Aboriginal love story “Samson and Delilah” continued its dream run this year by sweeping seven honors — including best film — at the Australian Film Institute awards, the country’s top kudos, in Melbourne on Friday.
The win included director and original screenplay for Warwick Thornton while amateur thesps Marissa Gibson and Rowan McNamara shared the young actor award.
Pic also nabbed honors for cinematography and sound as well as the AFI members’ choice award.
In a boffo year, “Samson and Delilah” also took the top award at Oz’s Inside Film Awards and the Asia Pacific Screen Awards last month as well as the Camera d’Or at Cannes in May.
Political thriller “Balibo” earned Anthony LaPaglia a lead actor laurel. Pic also won supporting actor for Oscar Isaac and adapted screenplay for scribes David Williamson and Robert Connolly.
In TV, multicultural pubcaster SBS’ edgy crime skein “East West 101” took home several honors including drama series, director (Peter Andrikidis) and lead actress in a TV drama (Susie Porter).
Channel Nine’s true crime hit “Underbelly: A Tale of Two Cities” won for screenplay, lead actor in a TV drama (Roy Billing) and supporting actor (Damian de Montemas).
Thesp Geoffrey Rush was given the industry’s highest honor, the AFI Raymond Longford Award.