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Dressmaker leads in FCCA run-in

Australia’s premiere film critics will get together later this month to hand out awards in Sydney.

The Film Critics Circle Australia (FCCA) awards garnered plenty of publicity last year when Russell Crowe showed up to support nominations for his The Water Diviner.

This time around there are some equally big names in the running, with three of the four Best Actress nominees being Oscar winners. Another Academy member who’s still got voting rights, Mary and Max director and FCCA patron Adam Elliot will kick off the awards event with an In Conversation session. Elliott’s most recent work, short Ernie Biscuit, is already a winner this year having taken the Australian Film Institute’s AACTA Award for Short Animation.

Announcing the nominees, FCCA President Russell Edwards said, “The spread of nominees from heralded blockbusters to small-scale independents highlights the diversity of Australian cinema. As the country’s most important critical body looking at movies, we at the Film Critics Circle of Australia are pleased to be able to not only salute the box office, but also celebrate the innovative spirit.”

Given its success in achieving nominations at awards bashes elsewhere, not to mention its box office performance in Australia, it’s perhaps surprising that one of those heralded blockbusters, Mad Max: Fury Road, isn’t the most-nominated film this year.

That honour goes to Jocelyn Moorhouse’s The Dressmaker (pictured top, 10 nominations), while Fury Road ties for second spot with Last Cab to Darwin (8 each). Paper Planes, which featured Julian Dennison, who’s currently enjoying plenty of positive attention at Sundance following the premiere of Hunt for the Wilderpeople, has five nominations.

Nominated titles with NZ connections include Mad Max, for which Weta did some work, and Jennifer Peedom’s Sherpa, produced by Bridget Ikin (An Angel at my Table Alison Maclean’s upcoming adaptation of Eleanor Catton’s The Rehearsal).

Several of the nominees have had theatrical outings on this side of the ditch. Blinky Bill, The Dressmaker and Last Cab to Darwin are, depending where one lives, heading out the door or recently closed. Holding the Man, Partisan, Sherpa and Women He’s Undressed all played the NZIFF last year. Another FCCA doco nominee, Tyke Elephant Outlaw, played Doc Edge.

The Film Critics Circle Australia awards will be presented 23 February in Sydney. The nominees are:

BEST FILM
The Dressmaker, Producer: Sue Maslin
Holding The Man, Producer: Kylie Du Fresne
Last Cab To Darwin, Producers: Lisa Duff, Greg Duffy, Jeremy Sims
Mad Max: Fury Road, Producers: Doug Mitchell, George Miller, P.J. Voeten
Paper Planes, Producers: Robert Connolly, Liz Kearney, Maggie Miles
Tanna, Producers: Martin Butler, Bentley Dean, Carolyn Johnson

BEST CHILDREN’S FILM
Blinky Bill The Movie, Producers: Barbara Stephen, Jim Ballantine
Oddball, Producers: Sheila Hanahan, Stephen Kearney, Richard Keddie
Paper Planes, Producer: Robert Connolly, Liz Kearney, Maggie Miles

BEST DIRECTOR
Neil Armfield, Holding The Man
George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road
Jocelyn Moorhouse, The Dressmaker
Jeremy Sims, Last Cab To Darwin

BEST ACTRESS
Nicole Kidman, Strangerland
Charlize Theron, Mad Max: Fury Road
Leeanna Walsman, Manny Lewis
Kate Winslet, The Dressmaker

BEST ACTOR
Patrick Brammall, Ruben Guthrie
Michael Caton, Last Cab To Darwin
Ryan Corr, Holding the Man
Sullivan Stapleton, Cut Snake

BEST ACTRESS – SUPPORTING ROLE
Judy Davis, The Dressmaker
Emma Hamilton, Last Cab To Darwin
Ningali Lawford-Wolf, Last Cab To Darwin
Sarah Snook, The Dressmaker

BEST ACTOR – SUPPORTING ROLE
Mark Coles Smith, Last Cab To Darwin
Alex Dimitriades, Ruben Guthrie
Anthony LaPaglia, Holding The Man
Hugo Weaving, The Dressmaker
Hugo Weaving, Strangerland

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A YOUNG ACTOR
Jeremy Chabriel, Partisan
Coco Jack Gillies, Oddball
Ed Oxenbould, Paper Planes

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Steve Arnold, Last Cab To Darwin
Simon Chapman, Cut Snake
Bentley Dean, Tanna
Donald McAlpine, The Dressmaker
John Seale, Mad Max: Fury Road

BEST FEATURE DOCUMENTARY
Putuparri and the Rainmakers, Director: Nicole Ma
Producers: Nicole Ma, John Moore
Sherpa, Director: Jennifer Peedom
Producers: Bridget Ikin, John Smithson
Snow Monkey, Director: George Gittoes
Producers: George Gittoes, Lizzette Atkins
Tyke Elephant Outlaw, Directors: Susan Lambert, Stefan Moore
Producers: Susan Lambert, Stefan Moore
Women He’s Undressed, Director: Gillian Armstrong
Producers: Damien Parer, Gillian Armstrong

BEST SCRIPT/SCREENPLAY
Blake Ayshford, Cut Snake
Robert Connolly, Steve Worland, Paper Planes
George Miller, Brendan McCarthy, Nico Lathouris, Mad Max: Fury Road
Tommy Murphy, Holding The Man
Jeremy Sims, Reg Cribb, Last Cab To Darwin

BEST MUSIC
David Hirschfelder, The Dressmaker
Tom Holkenborg aka Junkie XL, Mad Max: Fury Road
Daniel Lopatin, Partisan
Antony Partos, Tanna
Nigel Westlake, Paper Planes

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
Colin Gibson, Mad Max: Fury Road
Josephine Ford, Cut Snake
Josephine Ford, Holding The Man
Roger Ford, The Dressmaker

BEST EDITOR
Jill Bilcock, The Dressmaker
Andy Canny, Cut Snake
Dany Cooper, Holding The Man
Tania Nehme, Tanna
Margaret Sixel, Mad Max: Fury Road

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