The Australian film and television industry’s "Night of Nights", the AFI’s, happens next Friday, November 21 at Her Majesty’s Theatre, Melbourne. Twenty feature films were entered for the 45th AFI Awards 2003 and in each awards category; four nominees were determined by weighted preferential vote. The nominations for the AFI Awards 2003 in the feature film categories include Jonathan Teplitzky’s “Gettin’ Square” and “Japanese Story”. Clint Morris caught up with AFI Chairman Denny Lawrence to discuss this year’s awards.
Denny Lawrence has more than twenty five years experience in the industry as an actor, writer, producer and director. During that time he has been on boards and committees for organisations such as Australian Screen Directors Association, the Australian Writers Guild, Film Queensland and the Commercial Television Production Fund. “I’m not very hands on with the AFI’s. I’ve been Chairman of the AFI’s and have been for four years. The Board’s responsibility is overseeing policy, making key executive decisions, overseas vision”.
Lawrence feels it’s been a good year for cinema in Australia, and thinks the awards will reflect that. “The Box office would say that it hasn’t been healthy. Every year it’s getting a little bit grimmer. It’s probably just compounded down to the fact that there haven’t been any big films out this year, like a Moulin Rouge or Lantana. It’s also probably got to do a little bit with the free trade agreement. I think it’s a good year, there’s some good films in there. The big nominees of the year – Gettin’ Square and Japanese Story – are both very good films, and can’t argue they aren’t truly deserving. Pretty tough competition between the two”.
Lawrence says there’s a lot more to doing the AFI’s than just putting names in a hat and drawing them out randomly on a night. “It’s a year long process. Feature films, TV, comedy, documentaries and short films, there’s judging going on all the way from April to October, assembling Jury, watching tapes etc. The Short film, TV doco’s, et al is all made up for Industry practitioners from Guilds and the Awards themselves are voted by many of the AFI accredited members”.
The chairman says there’s some strong talent to attend this year’s awards, headed by Geoffrey Rush, David Wenham and Toni Collette.
More AFI Coverage on the big night.
Nominees this year in the category of film are:
SHOWTIME AFI AWARD FOR BEST FILM
Alexandra’s Project Julie Ryan, Domenico Procacci
Gettin’ Square Martin Fabinyi, Tim White &Trish Lake
Japanese Story Sue Maslin, Sue Brooks & Alison Tilson
The Rage in Placid Lake Marian Macgowan
EMPIRE MAGAZINE AFI AWARD FOR BEST DIRECTION
Crackerjack Paul Moloney
Gettin’ Square Jonathan Teplitzky
Japanese Story Sue Brooks
Ned Kelly Gregor Jordan
JAN LOGAN AFI AWARD FOR BEST ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE
Helen Buday Alexandra’s Project
Rose Byrne The Rage in Placid Lake
Toni Collette Japanese Story
Susie Porter Teesh and Trude
FILM FINANCE CORPORATION AUSTRALIA AFI AWARD FOR BEST ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
Heath Ledger Ned Kelly
Timothy Spall Gettin’ Square
Gotaro Tsunashima Japanese Story
David Wenham Gettin’ Square
AFI AWARD FOR BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Sacha Horler Travelling Light
Melanie Griffith The Night We Called It A Day
Miranda Richardson The Rage in Placid Lake
Helen Thomson Gettin’ Square
MACQUARIE BANK AFI AWARD FOR BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
David Ngoombujarra Black and White
David Field Gettin’ Square
Mitchell Butel Gettin’ Square
Orlando Bloom Ned Kelly
CONTEMPORARY HOTELS AFI AWARD FOR BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
Gettin’ Square Nicholas McCallum
Japanese Story Paddy Reardon
Ned Kelly Steven Jones-Evans
The Night We Called It A Day Michael Philips
AFI AWARD FOR BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Gettin’ Square Garry Phillips
Japanese Story Ian Baker
Ned Kelly Oliver Stapleton BSC
Travelling Light Tristan Milani ACS
AFI AWARD FOR BEST ORIGINAL MUSIC SCORE
Alexandra’s Project Graham TardiF
Gettin’ Square Chit Chat Von Loopin Stab & 3KShort
Japanese Story Elizabeth Drake
Travelling Light Richard Vella
PARKER PEN AFI AWARD FOR BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Crackerjack Mick Molloy & Richard Molloy
Gettin’ Square Chris Nyst
Japanese Story Alison Tilson
Travelling Light Kathryn Millard
AFI AWARD FOR BEST SCREENPLAY ADAPTED FROM ANOTHER SOURCE
Blurred Stephen Davis, Kier Shorey
Ned Kelly John Michael McDonaugh
The Rage in Placid Lake Tony McNamara
Teesh and Trude Vanessa Lomma
COMPLETE POST AFI AWARD FOR BEST EDITING
Alexandra’s Project Tania Nehme
Gettin’ Square Ken Sallows ASE
Japanese Story Jill Bilcock
Ned Kelly Jon Gregory ACE
AFI AWARD FOR BEST SOUND
Alexandra’s Project James Currie, Andrew Plain, Nada Mikas & Rory McGregor
Gettin’ Square John Schiefelbein, Antony Gray, Ian McLoughlin
Japanese Story Livia Ruzic, Peter Grace, Peter Smith
Ned Kelly Gary Wilkins, Colin Miller AMPS, Adrian Rhodes & Chris Burden
CONTEMPORARY HOTELS AFI AWARD FOR BEST COSTUME DESIGN
Black and White Annie Marshall
Gettin’ Square Jackline Sassine
Ned Kelly Anna Borghazi
The Night We Called It A Day Emily Seresin
AFI AWARD FOR BEST FOREIGN FILM
Bowling for Columbine Charles Bishop, Jim Czarnecki, Michael Donovan, Kathleen Glynn, Michael Moore
Lord Of The Rings: Two Towers Peter Jackson, Barnie M. Osborne, Francis Walsh
The Hours Robert Fox, Scott Rudin
Whale Rider John Barnett, Frank Hübner & Tim Sanders
AFI YOUNG ACTORS AWARD
Emily Browning After The Deluge
Liam Hess Don’t Blame the Koalas
Mason Richardson Teesh and Trude
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Friends (TV) (It had me at "No way are you cool enough to pull Clint"; damn straight, Chandler!)
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The sign 'Free Wi-Fi'.
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Inflatable kids pools full of Vodka Lime Crush.
Acidic Email from angry, over passionate teenagers after I trash something "Twilight"-related on the site. Sparkle elsewhere.
My baby girl's big, caring heart.