Tiny Oz drama leaps to sweep

Saucy Aussies steal the scene

MELBOURNE — The 2004 Australian Film Institute Awards reflected a drab year in Australian cinema with the small drama “Somersault” scooping all 13 film categories. The Cannes Un Certain Regard entry benefited from paltry competition, rather than its own qualities, but that didn’t temper the beaming smiles worn by director Cate Shortland, producer Anthony Anderson and stars Abbie Cornish and Sam Worthington at Melbourne’s Regent Theater.

Elsewhere there were frowns aplenty at an amateurish ceremony thin on entertainment. A number of winners saw their names flashed on the screen up to five minutes before their win was announced.

Naomi Watts jetted in from the New Zealand set of “King Kong” to collect her Global Achievement Award and party Oct. 29 at the newly renovated National Gallery of Victoria. Joining her on the red carpet were Martin Henderson, Fred Schepisi and Adam Elliott; Cate Blanchett made a brief cameo at the kudofest.

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