Teresa Palmer and Andrew Garfield in Mel Gibson's Hacksaw Ridge.
The AACTA Awards longlist for feature films was unveiled this morning, with 24 Australian features named.
The eligible films are A Few Less Men, A Month of Sundays, Beast, Boys in the Trees, Down Under, Early Winter, Embedded, Girl Asleep, Gods of Egypt, Goldstone, Hacksaw Ridge, Joe Cinque's Consolation, Looking for Grace, Pawno, Red Billabong, Scare Campaign, Spear, Spin Out, Spirit of the Game, Sucker, Tanna, The Daughter, The Menkoff Method and Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead.
That list will be winnowed down once voting begins after the official screenings program, with the nominees for the AACTAs to be announced in October.
The screenings program for AFI and AACTA members runs throughout August and September, and will open with a preview screening of A Few Less Men in Sydney on August 29 at Event Cinemas, Bondi Junction, and in Melbourne on August 30 at Cinema Nova.
This year will also see the feature length documentaries and short film nominees screened in Perth for the first time in AACTA history, from September 12 – 19, via a partnership with Event Cinemas.
“I thank Event Cinemas for their ongoing partnership," said AFI | AACTA CEO Damian Trewhella. "The extended activity into Perth is something we are confident will be welcomed by members and is something we hope to build upon in years to come."
The majority of features in competition, plus all the nominated feature-length docs and shorts, will also be available via AACTA TV from August 29. The screenings and AACTA TV are exclusively for members of AFI (open to all) and AACTA (accredited screen professionals).
“A highlight of each AACTA Awards season is the wide-ranging showcase of the latest Australian filmmakers and performers competing alongside industry luminaries,” said Trewhella.
“The feature films in competition showcase an extensive rostrum of exciting new talent, with directorial debuts for almost half of the competing directors. These include Rosemary Myers, who arrives at this year’s awards with international festival hit Girl Asleep (Winner, Grand Jury Prize, Seattle Film Festival), and Nicholas Verso, who just two years ago received the AACTA Award for Best Short Fiction Film, with his feature film debut Boys in the Trees."
“These emerging directors are competing alongside past AFI and AACTA Best Director nominees and winners including Sue Brooks (Looking For Grace), Ivan Sen (Goldstone), Matthew Saville (A Month Of Sundays) and Mel Gibson (Hacksaw Ridge).
“There’s also been a reemergence of world class Australian feature documentaries in the last 18 months that are finding an audience in local cinemas as well as gaining international attention. We are presenting the four finalists in the feature-length documentary category as part of the official screenings program, including Sydney Film Festival winner In the Shadow of the Hill, Adelaide Film Festival winner Remembering the Man, George Gittoes’ critically acclaimed Snow Monkey and Australian Oscar-winning documentarian Eva Orner’s Chasing Asylum. It’s the most competitive line up of nominees that we’ve had in many years, and is a very encouraging sign for our local documentary industry."
“It’s an exciting time for Australian film, with several highly anticipated releases scheduled for later this year, including Mel Gibson’s Hacksaw Ridge. I encourage everyone to join AFI | AACTA in time to attend this fantastic showcase of new Australian films that we present each year to our members."