The Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) has launched an international engagement program, which includes a collaboration with the annual G’Day USA annual showcase.

Its first local event will be the Samsung AACTA Awards Luncheon on January 15, 2012, which will incorporate cross-feeds to one of G’Day USA’s most popular events, the Los Angeles Black Tie Gala. The local event will include the presentation of the AACTA Raymond Longford Award.

Australian Film Institute | AACTA chief executive Damian Trewhella said: “Australia’s film and television industries play an important role in forming our cultural identity, in influencing tourism and in contributing to our export market, and we look forward to working alongside G’Day USA to raise the profile of our screen industry internationally.”

The Samsung AACTA Awards ceremony will be held at the Sydney Opera House on January 31, 2012, just prior to the BAFTA and Oscars (held on February 12 and 26 respectively). AACTA's new ceremony date is aimed at raising the profile and importance of the event on the international calendar.

Former state premier Kristina Keneally has previously said the government is spending $1.7 million a year to lure the AACTA Awards ceremony from Melbourne to Sydney. Screen Australia has committed $1.1 million for the three years to 2012-13. The event is being run by Renato Rispoli, who joined AFI | AACTA after playing a key role in bringing the event to Sydney, while he was employed at Events NSW (now called Destination NSW).

The nominations for the inaugural Samsung AACTA Awards will be announced in Sydney on November 31 at the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA).

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