This year's Academy Awards will feature a healthy contingent of Australians, with films as disparate as Lion, Hacksaw Ridge and Tanna vying for top awards.
21 years after Braveheart won the top gong, Mel Gibson has been welcomed back into the Academy fold, with Hacksaw Ridge nominated for six Oscars: Best Picture (producers David Permut and Bill Mechanic), Best Director (Gibson), Best Actor (Andrew Garfield), Best Sound Editing (Robert Mackenzie, Andy Wright) and Best Sound Mixing (Robert Mackenzie, Andy Wright, Kevin O'Connell, Peter Grace).
Hacksaw is also up for Best Editing for Kiwi John Gilbert, who edited Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring and is clearly a new Icon favourite – he's currently cutting Gibson's next acting vehicle, The Professor and the Madman, in which the star appears alongside Sean Penn.
Gibson called the nomination "a truly wonderful honor.”
“I’m especially happy for Andrew Garfield, our producers Bill Mechanic and David Permut, our editor John Gilbert and our incredible sound teams."
“The Academy’s recognition of our film is a testament to every single person who worked on Hacksaw Ridge, and to every soldier who made the sacrifices they made to fight for their country, including Desmond Doss.”
Also landing six nominations is Garth Davis' debut feature Lion, which is vying for Best Picture alongside Hacksaw, Arrival, La La Land, Moonlight, Manchester by the Sea, Hidden Figures, Fences and Hell or High Water.
Nicole Kidman is up for Best Supporting Actress, with her Lion co-star, Dev Patel, nominated for Supporting Actor – though if that's not a lead role, I don't know what is.
Lion scribe Luke Davies is nominated for Adapted Screenplay, Dustin O'Halloran and Volker Bertelmann for Best Original Score, and Greig Fraser for Cinematography.
Fraser, who is currently in Mexico City filming, said he was "extremely proud to be part of the team who made Lion and I’m humbled the Academy has nominated me. My crew, both Indian, and Australian, deserve a massive shout out. Their skill and support meant everything to this film."
“It’s an incredible privilege to be acknowledged among the diverse and talented DPs of the cinematography world, so many of whom are doing amazing work. And so many whom I count as close, personal friends.”
“I’d like to say thank you to our extremely talented director Garth Davis for allowing me to help make his wonderful vision a reality – as well as the people of India and Australia, who were so accommodating during our shoot.”
Bentley Dean and Martin Butler's Tanna, co-written with John Collee and co-produced with Carolyn Johnson, was nominated for best foreign language film alongside A Man Called Ove, Land of Mine, The Salesman and Toni Erdmann.
The nomination for Tanna is Australia's first in this category, having entered films such as Ten Canoes and The Rocket in recent years to no avail.
The Oscars will take place on February 26. The full list of nominees is here.