AFI/AACTA Festival of Films announced

The Australian Film Institute (AFI) have launched a new festival to showcase the local films of the past year vying for an AACTA (Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Award).

The Festival will run from 6 October to 14 November in Sydney and 11 October to 14 November in Melbourne and showcase the 21 feature films, as well as 12 non feature nominees including  best short fiction film, Best short animation and Best feature length documentary in lead up for the inaugural AACTA Awards held in January 2012.

“Through AACTA,” Damian Trewhella, AFI AACTA CEO said, “we not only celebrate Australia’s best screen practitioners, but also engage audiences with our great stories; the Samsung AFI І AACTA Festival of Film provides a perfect platform for this at an exciting time for our screen industry.”

The festival aims to showcase the films to generate greater audience reach and engagement. “Having increased awareness of our screen industry through the recent launch of AACTA, we now encourage audiences to see the films vying for an Australian Academy Award by attending our Festival of Film, and by following the journey of these films through to the Awards ceremony in January 2012.”

The Hunter, featuring Willem Dafoe, and Frances O’Connor, directed by Daniel Nettheim and producer Vincent Sheehan will open the festival.

Sydney’s Opening night and season launch will be held on Thursday 6 October on Hoyts Entertainment Quarter with screenings until 10 November.

Melbourne’s opening night and season launch will be held on Tuesday 11 October at the ACMI Cinemas and screenings will continue through to 14 November at both Cinema Nova and ACMI Cinemas.

Click for a full list of nominated feature films

Nominees for the AACTA Award for Best Feature Length Documentary are:

  • Life In Movement Sophie Hyde, Bryan Mason
  • Mrs Carey’s Concert Bob Connolly, Helen Panckhurst, Sophie Raymond
  • Shut Up Little Man! An Audio Misadventure Sophie Hyde, Matthew Bate
  • The Tall Man Darren Dale

Nominees for the AACTA Award for Best Short Animation are:

  • Forget Me Not Emily Dean
  • The Missing Key Garth Nix, Anna McFarlane, Jonathan Nix
  • The Moment Justin Wight, Kristian Moliere, Troy Bellchambers, Shane McNeil
  • Nullarbor Alister Lockhart, Patrick Sarell, Katrina Mathers, Merrin Jensen, Daryl Munton

Nominees for the AACTA Award for Best Short Fiction Film are:

  • Adam’s Tallit Justin Olstein, Marie Maroun
  • Cropped Bettina Hamilton, Dave Wade
  • The Palace Kate Croser, Anthony Maras, Andros Achilleos
  • The Telegram Man James F. Khehtie, Victoria Wharfe McIntyre

Also screening at the festival will be two classics of Australian cinema:

Lantana which won 7 AFIs in 2001 including Best Picture, Best Director (Ray Lawrence), Best Actor (Anthony LaPaglia), Best Actress (Kerry Armstrong) and Best Adapted Screenplay.

Proof will screen on 15 October followed by a Q&A with writer/director Jocelyn Moorhouse and producer Lynda House. Proof won four AFIs in 1991 including Best Picture, Best Director (Jocelyn Moorhouse), Best Actor (Hugo Weaving) and Best Supporting Actor (Russell Crowe).

The AACTAs are a new Academy set up by the AFI in August 2011, with the awards moving to  January in an effort by the AFI to be more in line with the international awards season. The ceremony has moved to Sydney as part of a three-year commitment, after being in Melbourne for the past ten years.


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.