Controversial film locks in 10, 'Alibrandi' follows with nine

SYDNEY — Sex, violence, romance and dance are the dominant themes of the films that scored the most nominations Tuesday for the Australian Film Institute Awards, the equivalent of the Oscars and Emmys, in a wide-open race. Kudocast will air live on pubcaster SBS Nov. 18.

Of a field of 25 entries, Overseas Film Group U.S. pickup “Chopper” leads the way with 10 noms, followed by nine for fellow local box office hit “Looking for Alibrandi,” and eight each for Fox Seachlight’s “Bootmen” and Goldwyn U.S. acquisition “Better Than Sex.”

Produced by Michele Bennett, “Chopper,” Beyond’s controversial violent, R-rated film about real-life convicted criminal Mark Read, grabbed nominations for film, director and adapted screenplay (Andrew Dominik), actor (Eric Bana), supporting actor (Simon Lyndon), editing (Ken Sallows), cinematography (Geoffrey Hall, Kevin Hayward), production design (Paddy Reardon), score (Mick Harvey) and sound.

Beyond’s teen drama “Looking for Alibrandi,” produced by Robyn Kershaw, romanced noms for film, helmer (Kate Woods), actress (Pia Miranda), supporting actress (Greta Scacchi and Elena Cotta), editing, cinematography, design and adapted screenplay.

Stomp of approval

Fox Searchlight’s Hilary Linstead-produced dance drama “Bootmen’s” nominations are for film, actor (Sam Worthington), costume, editing, cinematography (Steve Mason), design, score and sound.

Foreign film award contenders are Sam Mendes’ “American Beauty,” Spike Jonze’s “Being John Malkovich,” Pedro Almodovar’s “All About My Mother” and M. Night Shyamalan’s “The Sixth Sense.”

Pubcaster ABC overwhelming dominates the small-screen categories with nominations for “Grass Roots,” Beyond’s “Something in the Air” and Granada’s hit drama “SeaChange.”

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