New award for Australia’s rising stars
Last Cab to Darwin’s Mark Coles Smith and Looking for Grace’s Odessa Young have won the inaugural Sirius Award presented by the Casting Guild of Australia.
The annual award was created to recognise Australia’s top 10 emerging actors, modelled on the Berlin Film Festival’s Shooting Stars initiative.
“The list of the next big things, actors whose careers will pop overseas in the very near future, was chosen by full-time casting directors, not a celebrity list of actors," CGA president Greg Apps tells IF. "We wanted to claim ownership of our rising stars before the US does."
Dr George Miller presented the Sirius award at the ceremony in Sydney on Monday night hosted by Sarah Snook and Ewen Leslie.
Apps said Coles Smith and Young were the two stand outs, particularly considering how far their careers had advanced over the past 12 months.
Coles Smith’s credits include Pawno, Beneath Hill 60, the Melbourne-shot Universal cable series Hunters, Old School and The Gods of Wheat Street. Young’s credits include The Daughter, My House, Wonderland and The Moodys.
The other nominees were Abbey Lee, Alexander England, Andrea Demetriades, Rahel Romahn, Benedict Hardie, Thomas Cocquerel, Olivia de Jonge and Zahra Newman.
Kirsty McGregor collected the award for best casting for a feature for Last Cab to Darwin. The other feature nominees were Mad Max: Fury Road and Holding the Man.
Best casting for a telemovie or short form TV series went to Anousha Zarkesh for Redfern Now. Alison Telford won best casting for a TV series for Please Like Me.
There was a tie for best casting in a TVC or TVC campaign between Natalie Jane Harvie for the University of Western Sydney’s Deng Adut (highlighting the work of the community leader and lawyer who came to Australia as a refugee after being a child soldier in Sudan) and Kirsty McGregor and Stevie Ray for Qantas’ Feels Like Home.