Published on October 23rd, 2019 | by Damien Straker

AACTA Award Nominees Announced

With just six weeks until the 2019 AACTA Awards presented by Foxtel, excitement has increased today with the announcement of the nominees in all categories for Australia’s top screen awards.

Honouring Australian screen excellence across feature film, television, documentary, short form and online, the winners will be announced at the two major 2019 AACTA Awards presented by Foxtel events, held at The Star Event Centre in Sydney, home of the AACTA Awards: The Industry Luncheon on Monday 2 December, and the AACTA Awards Ceremony on Wednesday 4 December, telecast on Channel Seven with encore screenings on Foxtel.

Tickets to both events are on sale now from

In television, Foxtel’s LAMBS OF GOD leads the field with fourteen nominations across television categories, with an additional four subscription television award nominations.

Jennifer Kent’s THE NIGHTINGALE has swept the film nominations garnering fifteen nominations across the feature film categories, closely followed by Anthony Maras’ HOTEL MUMBAI and David Michôd’s THE KING with thirteen nominations each, and Mirrah Foulkes’ JUDY & PUNCH with nine nominations.

AACTA Award winner Damon Herriman has made AFI | AACTA history, earning four individual nominations across the performance categories – the most any performer has received in a single year in AFI | AACTA history – for his roles in JUDY & PUNCH and THE NIGHTINGALE, and his work in television including MR INBETWEEN and LAMBS OF GOD.

Inciting some of the most passionate and engaged audiences this year, newcomers LEGO® MASTERS AUSTRALIA and THE MASKED SINGER compete for the AACTA Award for Best Entertainment Program alongside audience favourites AUSTRALIA’S GOT TALENTAUSTRALIAN NINJA WARRIOR and HARD QUIZ. In an unprecedented year for unscripted Australian television, the nominees for the inaugural AACTA Award for Best Factual Entertainment include: AACTA Award winner GRUENTODD SAMPSON’S BODY HACK; previous AACTA Award nominee GOGGLEBOX AUSTRALIAWHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? and Rose d’Or winning series YOU CAN’T ASK THAT.

Boasting millions of YouTube subscribers globally and billions of views per channel, the nominees for the inaugural AACTA Award for Best Online Entertainment reveal a diverse slate of content from Australian screen entrepreneurs including vlogging superstar WENGIE, distinctive and offbeat comedy from OZZY MAN REVIEWSHOW TO BASIC and GEORGIA PRODUCTIONS, original survivalist PRIMITIVE TECHNOLOGY, and massively popular children’s entertainers BOUNCE PATROL and CKN TOYS.

Also announced today were the nominees for the AACTA Award for Best Children’s Program which counts International Emmy® nominee BLUEY amongst contenders as well as DROP DEAD WEIRDHARDBALL, THE INBESTIGATORS and THE UNLISTED. 


A total of fifteen feature films have received nominations with six films competing for the highly coveted AACTA Award for Best Film presented by Foxtel: HOTEL MUMBAI, JUDY & PUNCH, THE KING, THE NIGHTINGALE, RIDE LIKE A GIRL and TOP END WEDDING. 

 Representing Australia’s top independent filmmakers, the five films nominated for the AACTA Award for Best Indie Film presented by Event Cinemas are: ACUTE MISFORTUNE, BOOK WEEK, BUOYANCY, EMU RUNNER and SEQUIN IN A BLUE ROOM. 

Making their feature film directorial debuts, Mirrah Foulkes (JUDY & PUNCH) and Anthony Maras (HOTEL MUMBAI) will go head to head with previous AACTA Award winners Jennifer Kent (THE NIGHTINGALE) and David Michôd (THE KING) for the AACTA Award for Best Direction, all of whom are also nominated for the AACTA Award for Best Screenplay.

Earning his second consecutive nominations across three major categories, Golden Globe nominee® Joel Edgerton has also earned nominations for Best Screenplay, Best Supporting Actor and Best Film for his work on Australian co-production THE KING.

In another competitive year of world-class performances, previous AFI | AACTA Award winners Hugo Weaving (HEARTS AND BONES), Ben Mendelsohn (THE KING) and AFI International Award Winner Mia Wasikowska (JUDY & PUNCH) are up against first-time performance nominees Miranda Tapsell (TOP END WEDDING), Tilda Cobham-Hervey (HOTEL MUMBAI) and Ursula Yovich (TOP END WEDDING). Nominated for his debut feature film performance is Baykali Ganambarr (THE NIGHTINGALE) for Best Lead Actor, while Magnolia Maymuru (THE NIGHTINGALE) and Andrew Luri (HEARTS AND BONES) are also nominated for their acting debuts in supporting performance categories.

