Monica Zanetti’s screenplay of Ellie & Abbie (& Ellie’s Dead Aunt), Ben Lawrence and Beatrix Christian’s Hearts and Bones and Ally Burnham’s Unsound have been nominated for best original feature in the 53rd annual AWGIE Awards.

The contenders for the feature film adaptation prize are Thomas M. Wright and Erik Jensen’s Acute Misfortune, Lisa Hoppe’s H is for Happiness, Shaun Grant and Harry Cripps’ Penguin Bloom and C.S. McMullen’s The Other Lamb.

The TV series prize promises to be a close race between episodes of Glen Dolman’s Bloom, Michael Petroni’s Messiah for Netflix, Belinda Chayko’s Stateless, Samantha Strauss’ The End and Pip Karmel’s Total Control.

Timothy Hobart, John Ridley, Jeremy Nguyen, Alan Nguyen and Michele Lee’s Hungry Ghosts will square off against Matthew Cormack and Niki Aken’s The Hunting for best miniseries.

In the TV serial category it must be a win for The Heights, with nods for episodes scripted by Peter Mattessi, Megan Palinkas, Romina Accurso and showrunner/co-creator Warren Clarke.

Little J and Big Cuz dominates the preschool category, earning nominations for Dorothy West, Beck Cole and Erica Glynn. In the children’s C category, Mustangs FC writers Alix Beane and Magda Wozniak will go up against The New Legends of Monkey’s Christiaan and Connor Van Vuuren.

In the documentary genre, Genevieve Clay-Smith’s Perspective Shift, an exploration of the life and career of filmmaker Daniel Monks, will compete with Gregory Read’s Own The Sky, Shireen Narayanan’s dramatised reflection on childhood trauma Wild Butterfly and Aaron McCann and Dominic Pearce’s tale of the pup behind the cinema legend in Koko: A Red Dog Story.

The TV comedy contenders are How to Stay Married’s Trent Roberts, two episodes of Rosehaven by Luke McGregor and Celia Pacquola and The Other Guy’s Kacie Anning.

Hannah Reilly’s Direct Eye Contact and an episode of The Feed by Victoria Zerbst, Michael Hing, Cameron James, Alex Lee and Jenna Owen will compete for the sketch comedy or light entertainment gong with 7.30’s Mark Humphries and Evan Williams.

Announcing the noms, the Australian Writers’ Guild said: “In a year marked by uncertainty and upheaval, the power of stories has taken on new and profound meaning. Unable to gather in person, we have instead gathered in shared narratives, connecting across ideas and experiences, and finding moments of joy in film, theatre and television.

“Yet our Australian stories are under threat, ravaged by years of funding cuts to the screen and stage sectors, competition from unregulated players, and hindered by the current suspension of content quotas and pending government reform. In 2020, there has never been a more important time to join the fight to protect, support and celebrate our industry.”

The winners will be announced in an online ceremony broadcast on Tuesday December 8. The broadcast will be free to watch, with tickets available in late October.

The nominees in the screen categories are:

FEATURE FILM – ORIGINAL

Ellie & Abbie (& Ellie’s Dead Aunt) – Monica Zanetti
Hearts and Bones – Ben Lawrence with Beatrix Christian
Unsound – Ally Burnham

FEATURE FILM – ADAPTATION

Acute Misfortune – Thomas M. Wright with Erik Jensen
H is for Happiness – Lisa Hoppe
Penguin Bloom – Shaun Grant with Harry Cripps
The Other Lamb – C. S. McMullen

SHORT FILM

Carmentis – Antony Webb
Triple Swear – Dannika Horvat
Something Has Died In The Forest (ЩОСЬ В ЛIСI ЗДОХЛО) – Eva Justine Torkkola

DOCUMENTARY – PUBLIC BROADCAST (INCLUDING VOD) OR EXHIBITION

Koko – A Red Dog Story – Aaron McCann and Dominic Pearce
Own the Sky – Gregory Read
Perspective Shift: ‘Daniel’ – Genevieve Clay-Smith
Wild Butterfly – Shireen Narayanan

