The 10th annual Inside Film Awards kicked off with a bang today, with the announcement of the 2008 IF Award nominees at the Water Bar in Woolloomooloo, Sydney.

Click here for a comprehensive list of all the 2008 IF Award nominees.

The Black Balloon leads the way with 10 nominations, including a nod for the SHOWTIME IF Award for Best Feature Film. Joining them in the race for the SHOWTIME IF Award for Best Feature Film are independent films Men’s Group and Son of a Lion.

The Black Balloon also received a nomination in the IF Award for Best Director category for Elissa Down; the IF Award for Best Actress, for Gemma Ward’s performance; the Queensland Events Corporation IF Award for Best Actor, for Rhys Wakefield’s performance; the Sony IF Award for Best Cinematography, for Denson Baker ACS; the IF Award for Best Script by Jimmy The Exploder and Elissa Down; The Black Balloon also picked up nominations in the following categories – the IF Award for Best Production Design, the Cutting Edge IF Award for Best Editing, the Zig Zag Lane IF Award for Best Sound and the Dinosaur Designs IF Award for Best Music.

Men’s Group picked up a total of four nominations, including for the Queensland Events Corporation IF Award for Best Actor, for Grant Dodwell, the Dinosaur Designs IF Award for Best Music, for Haydn Walker, and the IF Award for Best Script, for director Michael Joy and John L Simpson. Men’s Group is currently undergoing a staggered release around the country, having already won last year’s SPAARTAN Award and played strongly at the major film festivals.

In addition to it’s nomination for the SHOWTIME IF Award for Best Feature Film, Son of a Lion rounded out the Dinosaur Designs IF Award for Best Music category with a nomination for Amanda Brown. The maverick production has also picked up a nomination in the Post Op Group Independent Spirit IF Award for director Benjamin Gilmour and producer Carolyn Johnson.

Unfinished Sky nabbed eight nods in the nominations, including the IF Award for Best Actress for Dutch leading lady Monic Hendrickx, reprising her award winning performance from the original film on which Unfinished Sky is based, De Poolse Bruid. Other nominations include the Queensland Events Corporation IF Award for Best Actor, for William McInnes; the IF Award for Best Director and the IF Award for Best Script for Peter Duncan; the Production Book IF Award for Best Production Design; the Cutting Edge IF Award for Best Editing; he Zig Zag Lane IF Award for Best Sound; and the Sony IF Award for Best Cinematography for Robert Humphreys ACS, a previous IF Award winner for his work on Somersault in 2004.

Black Water picked up three nominations, and rounds out the feature film categories. Maeve Dermody has been recognised with a nomination for Best Actress for her lead role in the frightening indy crocodile flick, which has also been given a nod in the IF Award for Best Director nominations for David Nerlih and Andrew Traucki as well as the Cutting Edge IF Award for Best Editing.

Tropfest feature film September picked up two nominations today in the Sony IF Award for Best Cinematography for previous nominee Jules O’Loughlin (Kokoda, 2005) and for Sam Hobbs (the Production Book IF Award for Best Production Design).

Tropfest winner Steve Baker has picked up a nomination for the Autodesk IF Award for Best Animation for his new film Dog With Electric Collar, sharing the honour with producer Damon Escott. Other nominees include previous winners of the Queensland New Filmmakers Award co-directors Ruwan de Silva and Joshua Beahan for their film The Covenant of Mr Kasch. Director Glen Hunwick’s Mutt, produced by previous IF Award winner Beth Frey is also nominated for the Autodesk IF Award for Best Animation.

The nominees for the IF Award for Best Documentary is dominated by previous winners; two-time IF Award winner Sascha Ettinger Epstein (2003 & 2005 for Best Short Documentary) picks up two nominations for The Oasis, which she shares with producer and co-director Ian Darling and Playing In The Shadows with her 2005 co-winner Marco Iannello. Finishing the Best Documentary nominees are 2004 winners Cathy Henkel and Jeff Canin for their new film The Burning Season, shared with previous nominee Trish Lake.

Tom Zubrycki, a nominee for the IF Best Documentary in 2001, 2002 and 2003, as well as a winner for Best Short Documentary in 2006, continues his run with another nomination for his film Mad Morro for Best Short Documentary, shared with director Kelrick Martin. Director Randall Wood and producer Vickie Gest nab a nomination for Rare Chicken Rescue (executive produced by Trish Lake), while director Matthew Pond and producer Tina Lymberis receive a nod for their film Undressing Vanessa.

Last year’s Atlab IF Award for Rising Talent nominee Erin White proves what a Rising Talent she is, scoring a nomination for the Holding Redlich IF Award for Best Short Film for fOUR, with producer Zyra McAuliffe. Joining Erin and Zyra are director Nash Edgerton and producer Nicole O’Donohue for the acclaimed Spider and Steve and Jules Callen for award-winning You Better Watch Out.

The Post Op Group Independent Spirit IF Award nominees include; Christopher Weekes, writer/director and lead actor of Bitter & Twisted; producer Jason Byrne who independently funded and distributed cult comedy Rats & Cats; and director Benjamin Gilmour, along with producer Carolyn Johnson who have successfully launched their first documentary Son of a Lion.

The EFilm IF Award for Rising Talent nominees for up and coming filmmakers include; Amy Gebhardt (Director of Heart, Look Sharp); Cris Jones (Director of The Funk); and Leon Ford (Director of Katoomba, Actor The Last Chip).

For the second year, the Inside Film Awards recognised the work of filmmakers in the form of the music video, last year won by director Natasha Pincus with her Paul Kelly music clip "God Told Me To". Over 100 music videos were submitted for nomination, with audience response up by over 70 per cent on last year.

This years nominees for the 3 IF Award for Best Music Video are; director Luke Eve and producer Simon Ritch for "Emergency! Emergency!", performed by The Hot Lies; directors Stephen Lance and Damon Escott (who also received a nomination for his animation) with producer Leanne Tonkes for "If You Keep Losing Sleep", performed by Silverchair; and lastly, directors Angus & Julia Stone, Josh Groom and Andrew Yoole with producers Madeleine Milasas and Jodie Passmore for "Just A Boy", performed by Angus & Julia Stone.

In a curious twist, Josh Groom won the Inside Film Awards’ ‘Party With The Stars’ competition last year, seeing him fly to the Gold Coast to attend the 2007 event with partner Madeleine Milasas, so they are no strangers to the glamour of the film industry party of the year.

The winners of the coveted IF Awards in 2008 will be revealed on Thursday 13 November when the glittering ceremony takes place on the Gold Coast. The IF Awards are broadcast on live on SBS TV and can be seen again on SHOWTIME on Tuesday 18 November and Wednesday 19 November.

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