films, Made Up Stories
BEST GUEST OR SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION DRAMA
Rachel Griffiths Total Control – Blackfella Films (ABC)
THE BYRON KENNEDY AWARD
THE LONGFORD LYELL AWARD
BEST ASIAN FILM PRESENTED BY EUREKA INTERNATIONAL GROUP (EIG)
Parasite Bong Joon-Ho, Young-Hwan Jang, Yang-kwon Moon, Kwak Sin-ae – Barunson E&A
BEST DRAMA SERIES
Total Control Darren Dale, Miranda Dear, Rachel Griffiths – Blackfella Films (ABC)
BEST LIFESTYLE PROGRAM
Love It Or List It Australia Karen Warner, Geoff Fitzpatrick, Howard Myers – Beyond Productions (Foxtel – Lifestyle)
BEST REALITY PROGRAM
Australian Survivor: Champions V Contenders Amelia Fisk, Adam Fergusson – Endemol Shine Australia (Network Ten)
BEST FILM PRESENTED BY FOXTEL
The Nightingale Kristina Ceyton, Bruna Papandrea, Steve Hutensky, Jennifer Kent – Causeway Films, Made Up Stories