MELBOURNE — Aboriginal-themed shows dominated the Australian Film Institute Awards, on Wednesday and Thursday, with Yolngu-language pic “Ten Canoes” and pubcaster SBS’ skein “RAN” (Remote Area Nurse) topping the film and TV categories respectively.
“Ten Canoes” won film and director for Rolf de Heer and Peter Djigirr plus screenplay for de Heer and plaudits for cinematography, editing and sound.
Major awards were dispersed among five films, indicating a return of diversity and depth to the ailing industry. Just two years ago “Somersault” won every AFI film award.
Despite six nominations, low-budget box office favorite, portaloo comedy “Kenny,” garnered just actor honor for Shane Jacobson in his feature lead debut as lovable plumber Kenny.
Challenging black comedy “Suburban Mayhem” proved a good showcase for emerging actors Emily Barclay and Anthony Hayes who won actress and support actor honors respectively, beating out Laura Linney and Geoffrey Rush.
“Macbeth” was recognized for its lush production and costume designs, and Susie Porter won support actress in the low-budget “Caterpillar Wish.”
The year’s most lavishly funded local film, Ray Lawrence’s “Jindabyne,” made by April Films and Babcock and Brown and released by Roadshow, didn’t pick up an award.
“Kenny” is the best positioned to capitalize on AFI publicity, it is still in cinemas and was released on DVD Wednesday.
The event was produced by rock promoter Paul Dainty for the second year and hosted by Geoffrey Rush over two nights at the Melbourne Exhibition Center, with video messages from Dame Edna Everadge (alias Barry Humphries) and Johnny Depp, and appearances by Heath Ledger, Cate Blanchett and Daniel Radcliffe.
Winners for the 2006 Australian Film Institute Awards
Film: “Ten Canoes” – Julie Ryan & Rolf de Heer
Direction: “Ten Canoes” – Rolf de Heer & Peter Djigirr
Actor: Shane Jacobson – “Kenny”
Actress: Emily Barclay – “Suburban Mayhem”
Supporting Actor: Anthony Hayes – “Suburban Mayhem”
Supporting Actress: Susie Porter – “The Caterpillar Wish”
Original Screenplay: “Ten Canoes” – Rolf de Heer
Adapted Screenplay: “Candy” – Luke Davies & Neil Armfield
Cinematography: “Ten Canoes” – Ian Jones ACS
Editing: “Ten Canoes” – Tania Nehme
Sound: “Ten Canoes” – James Currie, Tom Heuzenroeder, Michael Bakaloff & Rory McGregor
Original Music : “Suburban Mayhem” – Mick Harvey
Production Design: “Macbeth” – David McKay
Costume Design: “Macbeth” – Jane Johnston
Intl. Award for Actor: Heath Ledger – “Brokeback Mountain”
Intl. Award for Actress: Rachel Griffiths – “Six Feet Under” (Nine Network)
Intl. Award for Excellence in Filmmaking: Dion Beebe ACS (Cinematography) – “Memoirs of a Geisha”
Young Actor: Marny Kennedy – “Mortified” (Nine Network)
Visual Effects: “Hunt Angels” – Rose Draper & Mike Seymour
Byron Kennedy Award (for unorthodox approaches in filmmaking): Rolf de Heer
Longford Life Achievement: Ian Jones
Children’s Drama:“Mortified” – Phillip Bowman & Bernadette O’Mahony (Nine Network)
Comedy Series: “The Chaser’s War on Everything” – Mark Fitzgerald, Julian Morrow & Andy Nehl (ABC)
Drama Series: “Love My Way” – John Edwards, Claudia Karvan & Jacquelin Perske (Foxtel Austar)
Light Entertainment Series: “Enough Rope With Andrew Denton” – Anita Jacoby & Andrew Denton (ABC)
Telefeature or Mini Series: “RAN” – Penny Chapman (SBS)
Direction: “Answered by Fire” – Jessica Hobbs (ABC)
Screenplay: “RAN”, Ep. 5 – Sue Smith (SBS)
Actor: David Wenham – “Answered by Fire” (ABC)
Actress: Susie Porter – “RAN” (SBS)
Guest or Supporting Actor (Drama): Marcus Graham – “Blue Heelers” (Seven Network)
Guest or Supporting Actress (Drama): Saskia Burmeister – “Blue Heelers” (Seven Network)
Performance in Comedy: Andrew Hansen – “The Chaser’s War on Everything” (ABC)
Outstanding Achievement in Screen Craft: Joseph H. Pickering (Cinematography) – “The Forest” (ABC)
Best Documentary: “Hunt Angels” – Sue Maslin
Direction in a Documentary: “Raul the Terrible” – David Bradbury
Cinematography in a Documentary: “Hunt Angels” – Jackie Farkas
Editing in a Documentary: “Raul the Terrible” – Stewart Young ASE
Sound in a Documentary: “Vietnam Nurses” – Livia Ruzic, Mark Tarpey, Keith Thomas & John Willsteed
Animation: “Gargoyle” – Michael Cusack
Fiction Film: “Stranded” – Stuart McDonald
Screenplay: “Stranded” – Kathleen O’Brien
Outstanding Achievement in Screen Craft: “Emma Lung” (Acting) – Stranded