The inaugural AACTA Awards got off to a great start last night, with a sea of stars walking the red carpet at the iconic Sydney Opera House. Previously known as the AFI Awards, which Oscar nominee Jacki Weaver said “were getting a little sad and quiet,” the AACTA Awards made itself known with endorsements from Geoffrey Rush, its president, and Cate Blanchett.
Cate was among the first to take the stage on the night to introduce Geoffrey. An edited clip from The King’s Speech was shown before honours for Australian film and TV achievements were handed out. Judy Davis won the best lead actress award for her role in The Eye of the Storm, while Daniel Henshall took home the best lead actor honour for Snowtown. The Samsung AACTA Award for best film went to last year’s sleeper hit Red Dog.
In the TV categories, it was a successful night for The Slap, which won best telefeature, mini series or short run series, as well as best direction, best screenplay, best lead actor in a TV drama for Alex Dimitrades, and best supporting actress in a TV drama for Diana Glenn. Sarah Snook’s role in Sisters of War resulted in her best lead actress in a TV drama, while SBS’ East West 101 was deemed best TV drama.
Throughout the night, the best film nominees were highlighted with musical presentations from the likes of Tim Minchin, Julia Morris and Justine Clarke. Rachael Taylor presented previews for upcoming Aussie films like Mental and Any Questions For Ben?, and the audience also got a sneak peek for The Avengers. The in memoriam tribute was performed by Megan Washington. Footage from the AACTA International Awards, held in LA last week, was also shown.
Click through to see some of the winners with their new AACTA statuettes, and see the full list on the AACTA website.