AACTA Winners & Nominees

AFI Past winners

In 1999, the AFI Awards were concentrated over fewer titles than in previous years. Two Hands was the most nominated film with 11 nominations, narrowly ahead of Praise with 10. The other finalists for Best Film were Soft Fruit (7) and Siam Sunset (5). Other multiple nominees were Passion (7), In A Savage Land (6) and Strange Fits Of Passion (3).

In A Savage Land won two awards. David Bridie won for Best Original Music at his first feature film nomination. Best Sound went to a team comprising Toivo Lember, Gethin Creagh, Peter Smith and Wayne Pashley.

Soft Fruit and Praise received two major awards each. In what was a remarkable achievement from her first two nominations, Sacha Horler was named Best Supporting Actress for Soft Fruit and Best Lead Actress for Praise.

Andrew McGahan’s adaptation of his own novel (Praise) won the award for Best Adapted Screenplay and marked his debut as a screenwriter.

The award for Best Lead Actor went to Russell Dykstra for Soft Fruit. Dykstra’s fellow nominees were Richard Roxburgh (Passion), Hugh Jackman (Erskineville Kings) and Heath Ledger (Two Hands). Of this exceptional quartet, only Roxburgh had been previously nominated.

Two Hands received five awards. Lee Smith won Best Editing. From five nominations, he had received the award for Best Sound twice. This was his first nomination as an editor.

Bryan Brown was named Best Supporting Actor. After his award for Breaker Morant in this category, he had been nominated for Rebel and as Best Lead Actor for Stir and The Umbrella WomanTwo Hands gave him his second AFI Award.

Two Hands also won the major three awards. Four years earlier, Gregor Jordan had won the Jury Prize at Cannes for his short film Swinger. Here, making his debut as a feature filmmaker, he took the awards for Best Original Screenplay and Best Direction. Marian Macgowan, whose second feature this was, received the award for Best Film.

In the non-feature category, more new talents emerged or were confirmed. The award for Best Documentary went to Curtis Levy for Hephzibah. This award and a nomination as Best Director in a Documentary for the same film marked his first official recognition by the AFI. Hephzibah also received the award for Best Editing in a Non-Feature Film. Editor Veronika Jenet had won Best Editing for The Piano and had since been nominated for her work on Vacant Possession.

Best Short Animation went to Adam Elliot for Cousin, giving him two victories from two nominations in this category. Cousin was also nominated for Best Screenplay in a Short Film.

The award for Best Screenplay in a Short Fiction Film went to Break & Enter. This marked Trudy Hellier’s first nomination. Break & Enter also won the award for Best Short Fiction film, which went to Amanda Brotchie, another first-time nominee.

In the television category, the major winner was The Day Of The Roses, which was named Best Mini-Series or Telefeature for Tony Cavanaugh and Simone North, both on their first nomination. The award for Best Direction in a Television Drama went to Peter Fisk and was his first nomination as well. The Day Of The Roses also won Best Screenplay in a Television Drama. Writer John Misto had won this award previously for Natural Causes and The Damnation Of Harvey McHugh.

The award for Best Actor in a Television Drama went to Jeremy Sims for Aftershocks. Sims had been twice nominated in 1997 as Best Actor in a Television Drama for Kangaroo Palace and as Best Lead Actor for Idiot Box.

The award for Best Actress in a Television Drama went to Jill Forster for an episode of SeaChange. She had been nominated as Best Supporting Actress in 1993 for her performance in the film Say A Little Prayer and had received an Honourable Mention in 1973 for her performance in the Child episode of Libido.

The Byron Kennedy Award was presented to Baz Luhrman and Catherine Martin in recognition of their “comprehensive aesthetic and process of total filmmaking”.

John Politzer, who, before his retirement, had worked at the top levels of Australian exhibition and distribution, received the Raymond Longford Award. In a tough business, he was unfailingly courteous and had encouraged the aspirations and achievements of many in the industry.

1999 Winners & Nominees