Smaller films shone at the 2015 AACTA Awards, but it was the latest blockbuster instalment to the Mad Max franchise that took out the industry’s top honour.
The Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) awards, which recognised the top achievements in the local film industry, were held in Sydney on Wednesday night.
Melbourne-born actress and director Cate Blanchett was honoured for her contribution to the performance arts.
“Oh I’ve become one of those ridiculous people who cries it’s just a f***ing award,” a teary Blanchett said as she accepted the Longford Lyell Award.
She used her speech to call for more Australian talent on-screen.
“It’s not a quota … it needs to be fought for,” Blanchett said.
Directors Ridley Scott and Martin Scorsese both lamented the fact they’d only had the chance to work with Blanchett once and would love to do it again.
“You are brilliant and you do honour to your craft,” Ron Howard added.
The director of her upcoming film Carol, Todd Haynes, called the actress “a beacon, a galaxy and a mensch”.
The latest revival of George Miller’s Mad Max series took out best film and best direction, despite being filmed in Namibia.
The first three movies were filmed around Australia, but a different location was scouted for Fury Road after drought-breaking rains saw red desert sands peppered with green.
However, it still qualified for the AACTA due to its Australian director and local funding.
Smaller films were also top contenders, with Victorian-shot film The Dressmaker named People’s Choice Award, while star Kate Winslet was named best lead actress and castmates Judy Davis and Hugo Weaving claimed honours for supporting roles.
Other industry stalwarts recognised included 72-year-old Michael Caton, who won best actor for playing a terminally-ill taxi driver in Last Cab To Darwin.
Best guest or supporting actor in a television drama was 14-year-old Ky Baldwin for his role as a young Peter Allen in Channel Seven’s biopic, Peter Allen – Not the Boy Next Door. Sigrid Thornton won the gong in the actress category of the same section.
The Peter Allen biopic received all five of the awards for which it was competing: best telefeature or mini series for Kerrie Mainwaring and Rory Callaghan, while Michael Miller received best screenplay in television for his work on the second instalment.
The ABC’s debut supernatural drama, Glitch, received best television drama series for multi-AFI and AACTA Award winner Tony Ayres, along with first-time winners Louise Fox and Ewan Burnett.
– with AAP