The Sapphires sparkles at AACTA awards, takes home 11 gongs in total
It was a glorious evening for The Sapphires at the 2nd Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards Ceremony last night, with the feature film bagging six AACTA awards, including Best Film and Best Director.
The awards top off what has been a sparkling year for the Sapphires team, who have already won a host of international audience choice awards and enjoyed great box office success in Australia.
Other than Best Film and Best Director (Wayne Blair), the musical drama took home the AACTA award for Best Lead Actress (Deborah Mailman), Best Lead Actor (Chris O’Dowd), Best Supporting Actress (Jessica Mauboy) and Best Adapted Screenplay (Keith Thompson, Tony Briggs), bringing their AACTA award total to eleven. (The film picked up a further five awards at the AACTA luncheon held on Monday.)
The film also bagged the news.com.au Audience Choice Award for Most Memorable Screen Moment.
The 2nd AACTA Awards Ceremony was held at the Star Event Centre in Sydney from 5pm last night and was hosted by Academy Award winner Russell Crowe, after local TV celebrity Hugh Sheridan had to pull out due to a scheduling conflict.
Though The Sapphires went in as a hot favourite to pick up several gongs, singer Jessica Mauboy appeared shocked to have won Best Supporting Actress.
Visibly shaking, Mauboy thanked director Wayne Blair for, “making me cry on set,” and endearingly referred to the AACTA audience as, “you mob out there.”
The other feature films to take home awards were Wish You Were Here, which won for Best Original Screenplay (Kieran Darcy-Smith and Felicity Price), and Best Supporting Actor (Antony Starr).
Cate Shortland’s Lore was honoured with the AACTA for Best Young Actress (Saskia Rosendahl).
In television, the awards were more evenly spread across the seven nominated programs.
Channel Ten’s Puberty Blues took home the coveted Best Television Drama Series with Howzat! Kerry Packers’ War claiming the AACTA for Best Telefeature or Mini-series. Actress Mandy McElhinney won Best Guest or Supporting Actress in a Television Drama for her role as Packer’s secretary in Howzat! though hot pick Lachy Hulme surprisingly lost out to Richard Roxburgh (Rake) for Best Actor.
Puberty Blues producer Imogen Banks couldn’t conceal her surprise at the win, telling media, “I was absolutely certain Redfern Now was going to get it.”
While the ABC production may have missed out on Best Television Drama Series, Redfern Now was successful in collecting Best Screenplay in Television (Steven McGregor for Episode 6) and Best Lead Actress in a Television Drama (Leah Purcell) for her performance in Episode One.
Jeffrey Walker won Best Direction in Television for Jack Irish: Bad Debts, also for the ABC, and Aaron Jeffery took home award for Best Guest or Supporting Actor in a Television Drama for his performance in the Nine Network's Underbelly Badness.
In a brand new category, the AACTA Award for Best Reality Television Series, The Amazing Race Australia triumphed over other popular series such as Masterchef and Dance Academy to take home the statuette, with producers telling media that they were "thrilled reality is getting its due."
And finally, on a more sombre segment, the Byron Kennedy Award was awarded to the late filmmaker, animator and artist Sarah Watt (1958 – 2011), and was accepted on her behalf by her son, Clem McInnes. Known for her works in Look Both Ways, Small Treasures and My Year Without Sex, Watt was remembered in a moving video tribute. Presented by Matt Day, Watt was chosen as this year's Byron Kennedy Award recipient "for her brave, innovative filmmaking" and because "without pretension, her work broke all the rules, yet her singular view connected to a wide audience by its profound emotional honesty."
The complete list of winners announced at the 2nd AACTA Awards Ceremony is as follows:
BYRON KENNEDY AWARD
AACTA AWARD FOR BEST YOUNG ACTOR
Saskia Rosendahl. Lore.
AACTA AWARD FOR BEST TELEVISION DRAMA SERIES
Puberty Blues. John Edwards, Imogen Banks. Network Ten. SBS
AACTA AWARD FOR BEST TELEFEATURE OR MINI SERIES
Howzat! Kerry Packer's War. John Edwards, Mimi Butler. Nine Network
AACTA AWARD FOR BEST DIRECTION IN TELEVISION
Jack Irish: Bad Debts. Jeffrey Walker. ABC1
AACTA AWARD FOR BEST SCREENPLAY IN TELEVISION
Redfern Now– Episode 6 'Pretty Boy Blue'. Steven McGregor. ABC1
AACTA AWARD FOR BEST LEAD ACTOR IN A TELEVISION DRAMA
Richard Roxburgh. Rake – Season 2. ABC1
AACTA AWARD FOR BEST LEAD ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION DRAMA
Leah Purcell. Redfern Now. ABC1
AACTA AWARD FOR BEST GUEST OR SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A TELEVISION DRAMA
Aaron Jeffery. Underbelly Badness – Episode 3 'The Loaded Dog'. Nine Network.
AACTA AWARD FOR BEST GUEST OR SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION DRAMA
Mandy McElhinney. Howzat! Kerry Packer's War – Part 2. Nine Network.
AACTA AWARD FOR BEST REALITY TELEVISION SERIES
The Amazing Race Australia. Michael McKay, Trent Chapman, David Gardner, Matt Kowald. Seven Network.
NEWS.COM.AU AUDIENCE CHOICE AWARD FOR MOST MEMORABLE SCREEN MOMENT
AACTA AWARD FOR BEST FILM
The Sapphires. Rosemary Blight, Kylie du Fresne.
AACTA AWARD FOR BEST DIRECTION
The Sapphires. Wayne Blair.
AACTA AWARD FOR BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Wish You Were Here. Kieran Darcy-Smith, Felicity Price.
AACTA AWARD FOR BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
The Sapphires. Keith Thompson, Tony Briggs.
AACTA AWARD FOR BEST LEAD ACTOR
Chris O'Dowd. The Sapphires.
AACTA AWARD FOR BEST LEAD ACTRESS
Deborah Mailman. The Sapphires.
AACTA AWARD FOR BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Antony Starr. Wish You Were Here.
AACTA AWARD FOR BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Jessica Mauboy. The Sapphires.
Full Lists of Winners
For lists of AACTA Awards Winners by production, by network and by all winners announced across each event, visit http://www.aacta.org/the-awards/2nd-aacta-awards/final-winners-announced-at-ceremony.aspx
The AACTA Awards are proudly supported by the New South Wales Government, through its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW.