‘Elvis’ wins lucky 7 Australian Academy creative arts awards

The 12th annual Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) Awards unveiled its Industry Awards in Sydney on Monday, celebrating the best of the Australian film and television industry across a spectrum of creative arts categories. It will be followed by the star-studded main ceremony, which will take place at The Hordern in Sydney’s iconic Entertainment Quarter on Wednesday, December 7, hosted by acclaimed Aussie comedian and actress Amanda Keller.

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Oscar-nominated director Baz Luhrmann (“Moulin Rouge!”) and his team behind musical biopic “Elvis” cleaned up at the creative arts event, taking home seven trophies, including for 2022 AACTA Longford Lyell Award recipient (and two-time Oscar winner) Catherine Martin, who claimed the awards for Best Costume Design and Best Production Design. “Elvis” DP Mandy Walker also shattered records Monday when she became the first woman ever to win the Best Cinematography award.

“Elvis” is up for five categories tomorrow night, including Best Film, Luhrmann for Best Direction, Austin Butler for Best Lead Actor, two-time Oscar winner Tom Hanks for Best Supporting Actor and Aussie rising star Olivia DeJonge in Best Supporting Actress.

Thomas M. Wright won Best Screenplay for his film, Netflix’s “The Stranger,” which is also in contention for Best Film, Best Direction, Best Lead Actor (Joel Edgerton), Best Supporting Actor (Sean Harris) and Best Supporting Actress (Jada Alberts).

Rounding out the Best Film category on Wednesday night are Oscar winner George Miller’s “Three Thousand Years of Longing,” starring Emmy winner Idris Elba and Oscar winner Tilda Swinton, acclaimed indigenous actor/director Leah Purcell’s “The Drover’s Wife: The Legend of Molly Johnson,” anthology film “Here Out West” and horror comedy “Sissy.”

On the TV side, “Mystery Road: Origin” led the field, winning four awards (for cinematography, editing, direction and sound). The acclaimed outback-set period drama is nominated for six more awards on Wednesday night, up against local co-productions including the Josh Gad and Isla Fisher romantic horror-comedy “Wolf Like Me” (which streams Stateside on Peacock) and the Jamie Dornan-starring “The Tourist” (HBO Max), while global hit animated series “Bluey” won Best Children’s Program for a fourth consecutive year.

The Australian Academy, like its American and British counterparts, seeks to promote, encourage and celebrate screen excellence in Australia and worldwide. For over 60 years, the AACTA Awards (formerly the AFI Awards), Australia’s most prestigious film and television award, have recognized and celebrated Australia’s highest achievements in film, television, short form and digital content.

In addition to awarding homegrown talent working within its local industry, AACTA introduced its international film awards a decade ago to give Australian filmmakers and artists a voice in the lead up to the Oscars. While the Aussie academy can be quite prescient about spotlighting which films and performers are in the hunt for Oscar recognition, they do tend to favor homegrown talent, with Aussie co-production “The Power of the Dog” winning three awards last year (Best Film, Best Actor for Benedict Cumberbatch and Best Supporting Actor for Kodi Smit-McPhee) and Aussie Nicole Kidman winning Best Actress for “Being the Ricardos.”

Gold Derby can exclusively reveal that nominations for the 12th Annual AACTA International Awards will be announced on Thursday, December 15 at 11:00 am (PT), with winners announced in Los Angeles on Thursday, February 23, 2023.

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