The final season of SBS’s The Family Law, the first series of ABC’s The Heights and the SBS miniseries The Hunting have won the 10th annual Equity Ensemble Awards.

The actors who starred in these programs were voted the most outstanding Australian small screen ensembles in their respective categories by the MEAA Equity National Performers’ Committee (NPC).

Equity president Chloe Dallimore, who was among the 33 NPC members who selected this year’s finalists and winners, said: “I can’t think of a better way to spend lockdown than re-watching the incredible small screen performances of the last 12 months. What phenomenal talent we have in this country, both in front and behind the camera.

“It emphasised what’s at stake if we don’t continue to vigorously defend our local content quotas, and why we must continue to remind our government how the arts contribute to our Australian cultural identity.”

Of the comedy winner produced by Matchbox Pictures, the judges said: “The Family Law is a show for everyone. It represents our diverse culture, exploring with tenderness and hilarity the experience of growing up and how to navigate the hurdles of family and sexuality. Every cast member serves the story like a true ensemble. There are no ‘stars,’ which reflects the idea of family on screen, off-screen and in our living rooms.”

Of the winning drama produced by Matchbox and For Pete’s Sake Productions, they said: “The Heights hits all the marks of Australian-made, ensemble excellence. Such exciting depiction of the diverse cultural, socio-economic and physical ability cannot be overlooked. This ensemble brilliantly gives audiences a real take on our lives at the moment in Australia.”

Hailing the miniseries winner produced by Closer Productions, they declared: “The Hunting was always going to rise or fall on the strength of its ensemble cast. It rises. It gets lifted up by the universally deep commitment of every one of its – predominantly young – cast to the serving of story.

“All the performances draw attention to story and intent, not to themselves. They tackle every moment with such truth and care, with delicacy and great vulnerability; remarkable when so many are relatively new to the game. We’ve not cared so much for the fate of so many characters over four plus hours of complex story for a long time.”

An awards ceremony will be held when it is safe to do so.

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY AN ENSEMBLE IN A MINI-SERIES/TELEMOVIE

The Hunting (Closer Productions)
Sam Reid, Jessica De Gouw, Kavitha Anandasivam, Luca Asta Sardelis, Alex Cusack, Yazeed Daher, Leah Vandenberg, Pamela Rabe, Richard Roxburgh, Asher Keddie, Sachin Joab, Rodney Afif, Nathan Page, Elena Carapetis, Anna Lindner and Isabel Burmester.

Finalists:
Miss Fisher’s Modern Murder Mysteries (Every Cloud Productions)
The Hunting (Closer Productions)
Lambs of God (Lingo Pictures/Endemol Shine)

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY AN ENSEMBLE IN A COMEDY SERIES

The Family Law S3 (Matchbox Pictures)
Trystan Go, Fiona Choi, Anthony Brandon Wong, Shuang Hu, George Zhao, Karina Lee, Vivian Lee, Bethany Whitmore, Sam Cotton, Kimie Tsukakoshi, Takaya Honda, Hugh Parker, Jing-Xuan Chan and Jeremy Lindsay Taylor.

Finalists:
Get Krack!n S2 (Katering Productions and Guesswork Television)
The Family Law S3 (Matchbox Pictures)
The Letdown S2 (Giant Dwarf)

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY AN ENSEMBLE SERIES IN A DRAMA SERIES

The Heights S1 (Matchbox Pictures, For Pete’s Sake Productions)
Marcus Graham, Shari Sebbens, Calen Tassone, Roz Hammond, Bridie McKim, Fiona Press, Mitchell Bourke, Dan Paris, Saskia Hampele, Phoenix Raei, Yazeed Daher, Carina Hoang, Koa Nuen, Cara McCarthy and Briallen Clarke.

Finalists:
The Heights S1 (ABC TV)
Diary of an Uber Driver (RevLover)
Five Bedrooms S1 (Hoodlum Entertainment)
Bloom S1 (Playmaker).