Published on December 4th, 2019 | by Damien Straker
2019 AACTA Award Winners Announced in Sydney
Host Shane Jacobson was joined by an incredible 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. In another stellar year for the Australian screen industry, THE NIGHTINGALE, TOTAL CONTROL, LEGO® MASTERS AUSTRALIA, Jennifer Kent, Deborah Mailman, Damon Herriman and Rachel Griffiths were among the winners announced at the Ceremony this evening.
Jennifer Kent made AFI | AACTA history this evening following the three awards received for her outstanding 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 their eighth Award at this evening’s 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, and four time AFI | AACTA Award winner and fourteen 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.
Bong Joon Ho’s internationally renowned film PARASITE received the AACTA Award for Best Asian Film presented by Eureka International Group (EIG). The award was presented to the South Korean film’s producer Kwak Sin-ae on stage by the star of Marvel Comics upcoming film SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS, Simu Liu and Indian-Australian Actress Pallavi Sharda.
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 their unflinching 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, Taika Waititi and Jane Campion, among many others.
P.J. Voeten was announced as the recipient of the Byron Kennedy Award which celebrates outstanding creative enterprise within the screen industry, particularly for his work on MAD MAX: FURY ROAD, AQUAMAN and recent hit series LAMBS OF GOD.
The evening included an electric live performance from Jessica Mauboy with some of Australia’s top film and television stars joining host Shane Jacobson on stage to present Awards, including Jacki Weaver, Asher Keddie, Rodger Corser, Joel Creasey, Essie Davis, Damon Gameau, Nazeem Hussain, Angie Kent, Danielle Cormack, Ewen Leslie, Darren McMullen, Dr. George Miller, Tim Minchin, Pia Miranda, Julia Morris, Todd Sampson and Miranda Tapsell.
Congratulating this year’s AACTA Award recipients, AFI | AACTA CEO Damian Trewhella said, “It is a momentous occasion here tonight as we celebrate the fine achievements of our industry. We are thrilled that this year has seen some of the strongest and most diverse stories shine across a range of platforms, from feature film and television, to documentary and the ever expanding online space, the Awards this evening have recognised the tremendous vibrancy of our creative community and contributions to both the Australian and global screen industries.”
“The AACTA Awards play a leading role in reinforcing NSW’s position as the creative industries capital of Australia and shine a global spotlight on our local screen industry,” said NSW Minister for Tourism Stuart Ayres. “Through the ongoing support from the NSW Government, we’ve retained our crown as Australia’s premier state for film and television production. The Awards celebrate our very best home grown talent, both in front of and behind the camera and I congratulate all nominees and winners for their collective success.”