Oscars: 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Sets Australian Record With Six Wins

Mad Max Stunt - H 2016
Courtesy of Warner Bros.

George Miller's post-apocalyptic road movie bested the previous record for an Australian film, which had been held by 'The Piano' with three Academy Awards.

George Miller's Mad Max: Fury Road thundered into the Australian cinema record books Sunday, with its six Oscars in the technical categories giving the film the honor of winning the most Academy Awards ever for an Australian film.

It easily beat the previous record of three Oscars in 1997 for Jane Campion’s The Piano. For a while, the predominance of Aussie accents on stage delivering thank you speeches during the telecast had pundits down under saying the award should be renamed the Auscars.

Best editing winner Margaret Sixel, Miller's wife, gave a shout-out to the members of her photographic department back home who were celebrating in the afternoon Sydney time. "Us Mad Maxes are doing OK tonight," Sixel said on stage.

Alongside editing, the fourth installment in the franchise also won for costume design, production design, make-up and hair, sound editing and sound mixing.

The Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) held a special live Oscars screening at a cinema in suburban Bondi Junction, while visual effects house Illoura, whose VFX supervisor Tom Wood was amongst the nominees, had an event at Sydney’s State Theater. Mad Max crew members were dispersed at private viewings.  

"In an outstanding year for Australian film at the box office, it was fantastic to see such an original film, Mad Max: Fury Road, achieve the trifecta of audience, critical and box-office success at home and abroad thanks to the genius, skill and and leadership of George Miller," AACTA CEO Damian Trewhella said. "Australia punches above its weight internationally for screencraft excellence, and today's six Oscars, marking the most for any Australian film ever, attest to the technical skill of our talented industry. On behalf of the Australian Academy, I heartily congratulate George Miller and all who were involved in this outstanding Australian film."

Matthew Deaner, CEO of producers guild Screen Producers Australia, said Mad Max: Fury Road’s "outstanding success is a great accolade to the Australian screen industry.  We congratulate all the nominees and winners.” He added: “These results are reflected across all aspects of screen production and evidence that our creative talent is world class, and made possible from an industry supported by targeted and competitive production incentives."

Debra Richards, CEO of locations marketing agency Ausfilm, said the six wins were “absolutely fantastic. It's an amazing showcase for our skills and ability."

Richards noted that over the years Australians and Australian films have received a total of 161 Academy Award nominations, resulting in 54 wins, including Fury Road’s six. Of the wins, eight are in front of the camera, and the other 46 are behind the camera. “We have a great reputation and this enhances it,” Richards said.