Celeste Barber and Gracie Otto on the set of 'Seriously Red'.
First-time narrative feature directors Noora Niasari and Gracie Otto will vie against Warwick Thornton, Jeffrey Walker and Colin and Cameron Cairnes for the top prize at the Australian Directors’ Guild (ADG) Awards next month.
Best Direction in a Feature Film (Budget $1M or over) is a contest between Niasari’s Shayda; Otto’s Seriously Red; Thornton’s The New Boy; Walker’s The Portable Door, and the Cairnes brothers’ horror Late Night With the Devil.
Otto is the most nominated director for the guild awards, which will be held December 5 at The Grand Electric in Sydney’s Surry Hills. She’s also nominated twice for Best Direction in a TV or SVOD Drama Series for her work across both Heartbreak High and Deadloch, and is also up for Best Direction of Commercial Content for Zimmermann Fall 22 – Stargazer.
Otto’s competitors for the TV or SVOD Drama Series prize are all fellow female directors, including Emma Freeman for The Newsreader, Sian Davies for Black Snow and Jennifer Leacey for The Secret She Keeps.
Walker also earned a second nod for Best Direction in a TV or SVOD Mini- Series Episode for his work on The Clearing. Other nominees in the category are Peter Andrikidis and Katrina Irawati Graham, nominated twice for Bali 2002, as well as Corrie Chen for Bad Behaviour, Stevie Cruz Martin for Safe Home, and Tony Krawitz for Significant Others.
Best Direction in a Feature Film (Budget under $1M) will see Amin Palangi’s Tennessine vie against Claire Pasvolsky’s Three Chords and the Truth, James Vinson’s Slant, Molly Haddon’s The Longest Weekend and Scott Major’s Darklands.
Three documentaries – Brenda Matthews and Nathaniel Schmidt’s The Last Daughter, Gabriel Gasparinatos’ OneFour – Against All Odds, and Thomas Hyland’s This Is Going to Be Big – will compete for Best Direction in a Debut Feature Film alongside Mark Leonard Winter’s The Rooster, Jub Clerc’s Sweet As and Matt Vesely’s Monolith.
The six nominees for Best Direction in a Documentary Feature are Allan Clarke for The Dark Emu Story, Emma Sullivan for Into the Deep, Gillian Moody for Kindred, Laurence Billiet and Rachael Antony for The Giants, Poppy Stockell for John Farnham – Finding the Voice and Selina Miles for Harley & Katya.
“The awards recognise outstanding directing in everything from mobilefirst online series and children’s TV drama to best music video, animation or feature film, and we’re delighted to see more nominations than ever this year,” said ADG president Rowan Woods.
“Judges have been blown away by the quality of entrants and have been particularly impressed by the calibre of up-and-coming talent. A win for any one of these newcomers could be the launch pad for an enduring and impactful career.”
Full list of nominees:
Best Direction in a Mobile-First Online Series Episode Joel Ludemann Tales From 88 Erin Good Krystal Klairvoyant (E22) – Season Finale
Best Direction in a Children’s TV or SVOD Drama Series Episode Elissa Down Ivy + Bean: Doomed to Dance Guy Edmonds Spooky Files (S1 E9) – The Mist of Misery Imogen McCluskey Soundtrack To Our Teenage Zombie Apocalypse (S1 E10) Julie Kalceff The PM’s Daughter (S2 E2) – Be Relentless Nicholas Verso Crazy Fun Park (S1 E1) – I Don’t Want To Grow Up Tenika Smith Turn Up The Volume (E6)
Best Direction in a TV or SVOD Documentary Series Episode or Documentary One-Off John Harvey Still We Rise Kriv Stenders The Black Hand (E1) Nick Robinson Australia’s Wild Odyssey (E1) – Arteries and Veins Patrick Abboud Kids Raising Kids Stamatia Maroupas Queerstralia (E1) – The Law
Best Direction in a Documentary Short Subject Hailey Bartholomew Ageless Madeleine Mytkowski Salt Dreams Sofya Gollan Imagined Touch Tilly Robba & Steph Jowett Lesbians on the Loose Tom Chapman Eden Alone Surpasses Thee
Best Direction in Commercial Content Craig Melville Dead Island 2 –Another Day in HELL.A Gavin Banks Sione’s Story – Corrective Services NSW Gracie Otto Zimmermann Fall 22 – Stargazer Henry Stone Square Mo-gal Webin-ya! James Dive Don’t You Forget About Me Selina Miles Ovaries. Talk About Them.
