Saturday, January 30, 2016

5th AACTA International Awards Winners

As I really like the winners, here is the official press release for the awards where we find great Mad Max: Fury Road plus the outstanding performances by Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara in Carol honored by the Australian Film Institute (AFI) and the Australian Academy Cinema Television Arts (AACTA) in the 2016 edition of their international awards.

Some of the world’s biggest names in film joined their Australian peers in Hollywood last night to honor big-screen excellence from the last year at the 5th AACTA International Awards.

Rachel Griffiths and Daniel MacPherson opened the show, which will broadcast exclusively in Australia on Foxtel tomorrow night. Abbie Cornish, Miranda Otto, Angus Sampson, Jonathan LaPaglia, Radha Mitchell, Luke Bracey, Anna Torv and Phillip Noyce were among those who presented at the star-studded event, held at the historic Avalon Hollywood.

George Miller’s dystopian road war Mad Max: Fury Road stepped up its Oscars campaign, taking home two AACTA International Awards - Best Film and Best Direction. Competition was strong, with The Big Short and Carol also competing in both categories, alongside last year’s Best Film and Best Direction recipient, Alejandro González Iñárritu, who was this year nominated for The Revenant.

These wins follow an outstanding run for Mad Max: Fury Road at AACTA’s domestic Awards in Sydney last month, where the film received a total of eight Awards, including Best Film and Best Direction.

Set in sumptuous 1950s New York, Carol also received two AACTA International Awards tonight, with Rooney Mara awarded for Best Supporting Actress, and Cate Blanchett awarded for Best Lead Actress; performances which see both nominated for tomorrow night’s SAG Awards, and next month’s BAFTA's and Oscars. This marks Blanchett’s seventh AFI or AACTA Award over the past 19 years, including an AACTA International Award for her performance in Bkue Jasmine.

Bride of Spies, The Revenant and Spotlight received one award each tonight, seeing a total of five films awarded across seven categories - Best Film, Best Direction, Best Screenplay, Best Lead Actor, Best Lead Actress, Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress.

Competition in the Best Lead Actor category was fierce, with Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant) taking home the Award over Matt Damon (The Martian), past AACTA International Award nominees Steve Carell (The Big Short) and Eddie Redmayne (The Danish Girl), and past winner Michael Fassbender (Steve Jobs).

The win marks Leonardo DiCaprio’s second award from the Australian Academy, following a Best Lead Actor Award for The Great Gatsby in 2014, and adds to an outstanding awards season for the powerhouse performer, including a Golden Globe Award, as well as Oscar, BAFTA and SAG Award nominations.

The AACTA International Award for Best Supporting Actor went to Mark Rylance for his portrayal of Soviet spy Rudolf Abel in Steven Spielberg’s Cold War thriller Bridge of Spies; a performance which also sees Rylance nominated for an Oscar, BAFTA and SAG Award.

Spotlight, the true story of The Boston Globe’s role in uncovering the massive scandal of child abuse and cover up by the Catholic Church, won the AACTA International Award for Best Screenplay, following strong competition from Carol, Ex Machina, The Martian and Steve Jobs.

AFI | AACTA CEO, Damian Trewhella, said: "The fifth year of the AACTA International Awards has again seen a dynamic mix of international and Australian achievement honored, celebrating some of the world’s biggest names in film, behind and in front of the camera. This year marks the first time we’ve seen an Australian film, Mad Max: Fury Road, win at our domestic Awards in Sydney and then again at our International Awards in LA, and we’re delighted to see our US and British counterparts also recognize this excellence with Oscar and BAFTA nominations.

Over the past five years we’ve seen AACTA International Award winners go on to win 16 BAFTAs and 14 Oscars, and we look forward with great anticipation to seeing if this trend again continues this year. We congratulate all winners, and wish them every success as we head towards the pointy end of this competitive Awards season.”

The AACTA International Awards will be telecast in Australia exclusively on Foxtel. The full show will be telecast on Sunday 31 January at 7:30pm on Foxtel Arts, and at 9:30pm on Arena, after which time it also be available on Australian online streaming service, Presto, until 29 February.

To read the press release with all the film categories nominees and winners go to the official site here.

In photo: Mad Max: Fury Road director, George Miller and Margaret Sixel the editor who last night also got the ACE Eddie top award.

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