The Babadook and The Water Diviner shared the coveted Best Film award at the Australia Academy Cinema Television Arts (AACTA) awards last night. The horror movie – which also won Best Original Screenplay and Best Direction for Jennifer Kent – tied for the prize with Russell Crowe‘s movie at the prestigious ceremony, the first time the accolade has been jointly awarded and filmmaker Jennifer was thrilled to be honored by her home country.
She said: ”I’ve traveled round the world with ‘The Babadook’ and it’s been an extraordinary journey this last year. But to be here and to have this award from my industry peers in my home country means so much to me.”
Charlie’s Country actor David Gulpilil won Best Lead Actor, while Best Lead Actress went to Predestination star Sarah Snook.
As well as sharing the Best Film award, The Water Diviner also saw Yilmaz Erdogan pick up Best Supporting Actor, while Susan Prior’s performance in The Rover won her Best Supporting Actress.
Elsewhere at the Sydney ceremony, three special individual awards were handed out for career achievements.
She said: ”I’m so proud to be Australian and be a part of our wonderful industry here. I salute everyone in this room.”
Director, producer, writer Amiel Courtin-Wilson received the Byron Kennedy Award for outstanding creative enterprise within the film and television industries and the AACTA Longford Lyell Award – the highest honor bestowed by the Australian Academy – went to writer and producer Andrew Knight.
AACTA chief executive Damian Trewhella said: ”The Academy in particular takes this opportunity to congratulate our three outstanding individual recipients awarded tonight – Rose Byrne, Andrew Knight and Amiel Courtin-Wilson. Between these exceptional people, their talents serve as in inspiration to the screen industry and to fans like.”