'The Hunter,' 'Eye of The Storm' Vie for Australian AACTA Awards

The Hunter - Movie Still: Willem Dafoe (L) and Sam Neill (r) - H - 2011
Toronto Film Festival

Willem Dafoe, Geoffrey Rush, Judy Davis, Charlotte Rampling all named in best acting categories.

SYDNEY -- Daniel Nettheim’s debut feature, The Hunter, leads the nominations for the inaugural Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) awards, Australia’s most prestigious film and TV awards, with nods in 14 film categories, awards organizers announced Wednesday, putting it two ahead of Fred Schepisi’s The Eye Of The Storm, which received a total of 12 nominations.

The Hunter and Storm were two of six nominees in the best feature film category which also included indigenous road movie, Mad Bastards, See Saw's British Australian co-production Oranges And Sunshine, the $20 million box office hit, Red Dog, and serial killer drama, Snowtown.

The Hunter’s key cast including Willem Dafoe, FrancesO’Connor, Sam Neill and Morgana Davies received nominations in the best actor, best actress and best supporting actor and actress categories respectively.

The eco-thriller, which had its world premier at the Toronto Film festival also received nominations for best direction, adapted screenplay, cinematography, sound, original music score, production design, costume design and visual effects.

Dominating the acting categories, Schepisi’s The Eye Of The Storm received six of the film’s total 12 nominations. Geoffrey Rush was nominated for best actor, Judy Davis and Charlotte Rampling compete in the best actress category, John Gaden is in the best supporting actor and Helen Morse and Alexandra Schepisi have been named in the best supporting actress category.

Joining Dafoe and Rush in receiving best actor nominations are David Wenham (Oranges and Sunshine) and newcomer Daniel Henshall,who plays serial killer John Bunting in Snowtown.

British actress Emily Watson’s turn as social worker Margaret Humphreys in Oranges And Sunshine joins Davis, Rampling and O’Connor in the best actress category.

Justin Kurzel’s chilling South Australian crime story, Snowtown, received a total of 10 nominations, Red Dog received eight and Oranges And Sunshine was recognized in seven categories.

Rounding out the list of feature film nominees are Sleeping Beauty, Legend Of The Guardians: The Owls Of Ga’Hoole, Face To Face, Griff The Invisible, The Loved Ones, Red Hill, Sanctum and Wasted On The Young.

Under the new voting structure instituted this year, all feature film nominees were determined by votes cast by different AACTA chapters, according to their area of specialization, during round one voting.

At the same time, the wider Australian Film Institute members voted on the best feature film for the AFI Members’ Choice Award, and as it turned out, AFI members voted for the same six feature films as AACTA members

AACTA members are made up of former Australian Film Institute award winners and members of each professional guild.

Round two voting with all AACTA members able to vote for the award winners, runs until Dec. 14, with the awards to be handed out across two ceremonies on Jan. 15, which will include specialist international awards and on Jan. 30 at the Sydney Opera House.  

In the television categories ABCTV drama, The Slap, made by NBCUniversal’s majority-owned local production company, Matchbox Pictures, and pay TV channel Showcase’s miniseries, Cloudstreet, are vying for top honors with eight nominations each.

The four most nominated film and TV projects were all based on best selling Australian novels.

The full list of nominees in the inaugural AACTA awards are:



The Eye Of The Storm, Antony Waddington, Gregory Read, Fred Schepisi.

The Hunter, Vincent Sheehan.

Mad Bastards, David Jowsey, Alan Pigram, Stephen Pigram, Brendan Fletcher.

Oranges And Sunshine, Camilla Bray, Emile Sherman, Iain Canning.

Red Dog, Nelson Woss, Julie Ryan.

Snowtown, Anna McLeish, Sarah Shaw.



The Eye Of The Storm, Fred Schepisi.

The Hunter, Daniel Nettheim.

Red Dog, Kriv Stenders.

Snowtown, Justin Kurzel.



Griff The Invisible, Leon Ford.

The Loved Ones, Sean Byrne.

Mad Bastards, Brendan Fletcher, Dean Daley-Jones, Greg Tait, John Watson.

Red Hill, Patrick Hughes.



The Eye Of The Storm, Judy Morris.

The Hunter, Alice Addison.

Red Dog, Daniel Taplitz.

Snowtown, Shaun Grant.



The Hunter, Robert Humphreys ACS.

Red Dog, Geoffrey Hall ACS.

Sleeping Beauty, Geoffrey Simpson ACS.

Snowtown, Adam Arkapaw.



Oranges And Sunshine, Dany Cooper ASE.

Red Dog, Jill Bilcock ASE ACE.

Snowtown, Veronika Jenet ASE.

Wasted On The Young, Leanne Cole.



The Hunter. Sam Petty, David Lee, Robert Mackenzie, Les Fiddess MPSE, Tony Murtagh, Tom Heuzenroeder.

Legend Of The Guardians: The Owls Of Ga'Hoole, Wayne Pashley, Derryn Pasquill, Polly McKinnon, Fabian Sanjurjo, Phil Heywood, Peter Smith.

Mad Bastards, Phil Judd, Nick Emond, Johanna Emond.

Snowtown, Frank Lipson MPSE, Andrew McGrath, Des Kenneally, Michael Carden, John Simpson, Erin McKimm.



The Hunter, Matteo Zingales, Michael Lira, Andrew Lancaster.

Legend Of The Guardians: The Owls Of Ga'Hoole, David Hirschfelder.

Red Dog, Cezary Skubiszewski.

Snowtown, Jed Kurzel.



The Eye Of The Storm, Melinda Doring.

The Hunter, Steven Jones-Evans APDG.

Red Dog, Ian Gracie.

Sleeping Beauty, Annie Beauchamp.



The Eye Of The Storm, Terry Ryan.

The Hunter, Emily Seresin.

Oranges And Sunshine, Cappi Ireland.

Sleeping Beauty, Shareen Beringer.



Willem Dafoe, The Hunter.

Daniel Henshall, Snowtown.

Geoffrey Rush, The Eye Of The Storm.

David Wenham, Oranges And Sunshine.



Judy Davis, The Eye Of The Storm.

Frances O'Connor, The Hunter.

Charlotte Rampling, The Eye Of The Storm.

Emily Watson, Oranges And Sunshine.



John Gaden, The Eye Of The Storm.

Sam Neill, The Hunter.

Robert Rabiah, Face To Face.

Hugo Weaving, Oranges And Sunshine.



Morgana Davies, The Hunter.

Louise Harris, Snowtown.

Helen Morse, The Eye Of The Storm.

Alexandra Schepisi, The Eye Of The Storm.



The Eye Of The Storm, Antony Waddington, Gregory Read, Fred Schepisi.

The Hunter, Vincent Sheehan.

Mad Bastards, David Jowsey, Alan Pigram, Stephen Pigram, Brendan Fletcher.

Oranges And Sunshine, Camilla Bray, Emile Sherman, Iain Canning.

Red Dog, Nelson Woss, Julie Ryan.

Snowtown, Anna McLeish, Sarah Shaw.