AIMC 2016 wraps up with awards for Sam Neill, Anthony Buckley, Sue Milliken

17 October, 2016 by Staff Writer

Sam Neill, Sue Milliken, Anthony Buckley (Photo credit: Peter Jackson).


The 71st Australian International Movie Convention wrapped last week, with a delegation of just over 1,000 converging on the Gold Coast for the five-night-four-day convention.

Seven features screened at AIMC, including three Australian films: Don’t Tell – attended by cast members Jack Thompson AM, Rachel Griffiths, Sara West, Gyton Grantley, Martin Sacks and Robert Coleby; Jasper Jones – introduced by director Rachel Perkins; and Transmission's Oscar contender Lion – attended by mother and son Sue and Saroo Brierley, on whose story the film is based.

Sam Neill followed in the footsteps of Jack Thompson, winning the AIMC Lifetime Achievement award, and used the occassion to read out amusing testimonials from the likes of Bryan Brown, Rob Sitch and John Cleese congratulating him on his award. 

Neill’s Hunt for the Wilderpeople director Taika Waititi watched on, fresh from the set of Thor: Ragnarok, shooting down the road from the Jupiters ballroom. Thor star Chris Hemsworth received the AIMC Star of the Year Award but was not in attendance.

Producer Sue Milliken (The Odd Angry Shot, Black Robe, Dating the Enemy, Paradise Road, Farscape, Solo) also received the AIMC Lifetime Achievement Award, while fellow producer Anthony Buckley (Caddie, The Night, the Prowler, Bliss, Oyster Farmer) took out the Murray Forrest Award for Excellence in Filmcraft.

A special AIMC Award was presented to David Stratton and Margaret Pomeranz in recognition of their contribution to the Australian film industry. 

The award for Highest Grossing Film in Australia for 2015-16 as well as the award for the Highest Grossing 3D Film in Australia went to Star Wars: The Force Awakens, with a box office gross in Australia of $93.8 million.

The award for Highest Grossing Film in New Zealand for 2015-16 also went to The Force Awakens, with a gross of NZD $14.6 million. 

Highest Grossing Australian Film for 2015-2016 went to The Dressmaker, with a gross just shy of $20.3 million.

Collecting the award, producer Sue Maslin said: "This is the most important award that any producer could share as it shows that our efforts to connect with the audience have paid off. Mike Baard and his team at Universal were the perfect partner on The Dressmaker and I can't thank the exhibitors enough for getting behind the film."

Highest Grossing New Zealand Film for 2015-2016 was Hunt for the Wilderpeople with a gross of AUD $11.2 million.

Director Stephan Elliott was on hand to talk up his new film, Flammable Children, which has just begun shooting in Queensland with Guy Pearce, Asher Keddie, Radha Mitchell, Kylie Minogue, Jeremy Sims and Julian McMahon, while Greg McLean presented footage from his upcoming film Jungle, starring Daniel Radcliffe and Alex Russell. 

AIMC Chairman Terry Jackman said: "This year’s convention enjoyed record attendance figures from across the industry and delegates saw first-rate content, highest quality features and were educated and entertained during four most informative presentations and panel sessions”.