‘Lambs of God’, ‘The Nightingale’ lead AACTA nominees

‘Lambs of God’. 

Lingo Pictures’ four-part TV drama Lambs of God has collected an unprecedented 18 AACTA Award nominations, while Jennifer Kent’s The Nightingale leads in film with 15 nods.

The Australian Academy revealed the full list of nominees for the annual awards today, with almost 60 to be presented across two events in Sydney in six weeks time.

Some 15 films are up for awards, though four dominate almost every category: Kent’s revenge tale, Anthony Maras’ debut feature Hotel Mumbai and David Michôd’s Netflix-backed The King, which each received 13 nominations, and Mirrah Foulkes’ dark comedy Judy & Punch, which earned nine. Each is nominated for Best Film alongside Rachel Griffiths’ Ride Like A Girl and Wayne Blair’s Top End Wedding. 

Up in the Best Indie Film category (budgeted under $2 million) are Thomas M. Wright’s Acute Misfortune, Heath Davis’ Book Week, Rodd Rathjen’s Buoyancy, Imogen Thomas’ Emu Runner and Samuel Van Grinsven’s Sequin in a Blue Room.

The Nightingale’. (Photo: Matt Nettheim)

Prolific actor Damon Herriman has earned a record four nominations across the performance categories for his work in films Judy & Punch and The Nightingale and TV dramas Mr Inbetween and Lambs of God; the most any performer has received in a single year.

Vying against him for Best Lead Actor in a Feature Film are Timothée Chalamet for The King; Baykali Ganambarr for The Nightingale; Dev Patel for Hotel Mumbai and Hugo Weaving for Hearts and Bones. 

Competing for Best Lead Actress are Nazanin Boniadi for Hotel Mumbai; Aisling Franciosi for The Nightingale; Teresa Palmer for Ride Like A Girl; Miranda Tapsell for Top End Wedding and Mia Wasikowska for Judy & Punch.

Oscar winner Hilary Swank is nominated for Best Supporting Actress for her turn as ‘Woman’ in I Am Mother, squaring off against Tilda Cobham-Hervey (Hotel Mumbai), Magnolia Maymuru (The Nightingale), Bolude Watson (Hearts and Bones) and Ursula Yovich (Top End Wedding).

Joel Edgerton has garnered consecutive nominations for Best Screenplay, Best Supporting Actor and Best Film for The King, having been recognised for each last year with Boy Erased.  He will battle for the acting award against The King co-star Ben Mendelsohn; Andrew Luri, who is recognised for his debut performance in Hearts and Bones; as well as The Nightingale stars Herriman and Michael Sheasby.

In television, five series are competing for Best Drama: Playmaker Media’s Bloom (Stan), Blue-Tongue Films/Jungle Entertainment’s Mr Inbetween (Foxtel), Matchbox Pictures’ Secret City: Under The Eagle (Foxtel); Blackfella Films’ Total Control (ABC) and Fremantle’s Wentworth (Foxtel).

Lingo Pictures is up twice in the Best Telefeature or Mini Series category for both Lambs of God (Foxtel) and On The Ropes (SBS), with Goalpost’s Fighting Season (Foxtel) and Closer Production’s The Hunting also nominated.

In the running for Best Comedy Program are five ABC series: Frayed (Merman Television/Guesswork Television); The Letdown (Giant Dwarf); Rosehaven (What Horse/Guesswork Television); Sammy J (Buxstock Entertainment) and Utopia (Working Dog Productions).

Patrick Brammall (Glitch), Bryan Brown (Bloom), Ewen Leslie (The Cry), Sam Reid (Lambs of God) and Scott Ryan will duke it out for Best Lead Actor in a Television Drama, while Jenna Coleman (The Cry), Essie Davis (Lambs of God), Ann Dowd (Lambs of God), Deborah Mailman (Total Control) and Anna Torv (Secret City: Under the Eagle) are up for Best Lead Actress.

Celia Pacquola is nominated twice for Best Performance in a Television Comedy for her work across Rosehaven and Utopia; other nominees are her Utopia co-star Rob Sitch, Alison Bell for The Letdown and Miranda Tapsell for Get Krack!n.

The International Emmy Award-nominated Bluey is up for Best Children’s Program against Drop Dead Weird, The InBestigators, Hardball and The Unlisted.

In documentary, Richard Lowenstein’s Mystify: Michael Hutchence leads the nominees with three nods across Best Documentary, Best Editing in a Documentary and Best Sound in a Documentary.

In new category Best Online Entertainment there are seven nominees: Bounce Patrol, Ckn Toys, Georgia Productions, How to Basic, Ozzy Man Reviews, Primitive Technology, and Wengie. 

“AFI | AACTA continues to celebrate the excellence of our industry with a total of 58 awards recognising excellence across all industry sectors, including feature film, television, documentary, short film, online, visual effects and animation. We’re thrilled to see such a wealth of diverse productions at this year’s awards, all of extremely high-quality and many of which have received global recognition,” said AFI | AACTA CEO Damian Trewhella.

“This year our awards have expanded to include new entertainment categories that cater to Australia’s every evolving and exciting sceen landscape. From emerging to established practitioners and performers, this year’s nominees are a testament to the strength of the Australian screen industry and we look forward to celebrating their impressive achievements and the talents at our upcoming awards.”

The full list of nominees is here.