Frances McDormand in 'Nomadland'. (Photo courtesy of Searchlight Pictures. © 2020 20th Century Studios)

Chloé Zhao’s Nomadland has earned six nominations for the AACTA International Awards, just ahead of Aaron Sorkin’s The Trial of the Chicago 7, which received five.

Both are in contention for Best Film, together with Emerald Fennell’s Promising Young Woman and Florian Zeller’s The Father, which each received four nominations overall, and Lee Isaac Chung’s Minari.

While the AACTA International Awards are typically held in LA, this year the event will be virtual, with a highlights package of acceptance speeches available to watch on AACTA’s YouTube channel March 6 AEDT/March 5 PST.

The awards are determined by the AACTA International Chapter, made up of 150 Australian screen professionals with distinguished international credentials, many of whom are members of AMPAS and BAFTA.

This year, for the first time ever, AACTA has added in four television categories, recognising drama, comedy and acting. Earning the most nods was Schitt’s Creek, which notched three, followed by The Undoing, Normal People and Australia’s Mystery Road.

Indeed, Australians make a good showing throughout the nominations, with the nominations for Eliza Scanlen, Ben Mendelsohn, Cate Blanchett, Nicole Kidman, and Aaron Pedersen. The Great, created by Tony McNamara, is up for Best Comedy Series, and Margot Robbie is one of the producers behind Promising Young Woman.

AACTA CEO Damian Trewhella said: “2020 was an extraordinary year for the global screen industry. We all experienced varying degrees of lockdowns but one thing that united us all was the enjoyment and escapism we got from film and television and audiences devoured content in astonishing numbers. Shows like Normal People, The Crown, The Mandalorian, I May Destroy You and Schitt’s Creek were watched across the world and our own productions like Mystery Road stood up alongside the best.

“Even though we can’t hold an event in Los Angeles this year, we thought it very important to still shine a light on the best of the global screen industry, give our members the opportunity to have their say too and mark another excellent year of work.”

The full list of nominees:

AACTA International Award for Best Film

  • The Father
  • Minari
  • Nomadland
  • Promising Young Woman
  • The Trial of the Chicago 7

AACTA International Award for Best Direction in Film

  • Pete Docter – Soul
  • Emerald Fennell – Promising Young Woman
  • David Fincher – Mank
  • Aaron Sorkin – The Trial of the Chicago 7
  • Chloé Zhao – Nomadland

AACTA International Award for Best Screenplay in Film

  • The Father
  • Mank
  • Nomadland
  • Promising Young Woman
  • The Trial of the Chicago 7

AACTA International Award for Best Drama Series

  • The Crown
  • I May Destroy You
  • The Mandalorian
  • Mystery Road
  • The Queen’s Gambit 


AACTA International Award for Best Comedy Series

  • Afterlife
  • The Great
  • Schitt’s Creek
  • Sex Education
  • What We Do in the Shadows

AACTA International Award for Best Lead Actor in Film

  • Riz Ahmed – Sound of Metal
  • Chadwick Boseman – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
  • Adarsh Gourav – The White Tiger
  • Anthony Hopkins – The Father
  • Gary Oldman – Mank

AACTA International Award for Best Lead Actress in Film

  • Viola Davis – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
  • Vanessa Kirby – Pieces of a Woman
  • Frances McDormand – Nomadland
  • Carey Mulligan – Promising Young Woman
  • Eliza Scanlen – Babyteeth

AACTA International Award for Best Supporting Actor in Film

  • Sacha Baron Cohen – The Trial of the Chicago 7
  • Chadwick Boseman – Da 5 Bloods
  • Ben Mendelsohn – Babyteeth
  • Mark Rylance – The Trial of the Chicago 7
  • David Strathairn – Nomadland

AACTA International Award for Best Supporting Actress in Film

  • Maria Bakalova – Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
  • Olivia Colman – The Father
  • Saoirse Ronan – Ammonite
  • Amanda Seyfried – Mank
  • Swankie – Nomadland

AACTA International Award for Best Actor in a Series

  • Jason Bateman – Ozark
  • Hugh Grant – The Undoing
  • Daniel Levy – Schitt’s Creek
  • Paul Mescal – Normal People
  • Aaron Pedersen – Mystery Road

AACTA International Award for Best Actress in a Series

  • Cate Blanchett – Mrs America
  • Daisy Edgar-Jones – Normal People
  • Nicole Kidman – The Undoing
  • Catherine O’Hara – Schitt’s Creek
  • Anya Taylor-Joy – The Queen’s Gambit 

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