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AFI Awards honors Bana

Australian event pays tribute to actor

Eric Bana touched down on home turf from the Chicago shoot for “The Time Traveler’s Wife” with just a few hours to spare before joining 1,500 Aussie industryites at the Australian Film Institute Awards Dec. 6.

Thesp’s long haul was rewarded when he won best actor kudos and a people’s choice award at the black tie dinner at the Melbourne Convention Center.

Produced for the third time by rock promoter Paul Dainty, the AFIs are now a slick, well-attended affair. Geoffrey Rush proved a nimble host for the second consecutive year.

Red carpet head turners included Cate Blanchett, Joan Chen and towering drag queens from tuner “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert” currently playing a season in Melbourne.

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