The second season of ABC’s Mystery Road, lockdown ABC comedy Retrograde and SBS thriller Hungry Ghosts have won the 11th annual Equity Ensemble Awards.
The actors who starred in these programs were recently voted the most outstanding Australian small screen ensembles in their respective categories by the MEAA Equity National Performers’ Committee (NPC).
Equity president Jason Klarwein said: “There’s never been a more important time to celebrate Australian stories and the talented MEAA members who bring them to life. As our industry begins to recover from the last 12 months we must stand together and campaign for more quality local productions like our finalists and winners across every platform.”
Retrograde, which stars Pallavi Sharda, Ilai Swindells, Maria Angelico, Esther Hannaford, Nick Boshier and Max Brown, won in the comedy category.
Judges said of the Unless Pictures and Orange Entertainment Co series: “Through their zoom the characters negotiate their friendships, unemployment, dating and being in lockdown. In fact, this whole series was shot and edited entirely in lockdown. The actors worked well together as an ensemble even though they were not in the same location. The humour was light and within keeping of the characters truths and relationships. This ambitious project hit all the marks.”
Mystery Road S2 won the drama category for its cast that includes lead Aaron Pedersen alongside Jada Alberts, Tasma Walton, Callan Mulvey, Rob Collins, Gary Sweet, Ursula Yovich, Tasia Zalar, Sofia Helin, Ngaire Pigram, Stan Yarramunua, Mark Mitchinson, Rhimi Johnson, Keith Robinson and Kirk Page.
NPC judges called the series “a perfect example of an ensemble piece of television.”
“It successfully had a variety of characters who all performed with nuance but collectively tell a uniting story.”
Matchbox Pictures’ Hungry Ghosts won in the miniseries category, celebrating a cast that included Catherine Van Davies, Jillian Nguyen, Ferdinand Hoang, Suzie Wrong, Gabrielle Chan, Bryan Brown, Clare Bowen, Ryan Corr, Gareth Yuen, Lap Phan, Justine Clarke, Oakley Kwon and Susie Porter.
“With a cast including more than 30 Asian Australian actors and 325 Asian Australian extras, Hungry Ghosts was a first for Australian television,” said the judges.
“The cast worked cohesively in this high-concept, genre-bending and ambitious series. They convincingly straddled horror tropes as well as themes of generational trauma, family bonds and the blowback from suppressing the history and identity that makes you who you are.”
MEAA Equity will host an award ceremony in June to honour 2020 and 2021 winners.
OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY AN ENSEMBLE IN A MINI-SERIES/TELEMOVIE
HUNGRY GHOSTS (Matchbox Pictures)
Catherine Van Davies, Jillian Nguyen, Ferdinand Hoang, Suzie Wrong, Gabrielle Chan, Bryan Brown, Clare Bowen, Ryan Corr, Gareth Yuen, Lap Phan, Justine Clarke, Oakley Kwon and Susie Porter.
A Sunburnt Christmas
OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY AN ENSEMBLE IN A COMEDY SERIES
RETROGRADE (Unless Pictures & Orange Entertainment)
Pallavi Sharda, Ilai Swindells, Esther Hannaford, Maria Angelico, Nicholas Boshier, Max Brown.
Black Comedy S4
OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY AN ENSEMBLE IN A DRAMA SERIES
MYSTERY ROAD S2 (Bunya Productions)
Aaron Pedersen, Jada Alberts, Tasma Walton, Callan Mulvey, Rob Collins Gary Sweet, Ursula Yovich, Tasia Zalar, Sofia Helin, Ngaire Pigram, Stan Yarramunua, Mark Mitchinson, Rhimi Johnson, Keith Robinson, Kirk Page.
The Heights S2
Mystery Road S2