Crowe hosts Oz kudocast

Australian Film Institute Awards set for Nov. 26

Russell Crowe will host this year’s Australian Film Institute Awards kudocast, the most prestigious honors Down Under, Nov. 26 in Melbourne.

The Aussie awards have suffered from poor exposure in recent years. The Australian Film Institute recently appointed concert promoter Paul Dainty — named this year as Australia’s No. 1 promoter by U.S. touring guide Pollstar — to run the event in an effort to regain eyeballs.

Crowe will be a major asset in that department and will help secure a broadcast deal.

Kudocast has been passed among networks for years, with last year’s event ending up as a delayed clips package airing on pubcaster the Australian Broadcasting Corp.

Dainty wants a deal with one of the three commercial nets for the 2005 AFI Awards — the kudocast’s 47th edition.

“The 2005 AFI Awards will be significantly different from any other year, and securing Russell Crowe to host the awards is a major coup,” Dainty said. “It confirms the fact that the AFI Awards are the country’s premier film awards.”

Nominations will be announced Oct. 21.

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