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AACTA 2017 - small child beats every actor in Australia

David Tiley

AACTAs celebrate creativity with a ritual which is just the opposite, trapped in thanks and soppy adjectives. Beyond the hype, the awards went to fine achievements.
AACTA 2017 - small child beats every actor in Australia

Image: Sunny Pawar is really something.

Justice has finally been done. Sunny Pawar, the child star of Lion, has  scored a major award, which he could not pick up because he is filming in India. And his thank you clip was done on a portrait mounted iPhone, chiz chiz. 

Generally speaking, Seven did well to attract an audience of 300,000 in the five cities, though it was beaten by Rosehaven and the cricket. Perched at home I was writhing with embarrassment as the show was engulfed in a tide of meaningless thanks - the perennial problem - and a huge amount of  genufectual adjectives. The wit and deprecation of yesterday seems to have left with Adam Zwoar and Julia Zemiro. 


It was well and truly infested with ads, and even AACTA went into the repetition game with begging moments from presenters to get more members. For whatever reason, the awards night is completely dominated by a hard line promotional push in which the ads flogged retail Xmas stuff, the awards flogged the genius of the presenters, the winners flogged their ability to remember who to thank and the show in general flogged the glories of the AFI. 

But the audience watched it. 

Lion of course won everything it could so the haul adds up to twelve. Here is the list

Best Film - Lion

Best Director - Lion

Lead Actor - Lion, Sunny Pawar

Supporting Actor - Lion, Dev Patel

Supporting Actress - Lion, Nicole Kidman

Adapted Screenplay - Lion, Luke Davies

Cinematography - Lion, Greig Fraser

Editing - Lion, Alexandre de Franschesci

Sound - Lion, Robert Mackenzie, Glenn Newnham, Nakul Kamte, Andrew Ramage, James Ashton, Mario Vaccaro

Score - Lion, Volker Bertelmann, Dustin O’Halloran

Production Design - Lion, Chris Kennedy

Costume - Lion, Cappi Ireland

There are three categories the film did not enter. 

Best Lead Actress went to Emma Booth for her work on Hounds of Love.

Best Original Screenplay was awarded to Andrew Knight and Osamah Sami for Ali's Wedding.

Berlin Syndrone, Don't Tell, The Butterfly Tree, Jungle, Jasper Jones, The Death and Life of Oscar Bloom, Australia Day, Killing Ground, Dance Academy The Movie and even Lego Batman Movie came away with nothing. 

There are three categories covering both film and television. Lion failed to win Hair and Makeup, despite the fatal desire of directors to pop Nicole Kidman into a wig, so it went to Katherine Brown, Troy Follington, for Simon Joseph their joyous work furring up the actors on Cleverman.

VFX or animation was grabbed by Joe Bauer, Steve Kullback, Glenn Melenhorst, Ineke Majoor, and Josh Simmonds who did the Spoils of War scene for Game of Thrones Season 7, Episode 4. It was made by Iloura

The clumping problem went on into categories which had much less obvious winners. The TV drama awards went to Seven Types of Ambiguity with six, or Top of the Lake: China Girl with four. Of the six documentary categories four were won by Whiteley.

Television awards

Lead actor - Seven Types of Ambiguity - Hugo Weaving

Direction in TV drama or comedy - Seven Types of Ambiguity - Glendyn Ivin

Screenplay in TV - Seven Types of Ambiguity -Jacquelin Perske

Cinematography in TV - Seven Types of Ambiguity - Bonnie Elliott

Editing -  Seven Types of Ambiguity - Rodrigo Balart

Production Design - Seven Types of Ambiguity - Jo Ford


Drama series - Top of the Lake: China Girl - Emile Sherman, Iain Canning, Jane Campion, Philippa Campbell, Libby Sharpe

Lead Actress in drama series - Top of the Lake: China Girl - Elisabeth Moss.

Guest or supporting actor in drama series - Top of the Lake: China Girl - Ewen Leslie

Guest or supporting actress in drama series - Top of the Lake: China Girl - Nicole Kidman


Sound in TV - Wake In Fright - Stephen Smith, Liam Price, Paul Brincat, Shanti Burn, Tony Murtagh

Music Score in TV - Wake in Fright - Antony Partos, Matteo Zingales


TV comedy - Utopia - Santo Cilauro, Tom Gleisner, Rob Sitch, Michael Hirsh

Performance in a TV comedy - Rosehaven - Crlia Pacquola

Children's TV - LIttle Lunch - Robyn Butler, Wayne Hope

Costume design in TV - Blue Murder: Killer Cop - Damir Peranovic

Light entertainment - Australian Ninja Warrior - Julie Ward, Mark Barlin, Sophia Mogford

Best direction in light entertainment - Australian Survivor - Richard Franc

Lifestyle - Selling Houses Australia - Julie Ward, Mark Barlin, Sophia Mogford

Reality TV - Masterchef Australia - Marty Benson, Adam Fergusson, Tim Toni

Subscription Female Presenter - Stage and Screen - Margaret Pomeranz

Subscription Male Presenter - PM Agenda - David Speers

Subscription Live Event production - Jeff Horn v Manny Pacquiao - Steve Crawley, Matt Weiss, Joe Bromham

Subscription Best New talent - Wentworth - Zahra Newman 

Documentary awards

Direction - Whiteley - James Bogle

Editing - Whiteley - James Bogle

Sound - Whiteley - Ric Curtin, John Simpson, Lawrie Silvestrin

Score - Whiteley - Ash Gibson Greig


Documentary TV program - War on Waste - Jodi Boylan

Cinematography - Blue - Jody Muston, Jon Shaw


Animation - Lost Property Office - Daniel Agdag, Liz Kearney.

Short Fiction - The Eleven O'Clock - Derin Seale, Josh Lawson, Karen Bryson


The reviews for Whiteley are uniformly excellent. The film is out on DVD through Transmission. 

About the author

David Tiley is the editor of Screen Hub.