The Australian Academy of Cinema and Arts held their 3rd annual awards night in Sydney last night, awarding Baz Lurhman’s The Great Gatsby winning all but one of the 14 awards it was nominated for including best picture, best director and best leading actor (DiCaprio). The Rocket was the well-deserved recipient of the best original screenplay award; while Rose Byrne won best leading actress for her 7 minute role in The Turning.
At an earlier ceremony in LA, the AACTA international awards were given out, with Gravity taking out best film.
While Gatsby is certainly worthy of some of its wins (especially costume/production design), this year’s AACTA results are another sign of how out of touch with Australian film this organisation is. For the 3 years since the awards started (they were previously the AFI awards), the awards have been dominated by the “Australian” film which was the biggest box office success that year. This is wrong. To put it simply, box office success is not a measure of a film’s quality. Local films typically get smaller releases, they have smaller budgets and they don’t tend to have massive marketing money behind them. To make these smaller films compete alongside the one “Australian blockbuster” each year is never going to be fair. If the organisation wants to hold something more meaningful than an annual giant celebration of the upper echelons (money) of Australian film society, it’s going to have to rethink what “best” really means.
The full list of AACTA winners is after the jump.