AACTA Awards

AACTA Awards
Photo: aacta.org
The Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards, also known as the AACTA Awards, are often referred to as the Australian Oscars because they are the most prestigious awards for the Australian film and television industry. The AACTA Awards ceremony used to be held in November or December, in 2012 it was changed to January only to move back several years later.

The history of the AACTA awards began in 1958, when the Australian Film Institute (AFI) inaugurated the Australian Film Institute Awards (AFI Awards) awarded for outstanding achievement in the film industry. The awards ceremony was part of the Melbourne International Film Festival until 1972. In 1986, television categories were introduced for the first time, presenting awards for telefeatures and miniseries.

In August 2011, the Australian Film Institute announced the creation of the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA). The new organization was established to act as the institute’s industry engagement arm and to administer the AFI Awards which were renamed to the AACTA Awards. The first AACTA Awards ceremony was held in Sydney on January 31, 2012.

To be eligible for nomination, a film or a television program must be produced in Australia. In case of a feature film, it must have had a theatrical release in at least two Australian states for seven consecutive days. For documentaries and television productions, it must have been broadcast on TV during the eligibility period (between the previous AACTA awards ceremony and the opening of submissions). Besides, in the case of a film, it must not have been previously submitted for an award.

The winners are chosen by a jury vote. The voting process consists of two rounds. In round one, fifteen chapters consisting of professionals from industry guilds determine the nominees for their respective categories. The chapters include directors, screenwriters, producers, actors, etc. In round two, all members of the AACTA vote for the shortlisted nominees in each category.

Throughout the history of the AFI/AACTA awards there have been several statuettes given to winners. Most notable ones include the Kodak Film Award and the Grand Prix. The current award was introduced in 2011. It is a statuette cast in 22 karat gold which incorporates the shape of the Southern Cross constellation.

AACTA Awards

Photo by Belinda Rolland



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