Best Direction in a Commercial Advertisement Michael Spiccia Amazon Prime – Separation Michael Spiccia Enchanté – Smell the Roses Nash Edgerton Tag Heuer – The Chase for Carrera Sanjay De Silva IKEA – Show Off Your Savvy Tom Noakes Amazon Books – That Reading Feeling Awaits Yianni Warnock Meat & Livestock Australia – Infinite Cultural Exile
Best Direction in an Online Drama Series Episode Bonnie Cee Casino Beach – Pilot Tam Sainsbury Time & Place
Best Direction in an Online Comedy Series Episode Madeleine Gottlieb Latecomers (E4) – Wet Madeleine Gottlieb Latecomers (E6) – Coming Good Max Miller Finding Yeezus (S1 E1) Neil Sharma Appetite (E1) – Dead Head Neil Sharma Appetite (E2) – Pho Ken What? Renée Mao A Beginner’s Guide To Grief (E1)
Best Direction in an Interactive or Immersive Project Kerinne Jenkins & Nicole Hutton In Our Own Right – Black Australian Nurses’ Stories Peter Hegedüs Sorella’s Story Stuart McDonald Choose Love
Best Direction in a Short Film Alies Sluiter Myth David Ma The Dancing Girl and The Balloon Man David Robinson-Smith We Used to Own Houses Matthew Thorne & Derik Lynch Marungka Tjalatjunu – Dipped in Black Neer Shelter Perspectives Robin Summons Victim
Best Direction in a Student Film Gabriel Murphy Enemy Alien Gilbert Kemp Attrill Reunion Guillym Davenport Pitch Black Karen Liebau McPherson Laugh With Me Stephen Di Gravio Anna Vee Shi Jia
Best Direction in Animation Christian Barkel Lego Monkie Kid (S4) Ricard Cussó Scarygirl
Best Direction in a Music Video Bill Bleakley The Teskey Brothers – True Life Trilogy Jesse Samos Leaman Didirri – Often Broken Kaius Potter Bad//Dreems – See You Tomorrow Lucy Knox DMAS – Forever Sanjay De Silva Jerome Farah – Concrete Jungle Fever Toby Morris Middle Kids – Bootleg Firecracker
Best Direction in a TV or SVOD Comedy Series Episode Robyn Butler and Wayne Hope Summer Love (S1 E1) – Jules and Tom and Jonah and Steph Bjorn Stewart Gold Diggers (S1 E5) – Man Ban Helena Brooks Gold Diggers (S1 E3) – I’m with the Bandits Matthew Moore Colin From Accounts – (S1 E6) – The Good Room Max Miller Aunty Donna’s Coffee Café (S1 E2) Shaun Wilson Romantic Getaway
Best Direction in a TV or SVOD Drama Series Episode Emma Freeman The Newsreader (S2) Gracie Otto Heartbreak High (S1 E8) Gracie Otto Deadloch (S1 E6) Jennifer Leacey The Secrets She Keeps (S2 E3) Sian Davies Black Snow (E1)
Best Direction in a TV or SVOD Mini- Series Episode Peter Andrikidis & Katrina Irawati Graham Bali 2002 (E1) – Island of the Gods Jeffrey Walker The Clearing (E1) – The Season of Unfoldment Corrie Chen Bad Behaviour (E1) – Moth to a Flame Peter Andrikidis & Katrina Irawati Graham Bali 2002 (E2) – From the Ashes Stevie Cruz-Martin Safe Home (E1) Tony Krawitz Significant Others (E1)
Best Direction in a Documentary Feature Allan Clarke The Dark Emu Story Emma Sullivan Into the Deep Gillian Moody Kindred Laurence Billiet & Rachael Antony The Giants Poppy Stockell John Farnham – Finding the Voice Selina Miles Harley & Katya
Best Direction in a Debut Feature Film Brenda Matthews & Nathaniel Schmidt The Last Daughter Gabriel Gasparinatos OneFour – Against All Odds Jub Clerc Sweet As Mark Leonard Winter The Rooster Matt Vesely Monolith Thomas Hyland This Is Going to Be Big
Best Direction in a Feature Film (Budget under $1M) Amin Palangi Tennessine Claire Pasvolsky Three Chords and the Truth James Vinson Slant Molly Haddon The Longest Weekend Scott Major Darklands
Best Direction in a Feature Film (Budget $1M or over) Colin & Cameron Cairnes Late Night With The Devil Gracie Otto Seriously Red Jeffrey Walker The Portable Door Noora Niasari Shayda Warwick Thornton The New Boy