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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

'Babyteeth' Has Been Named the Best Australian Film of the Year at the 2020 AATCA Awards

It also won Best Director, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor and Supporting Actress, while 'Stateless' nabbed a heap of TV gongs.
By Sarah Ward
December 02, 2020
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By Sarah Ward
December 02, 2020
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Maybe you've spent much of 2020 glued to the small screen, viewing your way through this year's lockdown periods. Perhaps, as cinemas have been reopening around the country, you've flocked to the big screen to get your movie fix. Either way, if you've been thinking and supporting local — as has been the trend all-round in 2020 — then you've had plenty of Australian films and television shows to watch. And, from this hectic year, the best of the bunch have just been singled out at the 2020 AACTA Awards.

Previously called the AFI Awards,  the AACTA Awards announced its nominees back at the beginning of November, then handed out its trophies on Monday, November 30. The accolades  span multiple types of screen content, so a hefty number of local productions were vying for a gong — but there were two big winners, with one each in the film and TV fields.

Just calling Babyteeth a teen cancer drama doesn't quite cover just how complex, nuanced and intimate the movie is, as AACTA members clearly agree. It was named Best Film, and also won Best Director (Shannon Murphy), Screenplay (Rita Kalnejais) Actor (Toby Wallace), Actress (Eliza Scanlen), Supporting Actor (Ben Mendelsohn ) and Supporting Actress (Essie Davis), from a total haul of nine awards.

On the TV front, if you've watched miniseries Stateless this year, then you've seen the most-awarded television production of 2020. It received 13 gongs, including Best Telefeature or Mini Series, Best Lead Actor in a Television Drama (Fayssal Bazzi), Best Lead Actress in a Television Drama (Yvonne Strahovski), Best Guest or Supporting Actor in a Television Drama (Darren Gilshenan), Best Guest or Supporting Actress in a Television Drama (Cate Blanchett), Best Screenplay in Television (Elise McCredie) and Best Direction in a TV Drama or Comedy (Emma Freeman).

Across both fields, other winners included Mystery Road (Best Drama Series), Upright (Best Comedy Series), Tim Minchin (Best Comedy Performer, for Upright), Standing Up For Sunny (Best Indie Film) and Firestarter – The Story of Bangarra (Best Documentary).

Here's a rundown of the major nominations and winners — and you can check out the full list on the AACTA's website:

AACTA NOMINEES 2020

FILM AWARDS:

BEST FILM

BEST INDIE FILM

  • A Boy Called Sailboat
  • Hot Mess
  • Koko: A Red Dog Story
  • A Lion Returns
  • Standing Up for Sunny — WINNER
  • Unsound

BEST DIRECTION

  • Shannon Murphy, Babyteeth — WINNER
  • John Sheedy, H is for Happiness
  • Leigh Whannell, The Invisible Man
  • Justin Kurzel, True History of the Kelly Gang
  • Natalie Erika James, Relic

BEST LEAD ACTOR

  • George MacKay, True History of the Kelly Gang
  • Sam Neill, Rams
  • Richard Roxburgh, H is for Happiness
  • Toby Wallace, Babyteeth — WINNER
  • Hugo Weaving, Measure for Measure

BEST LEAD ACTRESS

  • Tilda Cobham-Hervey, I Am Woman
  • Laura Gordon, Undertow
  • Elisabeth Moss, The Invisible Man
  • Lupita Nyong'o, Little Monsters
  • Eliza Scanlen, Babyteeth — WINNER

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

  • Fayssal Bazzi, Measure for Measure
  • Russell Crowe, True History of the Kelly Gang
  • Aaron Jeffery, The Flood
  • Ben Mendelsohn, Babyteeth — WINNER
  • Wesley Patten, H is for Happiness

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

  • Emma Booth, H is for Happiness
  • Essie Davis, Babyteeth — WINNER
  • Bella Heathcote, Relic
  • Deborah Mailman, H is for Happiness
  • Doris Younane, Measure for Measure

BEST SCREENPLAY

  • Rita Kalnejais, Babyteeth — WINNER
  • Abe Forsythe, Little Monsters
  • Leigh Whannell, The Invisible Man
  • Natalie Erika James and Christian White, Relic
  • Shaun Grant, True History of the Kelly Gang

BEST DOCUMENTARY

  • Brazen Hussies
  • Brock: Over the Top
  • Looky Looky Here Comes Cooky
  • Firestarter — The Story of Bangarra — WINNER
  • Slim & I
  • Suzi Q

TELEVISION AWARDS:

BEST DRAMA SERIES

  • Bloom
  • Doctor Doctor
  • Halixfax: Retribution
  • The Heights
  • Mystery Road — WINNER
  • Wentworth

BEST TELEFEATURE OR MINISERIES

BEST COMEDY SERIES

  • At Home Alone Together
  • Black Comedy
  • The Other Guy
  • Rosehaven
  • Upright — WINNER

BEST LEAD ACTOR IN A TELEVISION DRAMA

  • Fayssal Bazzi, Stateless — WINNER
  • Bryan Brown, Bloom
  • Jai Courtney, Stateless
  • Ewen Leslie, Operation Buffalo
  • Aaron Pedersen, Mystery Road

BEST LEAD ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION DRAMA

  • Jada Alberts, Mystery Road
  • Rebecca Gibney, Halixfax: Retribution
  • Asher Keddie, Stateless
  • Pamela Rabe, Wentworth
  • Yvonne Strahovski, Stateless — WINNER

BEST COMEDY PERFORMER

  • Milly Alcock, Upright
  • Anne Edmonds, At Home Together
  • Luke McGregor, Rosehaven
  • Tim Minchin, Upright — WINNER
  • Celia Pacquola, Rosehaven

BEST GUEST OR SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A TELEVISION DRAMA

  • Rob Collins, Mystery Road
  • Darren Gilshenan, Stateless — WINNER
  • Damon Herriman, The Commons
  • Callan Mulvey, Mystery Road
  • Ed Oxenbould, Bloom

BEST GUEST OR SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION DRAMA

  • Cate Blanchett, Stateless — WINNER
  • Jacqueline McKenzie, Bloom
  • Ngaire Pigram, Mystery Road
  • Tasma Walton, Mystery Road
  • Jacki Weaver, Bloom

Published on December 02, 2020 by Sarah Ward

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