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AACTA awards sees multiple Indigenous nominees

Rhiannon Clarke -

Film, television and documentary productions featuring Indigenous stars dominated 2023, with titles including Sweet as and The New Boy taking over the big screen.

Now in 2024, Indigenous actors, actresses and filmmakers are preparing for recognition through the The Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) Awards, which are set to be held early next month.

In total, 18 Indigenous creatives and creators have been nominated for the prestigious awards, with some being nominated for multiple categories.

FILM

Sweet As

In remote Pilbara country in Western Australia a troubled 16 year old Indigenous girl, Murra, finds herself abandoned after an explosive incident with her drug fuelled mother. On the cusp of being lost in the 'Child Protection' system, an unusual lifeline is thrown her way by her uncle Ian.

Sweet As lead Shantae Barnes-Cowan and director Jub Clerc have both been nominated for AACTA awards. (Image: Screen Australia)

Sweet As has been nominated in seven categories with Nyul Nyul/Yawuru woman Jub Clerk nominated for best director and Adnyamathanha women Shantae Barnes-Cowan nominated for best lead actress.

Sweet As nominations

AACTA Award for Best Film.

AACTA Award for Best Direction in Film - Jub Clerc.

AACTA Award for Best Lead Actress in Film - Shantae Barnes-Cowan.

AACTA Award for Best Supporting Actress in Film - Tasma Walton.

AACTA Award For Best Cinematography in Film.

AACTA Award For Best Editing in Film presented by Spectrum Films.

AACTA Award for Best Casting in Film presented by Casting Networks.

The New Boy

In the 1940s during the dead of night, a nine-year-old Aboriginal orphan boy arrives at a remote monastery run by a renegade nun.

The New Boy has picked up 10 nominations With Kaytetye man Warwick Thornton picking up three nominations with Aswan Reid up for Best Lead Actor in Film in his first major role.

The New Boy nominations

AACTA Award for Best Film.

AACTA Award for Best Direction in Film - Warwick Thornton.

AACTA Award for Best Lead Actor in Film - Aswan Reid.

AACTA Award for Best Supporting Actress in Film - Deborah Mailman.

AACTA Award for Best Supporting Actor in Film - Wayne Blair.

AACTA Award for Best Screenplay in Film - Warwick Thornton.

AACTA Award For Best Cinematography in Film - Warwick Thornton.

AACTA Award For Best Costume Design in Film.

AACTA Award For Best Editing in Film presented by Spectrum Films.

AACTA Award for Best Production Design in Film.

AACTA Award for Best Casting in Film presented by Casting Networks.

Aswan Reid has been nominated for Best Lead Actor in Film for his depiction of New Boy. (Image: Screen Hub)

DOCUMENTARY

Three documentaries including an Indigenous person or an Indigenous story have been nominated for Best Documentary.

Harley & Katya

A feature Documentary about Indigenous Australian figure skater Harley Windsor and his Russian skating partner, Ekaterina Alexandrovskaya. The story follows the unlikely duo who made history, but reveals the tragic events that were happening behind the scenes. Best Documentary is one of two category nominations received by Harley & Katya.

AACTA Award for Best Documentary.

The Dark Emu Story

Explores the impact of Bruce Pascoe's Dark Emu, the publishing phenomenon that challenged Australia to rethink its history and ignited a debate that continues to rage. The Dark Emu Story received another three nominations.

AACTA Award for Best Documentary

The Dark Emu Story has been nominated for Best Documentary. (Image: Mubi)

The Last Daughter

The Last Daughter captures Brenda's first memories of growing up in a loving non-Indigenous foster family before she was suddenly taken away and returned to her Aboriginal family. Decades later, she feels disconnected from both halves of her life, so she goes searching for the foster family.

AACTA Award for Best Documentary.

Kindred

A documentary by Wodi Wodi woman Gillian Moody and Wonnarua man Adrian Russell Wills which explores the emotional rollercoaster of connecting back with their bloodlines after being adopted into non-Indigenous families. In the process of their reconnection they turn their cameras on themselves.

AACTA Award for Best Sound in a Documentary.

AACTA Award for Best Original Score in a Documentary.

TELEVSION

The Australian Wars

Arrente and Kalkadoon woman Rachel Perkins journeys across the country to explore the bloody battles fought on Australian soil and the war that established the Australian nation, seeking to change the narrative.

AACTA Award for Best Documentary or Factual Program.

AACTA Award for Best Direction in Nonfiction Television.

Barrumbi Kids

Tomias and Dahlia, who are growing up together on Country in a remote Northern Territory community, face various adversities and have many exciting adventures.

AACTA Award for Best Children's Program.

Barrumbi Kids are nominated for Best Children's Program. (Image: SBS)

The Newsreader

In 1986, the cutthroat world of commercial television news threw ambitious reporter Dale and newsreader Helen together. Mununjali & Nunukal man Hunter Page-Lochard earned himself a nomination for best supporting actor for his role as Lynus Preston.

AACTA Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama - Hunter Page-Lochard.

International

Blackfeet and Nez Perce women Lily Gladstone has been nominated for lead actress for her role as Mollie Burkhart in Killers of the Flower Moon, a role which saw her become the first Indigenous person to win a Golden Globe for Best Actress.

AACTA International Award for Best Lead Actress in Film - Lily Gladstone in Killers of the Flower Moon

The AACTA Awards will be held on February 8 from 4:30 pm AWST.

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