‘Sweet Country’ Sweeps Australia’s AACTA Awards

Patrick FraterPatrick Frater is Asia Editor of Variety, based out of Hong Kong and Bangkok, where he oversees a small team of Asia regional correspondents, in addition to reporting on the international film and TV markets. He was previously International Editor at Screen International and co-founder of Film Business Asia. Before focusing his attention on the entertainment sector, he worked for finance industry publications in London and Paris.

Asia

Sweet Country,” the tale of an Aboriginal man who shoots a white man in self defense, swept the major awards at the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) Awards.

The film collected the best film award, and the best director award for Warwick Thornton. In other major categories, it won best original screenplay, best cinematography, best editing, and best lead actor for Hamilton Morris.

The film debuted some 15 months ago at the Venice festival where it won the jury prize. In Toronto the same year it won the Platform section prize. And at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards last year it was named best film.

The AACTA prizes were presented at a ceremony on Wednesday in Sydney. Other significant winners were Nicole Kidman as best supporting actress in “Boy Erased” and Joel Egerton as its screenwriter. Simon Baker won for his on-screen role in “Breath.” “Ladies in Black” earned four awards. China’s “Dying to Survive” was AACTA’s best Asian film.

Away from the feature film categories, “Gurrumul” was named best documentary feature. David Jowsey and Bunya Productions, responsible for “Sweet Country,” saw their “Mystery Road” adapted TV series named as AACTA’s best drama .