“Avatar: The Way of Water” was the surprise winner of the best film award at the AACTA International Awards, the overseas awards backed by the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts.
The pre-event nominations had seen six acknowledgements each for “The Banshees of Inisherin” and “Everything Everywhere All At Once. And while “Banshees” collected three awards, making it the biggest winner at the virtual event, “Everything” collected nothing.
The wins for “Banshees” came for Brendan Gleeson as best supporting actor, Kerry Condon as best supporting actress and for Martin McDonagh’s best screenplay.
The Australian-made “Elvis” picked up two awards: best director for Baz Luhrmann and to Austin Butler, named as best lead actor. The film previously collected eleven awards at the Australian Academy’s ‘domestic Awards’ in December last year.
Australia was again represented in the film awards section, with the prize for best lead actress going to Cate Blanchett for “Tar.” It is Blanchett’s third International AACTA Awards win, following “Blue Jasmine” in 2013 and “Carol” in 2015.
The four prizes in the TV category were split evenly between the Australian-made “Mystery Road: Origin” and “The White Lotus: Sicily.” “Mystery Road: Origin,” a prequel to the “Mystery Road” and “Goldstone ” films and two previous “Mystery Road” series was named best drama series and earned Mark Coles Smith the prize for best actor in a series. Coles Smith and the series won the same prizes at the ‘domestic AACTAs’ in December.
“The White Lotus: Sicily” was named as best comedy series, with star Jennifer Coolidge named as best actress in a series.
“The Australian Academy is proud to be able to celebrate and acknowledge some of the most compelling productions from this past year and show our appreciation for the talented screen practitioners who inspire and entertain us. It is also wonderful to see Australia’s Mystery Road: Origin and Elvis recognized on the international stage, as well as the talented Cate Blanchett and Mark Coles Smith. Australia’s screen industry is booming, and these awards demonstrate that our content is lauded worldwide,” said AACTA CEO Damian Trewhella in a statement.