In a first for the local film industry, Australian films have been nominated for a record-breaking 13 awards at the upcoming Academy Awards.
Two Australian films, Lion and Hacksaw Ridge, have been nominated for best motion picture and have earned six nominations each.
Lion has been nominated for best motion picture, best actor in a supporting role (Dev Patel), best actress in a supporting role (Nicole Kidman), best adapted screenplay (Luke Davies), best cinematography (Greig Fraser) and best original score (Dustin O’Halloran and Hauschka). The film received Screen Australia funding and was shot in India, Tasmania and Victoria. Having only opened on 19 January 2017, Lion has already taken more than $5m at the local box office.
Hacksaw Ridge has received six nominations including best motion picture, best director (Mel Gibson), best actor in a leading role (Andrew Garfield), best film editing (John Gilbert), best sound editing (Andy Wright and Robert Mackenzie) and best sound mixing (Andy Wright, Robert Mackenzie, Peter Grace and Kevin O’Connell). The film received the Federal Government’s Producer Offset administered by Screen Australia, and was shot in Australia. Hacksaw Ridge was the number one Australian movie at the 2016 box office, and as at 23 January 2017, Rentrak reported the film had taken $205m globally, including an incredible $77m in China alone.
Tanna, the true story of two lovers from warring tribes on the remote South Pacific island of Tanna, is the first feature film from producer team Bentley Dean, Martin Butler and Carolyn Johnson. The film is among the contenders for the best foreign language film award, marking the first time an Australian film has ever received a nomination in this category. The film received Screen Australia funding and was shot in Vanuatu, with none of the cast having had previous acting experience.
US-Hong Kong film Deepwater Horizon has been nominated for best visual effects, with Australian visual effects supervisor Jason Billington part of that team. Jason is best known for his work with Australian post, digital and visual effects (PDV) company Iloura.
“Today is a moment for the entire Australian screen industry to savour,” said Screen Australia CEO Graeme Mason. “It is truly remarkable to have two films nominated in the best motion picture category, with the teams from Lion and Hacksaw Ridge rightly acknowledged for the captivating stories they so skilfully told.”
“Furthermore, for an English-speaking country to be able to make a film worthy of a foreign language film nomination is extraordinary and we could not be more proud of Tanna’s Australian creative team, and of course the people of Tanna, Vanuatu who shared this Oscar-worthy tale.”
“Hacksaw Ridge, Lion and Tanna demonstrate the global nature of the Australian screen industry and the diversity of stories we now tell. Our industry is now worth $3 billion a year, employs over 25,000 people and delivers $725 million from tourism. This is something every Australian can be proud of.”
The Academy Award recipients will be announced at the 89th Academy Awards ceremony in Hollywood, on Sunday 26 February 2017. Hacksaw Ridge and Lion are in Australian cinemas now while Tanna is available to enjoy at home on DVD, iTunes, Google Play, Fetch TV and Quickflix.