Warwick Thornton with his AACTA Award for Best Cinematography for 'Sweet Country' (Photo: Lisa Maree Williams)

Warwick Thornton with his AACTA Award for Best Cinematography for ‘Sweet Country’ in 2018 (Photo: Lisa Maree Williams). 

The AACTA Awards are set to go ahead in late November, albeit ‘re-imagined’ to meet COVID-19 restrictions.

The Industry Luncheon, where craft awards are presented, will be held online November 27. The Ceremony will go ahead in person November 30 at Sydney’s The Star, but across two sittings for relevant nominees.

Highlights from the ceremony will then screen on Seven two days later on December 2.

This year the academy will also run a free online festival during the week of the awards, dubbed Screenfest. Open to all, it will span from social media and short films to insider chats with cast and crew of some of the world’s biggest television and film productions. The full program will be announced October 28.

AACTA also celebrates 10 years this year, and a retrospective of the decade is in the works. The Academy is also set to introduce the AACTA Audience Choice Award, though it is yet to announce what this will look like.

AACTA CEO Damian Trewhella said: “2020 has been an incredibly challenging year for our creative screen industry. As the world ground to a halt with COVID-19 so too did many sections of our thriving community. But one thing has really stood out: screen content has played a crucial role in connecting and entertaining our nation when we have needed it most. This year has also placed unprecedented demands and pressures on our industry, and while it hasn’t been easy, our people have powered through with the immense resilience and creative solutions that Australians are renowned and admired for, both at home and abroad.”

“We are excited to bounce forward and find a way to celebrate all the amazing work of the last year on screen and behind the scenes and look forward to creating a slightly different Awards show this year that will also pay tribute to all we have achieved locally and internationally across the last decade.”

Key dates and changes:

  • October 5: Nominees announced for Best Short Film and Best Online Drama or Comedy
  • October 28: Screenfest program announced
  • November 1: Nominees announced for Best Television Program Award categories for Entertainment, Reality, Lifestyle, Drama Series, Comedy, Factual Entertainment, Children’s, Miniseries or Telefeature, Documentary or Factual; Nominees announced for Best Online Entertainment; Nominees announced across Film and Documentary categories; Acting nominees announced across all Television and Film categories
  • November 11:  Nominees announced across all TV Craft, Documentary Craft, Casting and VFX
  • November 27 – December 2: AACTA Screenfest
  • November 27: AACTA Industry Luncheon
  • November 30: AACTA Awards Ceremony