Looking back over 10 years of IF Awards

09 September, 2008 by IF

With only three days left to vote for the 2008 Inside Film Awards, it’s time to get online and have your say in the nation’s only public choice awards for Australian film.

In the 10 years since the Inside Film Awards began, just who has graced the red carpet and been voted the best in their craft? Did the general public get it right?


In the Independent Film Awards’ inaugural year, Gregor Jordan’s Two Hands, starring Heath Ledger and Rose Byrne, won the award for Best Feature. Since 1999, Jordan has directed Joaquin Phoenix in Buffalo Soldiers and Heath Ledger again in Ned Kelly. Jordan’s next film, The Informers, to be released early next year, is based on Brett Eastern Ellis’ novel and stars Winona Ryder, Kim Basinger and Billy Bob Thornton.

In the same year, John Curran won Best Director for Praise. It was a while before he made his next film but he returned with a bang with We Don’t Live Here Anymore, starring Mark Ruffalo, Laura Dern and Naomi Watts. Curran then reunited with Naomi Watts this year in The Painted Veil, which also starred Edward Norton.

In 2000, Paul Cox won Best Film for Innocence. One of Australia’s most respected filmmakers, Cox has now directed over 20 films, including Human Touch and the soon-to-be-released feature, Salvation, starring Wendy Hughes.

Eric Bana won Best Actor in 2000 for Chopper, which took him to Hollywood where he has become one of Australia’s most successful exports with starring roles in Steve Spielberg’s Munich, Ang Lee’s The Hulk and the soon-to-be-released Star Trek. Andrew Dominick won Best New Filmmaker for the box office smash hit, Chopper. He made his first Hollywood feature last year with Oscar nominated The Assassination of Jesse James by Coward Robert Ford, starring Brad Pitt.

Lantana dominated the Awards in 2001, taking out Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor and Best Actress. Ray Lawrence has since gone on to direct the critically acclaimed Jindabyne. Anthony La Paglia stars in the hit TV series, Without a Trace and is currently filming Balibo, Robert Connolly’s new feature.

Indigenous films were popular in 2002 with The Tracker, Rabbit Proof Fence and Beneath Clouds all winning awards. Director Rolf de Heer has gone on to make Dr. Plonk and Ten Canoes, which won Best Director at the 2006 IF Awards. It was also the inaugural year for the Rising Talent Award, which Anthony Hayes won. He has since had a successful acting career with roles in Suburban Mayhem and Look Both
Ways, and his directorial debut, Ten Empty, is eligible for this year’s awards.

In 2003, Japanese Story won Best Film, Best Director and Best Actress. Toni Collette has since joined the ranks of Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman with a hugely successful career in Hollywood, starring alongside Cameron Diaz in In Her Shoes and the indie smash hit, Little Miss Sunshine. In the same year, Mathew Saville won the Rising Talent Award and four years later released his feature debut Noise, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and won two IF Awards last year.

In 2004, Abbie Cornish won Best Actress for her role in Somersault. Since then, Cornish has starred alongside teen-heartthrob Channing Tatum and Ryan Philippe in Stop-Loss and will star in Jane Campion’s next film, Bright Star.

Three years ago, John Hillcoat won Best Film for The Proposition. Later this year, Hillcoat will release The Road, starring Viggo Mortenson and Australian actor Kodi Smit-Phee. Hillcoat will then reunite with Nick Cave for The Death of a Ladies’ Man.

Also in 2005, Sarah Watt won Best Director for her box office hit Look Both Ways. Watt has just completed production on My Year Without Sex. Hugo Weaving and Cate Blanchett won Best Actor in their respective roles in Little Fish the same year. Weaving has made several films including V For Vendetta, Happy Feet, the soon-to-be-released The Tender Hook, and he is also about to start work on The Wolf Man alongside Benicio Del Toro and Anthony Hopkins, as well as Glendyn Ivin’s The Last Man.

Meanwhile, Cate Blanchett is starring alongside Brad Pitt in David Fincher’s new film, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, set for release at Christmas and Wes Anderson’s The Fantastic Mr Fox, which is based on Roald Dahl’s book. Kath Shelper won the Rising Talent Award in 2005 and has just finished shooting her feature debut, Sampson and Delilah, directed by 2005 and 2007 IF Short Film Winner, Warwick Thornton.

Toilet jokes stole the hearts of audiences in 2006 with Kenny winning Best Film. Recently released in the US, a spin-off TV series, Kenny’s World, is about to hit the small screen. Julius Avery won the ZTudio What IF Award for Best Unproduced Screenplay and has since won the Jury Award at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival with his short film, Jerrycan.
The Jammed won Best Film last year and filmmaker Dee McLachlan is now working on an equally topical film about US Intelligence services. Tony Ayres won Best Director for The Home Song Stories and is currently working in TV, directing Rebel Wilson’s new show, Bogan Pride (SBS TV October 6) and the new series, Saved, starring Claudia Karvan. The Rising Talent award was won by Bonnie Elliot, who is in Iran filming her first feature. Elliot also directed this year’s IF trailer.

So yes – it looks like the general public do know how to pick them!

Who will you vote for this year? With just three days left, it’s time to choose your winners. Voting closes on Friday, September 12, for the 10th Inside Film Awards.

Visit www.ifawards.com