Feature Length Documentary Nominees

Feature Length Documentary Nominees | 7th AACTA Awards presented by Foxtel

Reinforcing a strong year for Australian documentary and following changes to the nominations process to include all AACTA members with documentary credits (the Documentary Branch), AACTA has announced five nominees for Best Feature Length Documentary.

“Through the establishment of our Documentary Branch, we’ve been pleased to open up the nominations process to all of our AACTA members with documentary credits,” said AFI | AACTA CEO Damian Trewhella. “By engaging with the larger documentary community, we’ve seen overwhelming engagement and an increase in votes, which showed five clear nominees from our thriving documentary industry."




  • CASTING JONBENÉT | Kitty Green, Scott Macaulay, James Schamus
  • WHITELEY | Sue Clothier, James Bogle, Peta Ayers
  • ZACH'S CEREMONY | Sarah Linton, Alec Doomadgee

A stylised exploration of the unsolved death of six-year-old JonBenét Ramsay, CASTING JONBENÉT marks a second Best Feature Length Documentary nomination for producer and director Kitty Green, who previously won the category at the 4th AACTA Awards for UKRAINE IS NOT A BROTHEL. Kitty is nominated alongside Oscar® nominee and past AFI Award-winner James Schamus and first-time AACTA nominee Scott Macaulay.

Marking a second AACTA nomination for producer Jo-anne McGowan, DAVID STRATTON: A CINEMATIC LIFE sees legendary Australian film critic David Stratton guide audiences from his boyhood cinema experiences to his present day reflections on Australia’s cinematic legacy. Directed by Sally Aitken, the documentary premiered earlier this year at Cannes Film Festival where it was nominated for the prestigious Golden Eye Award.

AACTA Award-winning producer Darren Dale earns his second nomination for Best Feature Length Documentary for DEEP WATER: THE REAL STORY. Directed by BAFTA TV Award nominee Amanda Blue, DEEP WATER: THE REAL STORY presents the full account of Sydney’s gay hate crime epidemic in the 1980’s and 1990’s.

WHITELEY, a visual journey into the private life and creative legacy of one of Australia’s most acclaimed artists, Brett Whiteley, sees first-time AACTA nominations for producers Sue Clothier, Peta Ayers and director James Bogle.

Aaron Petersen’s debut feature length documentary ZACH’S CEREMONY has already received a number of film festival awards, including Most Popular Documentary at Melbourne International Film Festival 2016, the Audience Award for Best Documentary at Sydney Film Festival 2016, and Best Documentary and Best Film at Byron Bay International Film Festival 2016. Marking first-time AACTA nominations for Sarah Linton and Alec Doomadgee, ZACH’S CEREMONY follows Zach Doomadgee as he faces the challenges of becoming a man in both Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australia.



The winners for this year’s AACTA Awards will be announced across two major events at The Star Event Centre in Sydney:

  • The 7th AACTA Awards presented by FoxtelIndustry Luncheon on Monday 4 December 2017.
  • The 7th AACTA Awards presented by Foxtel | Ceremony & Official After Party on Wednesday 6 December 2017, and televised on Channel 7 with an encore screening on Foxtel.

Tickets will go on sale for both events in early October.

The AACTA Awards are proudly supported by the New South Wales Government through its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW