Entertainment AACTA Awards honour Sam Neill as Deborah Mailman takes out early gong — but Netflix is on the agenda

11:20  04 december  2019
11:20  04 december  2019 Source:   abc.net.au

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AACTA AWARDS . Sam Neill To Receive Australia’s Highest Screen Accolade. The AACTA Awards (formerly the AFI Awards ) have honoured screen excellence in Australia for over Whether your place is on the screen, behind the camera, in an office or front row in a cinema, AFI | AACTA

Damon Herriman presents the AACTA Award for best short documentary during the 2019 AACTA Awards . Credit:Brendon Thorne. Netflix ’s The King – David Michod's sullen take on King Henry V's success at The Battle of Agincourt, which was only included among nominees after AACTA adjusted

Sam Neill© AAP Image Sam Neill The 2019 AACTA awards have kicked off in Sydney, with the industry honouring veteran actor Sam Neill, as controversy surrounding the inclusion of a Netflix biopic dominates the red carpet chatter.

The Australian stars of film and TV walked down the red carpet in Sydney this afternoon, with films such as Rachel Griffiths's directorial debut, Michelle Payne biopic Ride Like A Girl, as well as The Nightingale and Top End End Wedding some of the nominees set to battle it out for the top gong.

But it is the inclusion of Netflix-backed Henry V biopic The King starring Brad Pitt — which collected four preliminary awards on at the industry craft event on Monday — that has sparked the biggest controversy.

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Mel Gibson’s Hacksaw Ridge has already taken out four categories of Australia’s largest screen awards , the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts ( Aacta ) awards . ‘He would run into battle and show the actors how he wanted them to perform’: Mel Gibson on the set of Hacksaw Ridge.

The King received only a limited theatrical release before it dropped on streaming service Netflix.

Pictures: Red carpet look from the AACTA Awards

Asher Keddie
It was not shot in Australia but qualifies because key creatives, including actor-producer Joel Edgerton and director David Michod, are Australian.

Damon Herriman, who was an early winner as best actor for the film Judy and Punch, said The King's nomination was a "tricky one".

"It [the movie] does have a lot of Australians involved in the creative side and some Australian money," he said on the red carpet before the event.

"It becomes a grey area, but I guess they have to nail down exactly what does qualify as an Australian film, but I'm not an expert."

Neill was earlier this week honoured with the Australian screen industry's highest accolade, the Longford Lyell Award, in recognition of his illustrious screen career.

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And days ahead of the AACTA Awards , local stars descended upon Sydney's The Star for a pre-ceremony VIP luncheon on Monday. Lambs of God actor Sam Reid also made an appearance on the red carpet alongside his Home and Away star partner Philippa Northeast.

Aacta awards 2016: Hacksaw Ridge and Rake win early screen honours . The awards also cover TV, with the Kettering Incident winning two major gongs : best telefeature or miniseries and best lead actress in a TV drama (Elizabeth Damon Herriman – Down Under. Sam Neill – The Daughter.

Speaking on the red carpet before today's ceremony, he said the debate surrounding The King was a fight "I don't want to have a dog in".

Neill is the 15th man to win the award in the past 20 years and the first New Zealander.

Because the awards celebrate Australian film, he suggested — tongue in cheek — someone had made a "terrible mistake".

"Maybe it wasn't me in the films at all, maybe it was Hugo Weaving, who knows," he said.

"But I've devoted a great deal of my life to Australia, and Australian film, so I'm very chuffed."

His most recent credits are Taika Waititi's Hunt for the Wilderpeople and Thor: Ragnarok, and Warwick Thornton's 2018 AACTA best film winner Sweet Country.

This year Neill appeared in Rachel Ward's Sydney Film Festival opening night movie Palm Beach, and as Payne's father in Ride Like A Girl.

Early AACTA winners include Deborah Mailman, who took out the best actress category for her starring role as a Queensland senator in ABC political drama Total Control.

Cop bashing brothers take plea deal and face 15 years behind bars

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Arts ( Aacta ) awards , including the coveted award for best film, beating Boy Erased, Breath, Cargo and Ladies in Black for the top award for his portrayal of Sam , Sweet Country’s Indigenous stockman persecuted for killing a white station owner in self-defence, which was based on the true story of

The Inaugural Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards , known more commonly as the AACTA Awards , presented by the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts ( AACTA ), honoured the best Australian and foreign films of 2011 took place on two separate events, in Sydney

Deborah Mailman© AAP Image Deborah Mailman Mailman has now won six AACTA awards, including best guest or supporting actress in a television drama last year for her work on ABC TV's Mystery Road, making her one of Australia's most celebrated actresses.

"I love it, I'm so proud of it," she said of the series on the red carpet earlier.

"It's my first lead role in a TV series, so that's why."

Earlier, Miranda Tapsell, who is nominated as best actress for Top End Wedding, talked about the Get Krack!n episode — which she is also nominated for, but did not win — where she starred with fellow Indigenous actor Nakkiah Lui.

"It [Get Krack!n] is the most insightful comedy for a long time," she said.

"For the Kates [Kate McCartney and Kate McLennan] to give me and Nakkiah a voice, it shows their grace, humility and power to give other women — particularly Aboriginal women — a chance like that."

Other winners so far include:

  • Best entertainment program: Lego Masters Australia
  • Best documentary: The Australian Dream
  • Best telefeature or mini series: Lambs of God
  • Best performance in a television comedy: Alison Bell, The Letdown (ABC)
  • Best online drama or comedy: Robbie Hood
  • Best lead actor: Damon Herriman (Judy and Punch)
  • Best lead actor in a television drama: Scott Ryan (Mr Inbetween)
  • Best comedy program: The Letdown (ABC)
  • Best lead actress: Aisling Franciosi (The Nightingale)
  • Best guest or supporting actress: Rachel Griffiths (Total Control)

Labor calls on Prime Minister to act on embattled minister .
As embattled federal minister Angus Taylor prepares to escape attacks over his character while attending an international conference in Spain, politicians back home are still going toe-to-toe over his past. Mr Taylor, the minister for energy and emissions reduction, is heading to Madrid for next week's United Nations-led climate talks.He has faced months of interrogation by Labor over past companies he had been involved in, repeated accusations of misleading parliament and there has been a police investigation into documents he used to attack Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore over her travel expenditure.

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