DOCUMENTARY – COMMUNITY, EDUCATIONAL AND TRAINING (OR OTHERWISE COMMISSIONED TO A SPECIFIC BRIEF)

Only one nomination and the winner will be announced on the night

TELEVISION – SERIAL

The Heights: Season 2, Episode 7 – Peter Mattessi
The Heights: Season 2, Episode 28 – Megan Palinkas
The Heights: Season 2, Episode 29 – Romina Accurso
The Heights: Season 2, Episode 30 – Warren Clarke

TELEVISION – SERIES OR MINISERIES OF MORE THAN 4 HOURS DURATION, INCLUDING ORIGINAL AND ADAPTED WORKS

Bloom: Season 2, ‘Blip’ – Glen Dolman
Messiah: ‘He That Hath An Ear’ – Michael Petroni
Stateless: ‘Panis Angelicus’ – Belinda Chayko
The End: ‘With Sparkles’ – Samantha Strauss
Total Control: Episode 3 – Pip Karmel

TELEVISION – TELEMOVIE OR MINISERIES OF 4 HOURS OR LESS DURATION, INCLUDING ORIGINAL AND ADAPTED WORKS

Hungry Ghosts – Timothy Hobart, John Ridley, Jeremy Nguyen, Alan Nguyen and Michele Lee
The Hunting – Matthew Cormack and Niki Aken

CHILDREN’S TELEVISION – ‘P’ CLASSIFICATION (PRESCHOOL – UNDER 5 YEARS), ORIGINAL OR ADAPTED, ANIMATED OR PERFORMED

Little J & Big Cuz: Season 2, ‘Desert Camp’ – Dorothy West
Little J & Big Cuz: Season 2, ‘Finding Home’ – Beck Cole
Little J & Big Cuz: Season 2, ‘Goodbye Swooper’ – Erica Glynn

CHILDREN’S TELEVISION – ‘C’ CLASSIFICATION (CHILDREN’S – 5–14 YEARS), ORIGINAL OR ADAPTED, ANIMATED OR PERFORMED

Mustangs FC: Season 3, ‘Level Up’ – Alix Beane
Mustangs FC: Season 3, ‘Mustangs Forever and Ever’ – Magda Wozniak
The New Legends of Monkey: Season 2, ‘Quest for Knowledge’ – Connor Van Vuuren
The New Legends of Monkey: Season 2, ‘Shadow Boxing’ – Christiaan Van Vuuren

COMEDY – SITUATION OR NARRATIVE

How to Stay Married: Season 2, ‘Sexting’ – Trent Roberts
Rosehaven: Season 4, Episode 1 – Luke McGregor and Celia Pacquola
Rosehaven: Season 4, Episode 5 – Luke McGregor and Celia Pacquola
The Other Guy: Season 2, ‘The Escape Room’ – Kacie Anning

COMEDY – SKETCH OR LIGHT ENTERTAINMENT

Direct Eye Contact – Hannah Reilly
The Feed: ‘Anger For Women’, ‘Chloe Shorten’s Husband’, ‘Social Media Cops’, ‘Scotophile’
and ‘Bushfire Press Release’ – Victoria Zerbst with Michael Hing, Cameron James, Alex Lee and Jenna Owen
7.30: Season 2 – Mark Humphries and Evan Williams

ANIMATION

Alien TV: ‘Barbecue’ – Simon Dodd
Kitty Is Not A Cat: Season 2, ‘Cats’ Eye-Q’ – Raymond Boseley
Space Nova: ‘Black Hamster’ – Charlotte Rose Hamlyn
Space Nova: ‘Ghost Station’ – Thomas Duncan-Watt

WEB SERIES AND OTHER NON-BROADCAST/NON-‘SUBSCRIPTION VIDEO ON DEMAND’ TV SHORT WORKS

Content – Anna Barnes
Halal Gurls: Episode 3 and Episode 6 – Vonne Patiag with Sara Manso

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