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Rush to host down under

Actor tapped for Aussie film awards

SYDNEY — Geoffrey Rush will again host Oz’s premier film kudocast, the 2007 Australian Film Institute Awards.

The ceremony, split over Dec. 5 and 6, will remain in thesp’s hometown, at Melbourne’s Exhibition Center.

”As we head for the 50th anniversary next year, the creative team is moving the show even closer towards having its own unique identity,” he said. ”Laughs and glamour and local celluloid is a tricky mix but we’re working on it.”

Dec. 5 will be Industry Night for tech awards; the following evening’s awards dinner will be broadcast by the Nine net in primetime.

Impresario Paul Dainty returns as producer in the final year of his three-year contract. Dainty has tuned up the awards’ status after years of mediocrity.

Noms will be announced Oct. 24 in Sydney but some 15 Oz features qualify for the film categories, with honors expected to be shared around.

Main contenders include “Clubland,” “The Home Song Stories,” “Lucky Miles,” “Rogue” and “Romulus, My Father.”

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