Gracie Otto leads ADG Award nominees

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