Casting Guild of Australia Awards finalists, Rising Stars announced

The male cast of ‘Fighting Season’ (Photo: Mark Rogers).

The casting directors of 1%, Breath, Sweet Country and The Merger are the finalists in the feature film category of the Casting Guild of Australia Awards.

The CGA has also announced the 10 winners of this year’s Rising Stars awards, who are nominated by CGA members and chosen by a committee comprising Kirsty McGregor, Nikki Barrett, Anousha Zarkesh, Tom McSweeney, Faith Martin and Nathan Lloyd.

The recipients are George Pullar (Fighting Season), Michael Sheasby (The Nightingale), Harry Greenwood (True History of the Kelly Gang), Tess Haubrich (Bad Mothers), Markella Kavenagh (The Cry), George Zhao (The Family Law), Milly Alcock (Upright), Kimie Tsukakoshi (The Bureau of Magical Things), Harvey Zielinski and Alexandra Jensen.

McSweeney tells IF: “I’ve watched Kimie grow as a performer over the past decade from a kid with a fantastic singing voice to an actress of conviction, dedication and positivity. I first cast her in a supporting recurring role in all three series of The Family Law and now as the lead in the Jonathan M Shiff/Nickelodeon children’s series The Bureau of Magical Things. Kimie is poised to garner much attention from her work being broadcast in more than 170 countries.”

Greenwood is a a chameleon who is equally adept at comedy or drama while Zhao as the taunting older brother in The Family Law conveys a young man of humility and yearning with subtlety and charm, according to McSweeney.

A transgender actor who often performs with the Red Stitch Actors’ Theatre, Zielinski was among the top 10 finalists for this year’s Heath Ledger Scholarship.

This year Jensen studied at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting and the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute and she starred in the play Impending Everyone staged by the Australian Theatre for Young People.

Last year’s Rising Stars were Pallavi Sharda, Sara West, Geraldine Viswanathan, Eliza Scanlen, Thomasin McKenzie, Angus McLaren, Osamah Sami, Sean Keenan, Kamil Ellis and Toby Wallace.

In the running for best casting for TV miniseries and telemovie are the casting gurus of Fighting Season, Olivia Newton-John – Hopelessly Devoted to You, Picnic at Hanging Rock and Underbelly Files:Chopper.

The finalists for best TV comedy casting are those who worked on Back in Very Small Business, Black Comedy, Mr Inbetween and True Story with Hamish & Andy series 2.

Up for best casting of a TV drama are the casting directors of Jack Irish, Mystery Road, Rake and Wentworth series 7.

The finalists for achievement in casting are Danny Long for Deadlock, Gemma Brown for Homecoming Queens, Tom McSweeney and David Newman for The Bureau of Magical Things and Anoushka Zarkesh for Wrong Kind of Black.

The awards, which also cover the categories of short film and TVCs, will be presented on Friday November 30 at the Melbourne office of Holding Redlich. Nominees and winners are determined by CGA members.

Best casting in a feature film

1% Kirsty McGregor
Breath Nikki Barrett
Sweet Country Anousha Zarkesh
The Merger Faith Martin

Best casting in a TV comedy

Back in Very Small Business – Series 1 Nathan Lloyd
Black Comedy Anousha Zarkesh
Mr Inbetween Kirsty McGregor
True Story with Hamish & Andy – Series 2 Nathan Lloyd

Best casting in a TV drama

Jack Irish Nikki Barrett
Mystery Road Anousha Zarkesh
Rake Anousha Zarkesh
Wentworth – Series 7 Nathan Lloyd

Best casting in a TV miniseries and telemovie

Fighting Season Kirsty McGregor
Olivia Newton-John – Hopelessly Devoted to You Nathan Lloyd
Picnic at Hanging Rock Nikki Barrett
Underbelly Files Chopper Anousha Zarkesh

Best casting in a short film

An Act of Love Megan D’arcy
Drum Wave Nathan Lloyd
Joy Boy Stevie McGregor
Nursery Rhymes Danny Long

Achievement in casting

Deadlock Danny Long
Homecoming Queens Gemma Brown
The Bureau of Magical Things Tom McSweeney & David Newman
Wrong Kind of Black Anousha Zarkesh

Best casting in a TVC – Community

NAB – Talk To Yourself More Natalie Jane Harvie
Perfect Italiano Amy Mete
QBE Insurance Natalie Jane Harvie
Social Inclusion & Diversity Campaign Sponsored by Qantas Antonia Murphy
Vic Health ‘This Girl Can’ Daniella Friedman
WorkSafe – New Safety Campaign Rosie Traynor

Best casting in a TVC

Bonds: ‘Gotta Be Bonds’ Joseph Wijangco
MLA “Lamb Side Story” Antonia Murphy
Movember Anousha Zarkesh
NZ Lotto: Armoured Truck Joseph Wijangco (w. Catch Casting NZ)
Powerball: ‘The Powerball’ Leon Fryer & Daisy Hicks
Westpac – Help. It’s what Australian do Stevie Ray