Adam Elliot, Matt Holcomb, Kelrick Martin and Corrie Chen amongst first AACTA nominees

Ernie Buscuit Cinema Australia

Adam Elliot’s Ernie Biscuit

The countdown to Australia’s top screen Awards has officially commenced, with the first nominees for the 5th Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) Awards announced today in three categories – Best Feature Length Documentary, Best Short Animation and Best Short Fiction Film. The 5th AACTA Awards will also see Australia’s best in film and television awarded in Sydney across two major events late in 2015.

Gayby Baby Charlotte Mars
Only the Dead Patrick McDonald, Michael Ware
Sherpa Bridget Ikin, John Smithson
That Sugar Film Nick Batzias, Damon Gameau
Women He’s Undressed Damien Parer, Gillian Armstrong

In yet another exceptional year for Australian documentaries, this year AACTA has announced five nominees for Best Feature Length Documentary, with emerging filmmakers vying for an AACTA Award alongside industry icons.

Gayby Baby (directed by Maya Newell) follows the lives of four children growing up with same-sex parents, and approaches issues faced in modern social politics.

Only the Dead features a compilation of footage recorded by Australian war correspondent Michael Ware throughout his assignment in Iraq, and was co-directed by Ware and Oscar-winner Bill Guttentag.

Damon Gameau’s That Sugar Film explores the effects of a diet comprising only sugary food that is commonly perceived as ‘healthy’, and features guest appearances from Hugh Jackman, Brenton Thwaites, Isabel Lucas, Jessica Marais, Zoe Tuckwell-Smith and British comedian-actor Stephen Fry.

Sherpa captures the 2014 Everest climbing season tragedy from the Sherpa point of view, and was shot by renowned high-altitude cinematographer Renan Ozturk.

AFI Award winner Gillian Armstrong returns with Women He’s Undressed – capturing the life of Australian costume designer and three-time Oscar winner Orry-Kelly, whose body of work includes Some Like It HotLes Girls and An American In Paris.

Gayby Baby Cinema Australia

Gayby Baby

Ernie Biscuit Adam Elliot
The Meek Laura DiMaio, Joe Brumm
The Orchestra Mikey Hill, Melanie Brunt
The Story of Percival Pilts John Lewis, Janette Goodey

This year’s Best Short Animation nominees have screened at a host of short film festivals, in Australia and abroad.

Ernie Biscuit, Adam Elliot’s short film follow up to his Oscar-winning claymation Harvie Krumpet, screened as part of this year’s Sydney Film Festival. Actor John Flaus narrates the animation, following his previous voice work on Elliot’s Mary & Max and Harvie Krumpet.

The Meek and The Orchestra are both currently screening as part of Anima Mundi – the International Animation Festival of Brazil. Narrated by television personality Myf Warhurst, The Meek explores feelings of hope, loneliness, devotion and strength alongside a beautiful score by The Cat Empire’s Ollie McGill. Fresh from taking out the audience-voted Best Australian Animation Award at the Melbourne International Animation Festival, The Orchestra paints a picture of a world where a band of tiny musicians play a soundtrack for your life.

The Story of Percival Pilts is a whimsical adventure about living an impractical life based on a childhood promise. The animated short was the winner of Best Animation at this year’s St Kilda Film Festival and a Sydney Film Festival Dendy Awards for Australian Short Films finalist.

Flat Daddy Annie Kinnane, Matt Holcomb
Karroyul Kelrick Martin, Jaclyn Hewer, Melissa Kelly
Nulla Nulla Dylan River, Tanith Glynn-Maloney
Reg Makes Contact Corrie Chen, Jiao Chen, Raquelle David

In a true reflection of a strong year in Australian short film, three of the nominated short fiction films feature past AACTA Award winners.

AACTA Award winner Kat Stewart (Offspring) stars in Flat Daddy, which explores the emotional upheaval experienced by a mother and daughter living with a cardboard cut-out of her husband, an Australian military officer.

The darkly funny Reg Makes Contact delves into the mysteries of space when alien-obsessed Reg discovers a strange object fallen from the sky. The short film stars Helmut Bakaitis (Howzat! Kerry Packer’s WarThe Matrix Revolutions) and AACTA Award winner Susan Prior (Puberty BluesThe Rover).

Karroyul follows an indigenous girl’s journey of connecting to her ancestral home after the death of her mother, and features the work of AACTA Award-winning sound mixers Ric Curtain and Glenn Martin, and composer Ash Gibson Greig.

Playful comedy Nulla Nulla portrays a white policeman’s first day on the job in an Aboriginal community and stars AACTA Award winner Wayne Blair (Redfern Now) and AFI Award nominee Khan Chittenden.

Nominees in all categories announced today will screen during the 5th AACTA Awards Screenings in Sydney at Event Cinemas, Bondi Junction, and at Cinema Nova in Melbourne throughout September and October, and online via AACTA TV, exclusively for AFI and AACTA members. Also screening will be a number of the Feature Films In Competition, which will be announced in late August.

AFI | AACTA CEO, Damian Trewhella, said:

“AACTA takes pride in making these outstanding productions accessible to the public and industry during our dedicated 5th AACTA Awards Screenings program, which complements our year-round Members’ Events program. Already this year more than 3,400 people have seen great Australian film, television premieres and documentaries via our screen culture and industry development program, and more are signing up to hear first-hand from our talented industry as part of our exclusive cast and crew Q&As.

“On behalf of AACTA, I congratulate all nominees and look forward to a robust competition as the countdown to the 5th AACTA Awards in Sydney officially begins.”


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