International nominees receiving their first AACTA Award nomination include Oscar® award winner Hilary Swank (I AM MOTHER) alongside Oscar®, Golden Globe® and International AACTA Award nominated actors Timothée Chalamet (THE KING), and Dev Patel (HOTEL MUMBAI) who is nominated for his second AACTA Award in a performance category.

Richard Lowenstein’s MYSTIFY: MICHAEL HUTCHENCE leads the nominations across documentary categories, recognised for Best Documentary, Best Editing in a Documentary and Best Sound in a Documentary. The other nominees vying for the AACTA Award for Best Documentary include both Adam Goodes documentaries released this year – THE AUSTRALIAN DREAM and THE FINAL QUARTER, along with THE EULOGY and IN MY BLOODS IT RUNS.


In television, the five nominees competing for the AACTA Award for Best Drama Series are: BLOOM,


MR INBETWEEN returns as a category nominee for the second consecutive year, joined by multi-AACTA Award winning WENTWORTH. Both will compete against the Stan Original drama series BLOOM, which boasts notable Australian talent including previous Longford Lyell Award recipients and multi-AFI | AACTA Award winners Golden Globe®-nominated Bryan Brown and two-time Oscar® nominee Jacki Weaver, both of whom are nominated for their performances this year.

Adding to his two feature film nominations, Damon Herriman has received an additional two television nominations within the same category – Best Guest or Supporting Actor in a Television Drama for his work in LAMBS OF GOD and MR INBETWEEN – making him the current AFI | AACTA record holder for the most nominations across performance categories.

Also receiving two nominations within the same category is Celia Pacquola for her performances in ROSEHAVEN and UTOPIA. Both roles have seen her take home the AACTA Award for Best Performance in a Television Comedy in previous years, and this marks her sixth consecutive year to be nominated.

Multiple AFI | AACTA Award winner Deborah Mailman will vie for her second Best Lead Actress in a Television Drama Award, nominated for TOTAL CONTROL in which she stars alongside Oscar®-nominee, Golden Globe® and AFI | AACTA winner Rachel Griffiths who is also nominated for Best Guest or Supporting Actress in a Television Drama.

Richard Roxburgh, who currently holds the AFI | AACTA record for the most nominations for Best Lead Actor in a Television Drama, will receive his first nomination for Best Guest or Supporting Actor in a Television Drama for THE HUNTING.

Among those receiving their first ever AACTA Award nominations are: Jenna Coleman (THE CRY); Ann Dowd (LAMBS OF GOD); Sam Reid (LAMBS OF GOD); Brooke Satchwell (MR INBETWEEN); John Stanton (BLOOM); and Miranda Tapsell who has earned her first AACTA Award nominations across both film and television categories for Best Lead Actress (TOP END WEDDING) and Best Performance in a Television Comedy (GET KRACK!N).

Also receiving their first AACTA Award nominations are the nine nominees for the Subscription Television Award for Best New Talent, which this year has expanded from one to two categories to account for the ever-increasing, high-quality pool of emerging male and female Australian talent. The nominees include: Marco Alosio (FIGHTING SEASON); Asha Boswarva (LAMBS OF GOD); Usha Cornish (BLOOM); Frederick du Rietz (SECRET CITY: UNDER THE EAGLE); Paulene Gibson (WENTWORTH); Fletcher Kennedy (SECRET CITY: UNDER THE EAGLE); Emma Lancaster (LAMBS OF GOD); Yvonne Rae (LAMBS OF GOD) and Diesel La Torraca (LAMBS OF GOD).

Productions receiving consecutive category nominations include MR INBETWEEN and WENTWORTH in the Best Drama Series category; and THE LETDOWN and ROSEHAVEN for Best Comedy Series, while Alison Bell (THE LETDOWN), Kate Box (LES NORTON), and Scott Ryan (MR INBETWEEN) who took home the Subscription Television Award for Best New Talent in 2018, are all up for their second consecutive nominations.

“AFI | AACTA continues to celebrate the excellence of our industry with a total 57 awards recognising excellence across all industry sectors, including feature film, television, documentary, short film, online, visual effects and animation. We’re thrilled to see such a wealth of diverse productions at this year’s Awards, all of extremely high-quality and many of which have received global recognition,” said AFI | AACTA CEO Damian Trewhella. “This year our awards have expanded to include new entertainment categories that cater to Australia’s ever evolving and exciting screen landscape. From emerging to established practitioners and performers, this year’s nominees are a testament to the strength of the Australian screen industry and we look forward to celebrating their impressive achievements and the talents at our upcoming Awards.”

For a full list of nominees, production synopses, publicity stills and further information, click here.

About the Author'

is a freelance writer and film critic. He studied at the University of Sydney and graduated with an Arts Honours degree in Film Studies. He is a pop culture aficionado and enjoys talking about all films, 90s TV shows, ninjas and watching Rugby League. His favourite film directors are Alfonso Cuarón, Clint Eastwood and Alexander Payne.

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