Australian International Academy Awards nominations: ‘Manchester by the Sea’ at 6; ‘Hacksaw Ridge,’ ‘Lion,’ ‘La La Land’ at 5

Manchester by the Sea” reaped a leading six nominations for the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) International Awards including Best Picture, dual bids for writer/director Kenneth Lonergan lead actor Casey Affleck and supporting players Lucas Hedges and Michelle Williams. The only category in which is does not contend is lead actress for which it was not eligible. “La La Land” and Aussie-made “Lion” and “Hacksaw Ridge” earned five nominations each, including Best Picture. And rounding out that top race is three-time contender “Arrival.” The sixth annual edition of these awards will be held at The Avalon Hollywood in Los Angeles on Friday, Jan. 6th, 2017. The full list of nominees is below.

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Winners are decided by 140 or Australian filmmakers (including the Oscar-winning AACTA president Geoffrey Rush). About half of these voters also cast ballots for the Oscars and BAFTAs and their roster also includes members of the Screen Actors Guild and the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn., which doles out the Golden Globe Awards.

Last year, “Mad Max: Fury Road” won Best Picture and Director (George Miller) at the International Awards after storming the home-grown edition by winning a whopping ten AACTA Awards. While it lost those two races at the Oscars, it did win six of its 10 bids: Costume Design, Film Editing, Makeup and Hairstyling,Production Design, Sound Editing and Sound Mixing.

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At the recent AACTA awards in Sydney, Mel Gibson’s acclaimed comeback “Hacksaw Ridge” won nine awards, including Best Picture and Best Director. “Lion” was not eligible for consideration at the AACTA’s local awards, due to its release date (it opens Down Under in January).

This international kudofest was introduced to give Australian filmmakers and artists a voice in the noisy precursor period to the Oscars. Like their BAFTA brethren in the mother country, the weeks leading up to the Oscar nominations announcement sees numerous groups vie for attention and Oscar prognostication bragging rights. Last year the AACTAs foresaw wins for the “Spotlight” screenplay, Mark Rylance as Best Supporting Actor for “Bridge of Spies” and Leonardo DiCaprio as Best Actor for “The Revenant.” Four out of the five films nominated as Best Picture last year (“The Big Short,” “Mad Max: Fury Road,” “The Revenant” and “Spotlight”) went on to contend for the top prize at the Oscars, with only “Carol” missing out.

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Best Picture
“Hacksaw Ridge”
“La La Land”
“Manchester by the Sea”

Best Director
Denis Villenueve, “Arrival”
Mel Gibson, “Hacksaw Ridge”
Damien Chazelle, “La La Land”
Garth Davis, “Lion”
Kenneth Lonergan, “Manchester by the Sea”

Best Actor
Casey Affleck, “Manchester by the Sea”
Joel Edgerton, “Loving”
Andrew Garfield, “Hacksaw Ridge”
Ryan Gosling, “La La Land”
Denzel Washington, “Fences”

 Best Actress
Amy Adams, “Arrival”
Isabelle Huppert, “Elle”
Ruth Negga, “Loving”
Natalie Portman, “Jackie”
Emma Stone, “La La Land”

Best Supporting Actor
Mahershala Ali, “Moonlight”
Jeff Bridges, “Hell or High Water”
Lucas Hedges, “Manchester by the Sea”
Dev Patel, “Lion”
Michael Shannon, “Nocturnal Animals”

Best Supporting Actress
Viola Davis, “Fences”
Naomie Harris, “Moonlight”
Nicole Kidman, “Lion”
Michelle Williams, “Manchester by the Sea”
Teresa Palmer, “Hacksaw Ridge”

Best Screenplay
Andrew Knight, Robert Schenkkan, “Hacksaw Ridge”
Taylor Sheridan, “Hell or High Water”
Damien Chazelle, “La La Land”
Luke Davis, “Lion”
Kenneth Lonergan, “Manchester by the Sea”

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Be sure to make your Oscar predictionsWeigh in now with your picks so that Hollywood insiders can see how this film is faring in our Oscar odds. You can keep changing your predictions right up until just before nominations are announced on January 24 at 5:00 am PT/8:00 am ET. Be sure to read our contest rules. And join in the fierce debate over the Oscars taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our forums.

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