Mia Wasikowska was named star of the year and Jack Thompson received the lifetime achievement award at the Australian International Movie Convention on the Gold Coast on Thursday night.

The Murray Forrest Award for Film Craft was bestowed on Oscar-winning cinematographer Andrew Lesnie.

In a ceremony at the Pavilion Ballroom at Jupiters Hotel and Casino, Natalie Miller introduced the Star of the Year Award, informing the audience of more than 800 that Wasikowska is in France filming Madame Bovary.

Wasikowska stars in John Curran’s Tracks, the adventure based on Robyn Davidson’s book telling of her 2,700km trek across the outback with her dog and four camels in 1977.

A clip was shown of Davidson presenting the award to the 24-year old actress at the Toronto International Film Festival. “The film was very special for me – it gave me the chance to be able to work in Australia again for the first time in a long time and to reconnect with the Australian industry,” Mia said in a video.

AFI/AACTA chairman Alan Finney presented the AIMC Lifetime Achievement Award to Thompson, his long-time friend with whom he first worked in the early 1970s promoting Petersen in the US. They later collaborated on Breaker Morant and The Club, when Finney headed Roadshow Films, and most recently on Ivan Sen’s Mystery Road, on which Finney is a consultant.

“He deserves this Lifetime Achievement Award because he has achieved so much for our filmmakers, our distributors and exhibitors, for the international market and for all his friends,” said Finney.

Lesnie was not present. Forrest, the former head of Atlab and Colorfilm, said: "Andrew Lesnie is a most worthy recipient. From his beginnings as an assistant cameraman and focus puller 30 years ago on Australian films to the Academy Award for his astounding work on The Lord of the Rings – The Fellowship of The Ring, he has captured images that have thrilled audiences worldwide. He is without doubt one of the finest cinematographers practicing his craft today."

National Association of Cinema Operators Australasia inaugural’s chairman Peter Beattie hands over the chairmanship of the AIMC to veteran exhibitor Terry Jackman.

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