Damon Herriman, 'Nightingale,' 'Lambs of God' Lead Australia's AACTA Award Nominations

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Damon Herriman

'Judy & Punch' star Herriman received four acting nominations for film and TV work, the most ever in the awards’ history.

Jennifer Kent’s dark convict drama The Nightingale and Foxtel miniseries Lambs of God lead the way with 15 and 14 nominations, respectively, for the annual Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards (AACTA), announced Wednesday. 

However its actor Damon Herriman was the standout nominee, with a record four nominations for his roles in features Judy & Punch (best actor) and The Nightingale (best supporting actor), and his work on television, including for best supporting actor in a TV drama for Mr Inbetween and Lambs of God. Herriman’s nominations mark the most any performer has received in a single year in AACTA and Australian Film Institute awards history

Not far behind Herriman was Joel Edgerton, who received three nominations for best screenplay, best supporting actor and best film for his work on Netflix’s The King

The Nightingale’s nominations were closely followed by Anthony Maras’ debut feature Hotel Mumbai and David Michôd’s The King with 13 nominations each, and Mirrah Foulkes’ Judy & Punch with nine nominations.

The six features vying for best film include Hotel Mumbai, Judy & Punch, The King, The Nightingale, Rachel Griffiths' directorial debut Ride Like a Girl and comedy Top End Wedding.

Making their feature film directorial debuts, Mirrah Foulkes (Judy & Punch) and Anthony Maras (Hotel Mumbai) will go head to head with Jennifer Kent (The Nightingale) and David Michôd (The King) for best direction — all of them are also nominated for best screenplay.

While Herriman leads the acting categories, he is up against some hot competition. Hugo Weaving (Hearts And Bones), Timothée Chalamet (The King), Dev Patel (Hotel Mumbai) and Baykali Ganambarr (The Nightingale) are vying for best actor in a feature against Herriman. 

Mia Wasikowska (Judy & Punch) is up against first-time acting nominees Miranda Tapsell (Top End Wedding), Tilda Cobham-Hervey (Hotel Mumbai) and Ursula Yovich (Top End Wedding) for best actress, while Hilary Swank has been nominated in the best supporting actress category for futuristic drama I Am Mother

Richard Lowenstein’s Mystify: Michael Hutchence leads the nominations across documentary categories, recognized for best documentary, best editing in a documentary and best sound in a documentary. The other nominees competing for best documentary include both Adam Goodes documentaries released this year:The Australian Dream and The Final Quarter, along with The Eulogy and In My Bloods It Runs.

In television, the five nominees competing for best drama series are: Australian streamer Stan’s original series Bloom, FX’s Mr Inbetween, Foxtel series Secret City: Under the Eagle and Wentworth, and ABC TV political drama Total Control

The winners will be announced at two events: the Industry Luncheon on Monday, Dec 2, and the AACTA Awards Ceremony on Wednesday, Dec 4, which is broadcast on the Seven Network.