Charlie’s Country was named best film and Rolf de Heer best director at the 2014 Film Critics Circle of Australia Awards presented on Tuesday night.
The Water Diviner scored five gongs, for best actor Russell Crowe, supporting actors Yilmaz ErdoÄŸan and Jacqueline McKenzie and David Hirschfelder’s score.
The Babadook nabbed three awards, for Jennifer Kent’s screenplay, Noah Wiseman for best performance by a young actor and Simon Njoo’s editing, shared with Predestination’s Matt Villa.
Sarah Snook was named best actress for Predestination and the prize for best cinematography went to Mandy Walker for Tracks.
Best documentary was Nick Torrens’ China’s 3 Dreams, which follows the attempts of Zhang Lei, a troubled young café owner and single mother in Chongqing, central China, to unravel her family’s traumatic history, contrasted with another Chongqing couple as they struggle to buy an apartment on minimal wages.
The awards were handed out at the Paddington RSL, attended by more than 200 people. Special tributes were paid to long-time FCCA members Evan Williams, who has retired as film critic for The Australian, and Margaret Pomeranz and David Stratton, who departed after 28 years as hosts of SBS TV’s The Movie Show and ABC TV’s At The Movies.
Crowe spoke warmly of the debt of gratitude he feels for the support and encouragement over the years from Margaret and David.
FCCA members’ voting differed markedly from the Australian Film Critics Association, which saluted The Babadook as best film, director, lead actress Essie Davis and supporting actor Wiseman, and named David Gulpilil as best actor for Charlie’s Country.
2014 FCCA AWARDS WINNERS
CHARLIE'S COUNTRY PRODUCERS: Rolf de Heer, Peter Djigirr, Nils Erik Nielsen
Rolf de Heer Charlie's Country
Sarah Snook Predestination
Russell Crowe The Water Diviner
BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Jacqueline McKenzie The Water Diviner
BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Yilmaz ErdoÄŸan The Water Diviner
BEST PERFORMANCE BY A YOUNG ACTOR
Noah Wiseman The Babadook
Jennifer Kent The Babadook
Mandy Walker ACS ASC Tracks
BEST MUSIC SCORE
David Hirschfelder The Water Diviner
Simon Njoo The Babadook
Matt Villa Predestination
BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
Matthew Putland Predestination
China’s 3 Dreams Director and Producer: Nick Torrens