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AFI awards move to Nine

Kudocast to introduce viewer's choice award

SYDNEY — As part of the revamp of this year’s Australian Film Industry awards, the kudocast will screen this year on the Nine Network and introduced a viewer’s choice award, the AFI said Saturday.

The AFI recently enlisted the help of Oz concert promoter Paul Dainty to lift the profile of the awards, which have seen auds fall away and interest in the kudos dwindle.

“The rebuilding and repositioning of the AFI Awards is a fantastic opportunity to stamp the awards as the film and television industry’s premier awards,” Dainty said.

Previously the star promoter announced thesp Russell Crowe would host the kudocast, a fact that likely helped interest a commercial network. Last year’s awards showed as a short clips package on pubcaster ABC.

The AFI Popular Choice Award is another device to pique viewer interest, with auds encouraged to vote for their favorite thesp via mobile phone.

There are 17 feature films entered into the 2005 AFI Awards — the 47th outing for the kudos — including “Little Fish,” “Look Both Ways” and “The Magician.”

Nominations will be announced Friday, with the awards telecast set for Nov. 26.

L’Oreal will sponsor the awards.

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