Aussie AFI awards set Curry as host

Ceremony to be held Dec. 6 in Melbourne

SYDNEY — Aussie comic thesp Stephen Curry will front the 50th Australian Film Institute awards on Dec. 6 at Melbourne’s Princess Theater.

The awards will be held the week after the sweeps wrap for the year, which is just as well because hit Oz pics are thin on the ground this year.

Nominations will be announced in Sydney on Oct. 29, but in the pic categories family drama “The Black Balloon” is a favorite after it topped the nominations list for last month’s Inside Film Awards.

“Balloon,” which starred Toni Collette and was directed by tyro Elissa Down, is the top-grossing domestic release with A$2.2 million ($1.5 million).

By contrast TV drama, which is also honored at the AFIs, has had a bumper year with terrestrial web Nine’s crime drama “Underbelly” the top performer.

AFI award festivities will begin Dec. 5 with the Industry Awards.

Celebrating its 50th anniversary, the AFIs will look back at the history of Oz film and TV.

Produced by rock promoter Paul Dainty, kudos will be aired in time-delay on the Nine Network.