AACTA Winners & Nominees

AFI Past winners

Stork was the first truly successful Australian feature for at least thirty years and a great success for the Experimental Film Fund. It was based on David Williamson’s play The Coming Of Stork, which was first performed at Betty Burstall’s experimental theatre La Mama. The film version was adapted by Williamson and shot with a crew of twelve in March-April 1971.

Stork was partly funded, to the tune of $7,000, by a grant from the Experimental Film Fund. It had cost $60,000 by the time it reached rough cut stage and its eventual budget was $100,000. The remainder of the costs were put up by Tim Burstall & Associates and Bilcock & Copping. These groups comprised Tim Burstall, Robin Copping and David Bilcock, who had previously worked as writer-director, cameraman and editor respectively of 2000 Weeks. It was largely financed from the company’s profits in the previous year and by Tim putting some of his art collection into hock.

It opened at the St Kilda Palais in Melbourne and took $50,000 in six weeks, of which the makers kept $20,000. Unable to get a circuit release, Tim proceeded to hire cinemas in Melbourne – first from Village and then the Metro in Bourke Street. The film ran 21 weeks in Melbourne. He then hired the Mosman Classic in Sydney where it ran eight weeks, after which it was picked up by Roadshow. Stork was released in December 1971 and had recovered its costs by April 1973. By then it had grossed $500,000, of which the makers had recovered in excess of $100,000.

At the 1972 AFI Awards, Stork received the first Australian Film Development Corporation Award of $5,000 and took home the Gold Award in the Fiction category. Tim won the City Cinemas/Village Prize for the Best Direction of $1,000. The Hoyts Prize for Best Performance, which had been first handed out the year before, was shared by Stork's Bruce Spence and Jacki Weaver. In addition 

The Silver Award in the Fiction category was shared by George Miller’s Violence In The Cinema... Part 1 and Michael Pearce’s The Money Game. The latter was scripted by Bruce Petty, who had teamed with Michael the previous year on A Big Hand For Everyone.

Violence In The Cinema also shared First Prize in the Alan Stout Awards. This was a short (14 minutes) depiction of a pompous lecturer on violence in the cinema, who becomes the victim of a catalogue of gruesome assaults. It was the first glimpse of George Miller’s talent and a startling one. Like Homesdale in the previous year, it had been overlooked at the Benson & Hedges Awards at the Sydney Film Festival.

Three films shared the Bronze Award in the Fiction category, including Cecil Holmes’ Gentle Strangers. He directed this mini-feature during a period at Film Australia. The film was cut from 75 minutes to 58 before release. Even in this mutilated form, it is an often poignant work. Cecil lived for 21 more years, but never directed another film.

The Bronze Award was shared with Rod, an early short by Michael Robertson that was scripted by Alex Buzo. The third winner was Stephany, written, edited and directed by Haydn Keenan. For him much bigger prizes were in store.


Note: Up until 1970, with a few exceptions, AFI Awards were presented in recognition of films and productions, rather than the achievements of individual filmmakers and craftspeople. From 1971, an increasing number of AFI Awards were introduced recognising individual achievements and, from 1976, AFI Awards were presented on this basis across all feature films. From 1980 onwards, all AFI Awards were awarded to individual filmmakers and crafts people.

Where an Award was presented in recognition of a film rather than a filmmaker, we have also listed the producer and director of the film, where this information is available. For craft-specific awards, we have also listed the respective craftsperson where possible. These filmmakers and craftspeople are listed in brackets after the Award that their film received.

1972 Winners & Nominees



  • Advertising
  • Winner:

    Adelaide - Darwin On Steel Gold Award (Producer: Frederick B. Productions, Director: F.B. Richardson)
    Aluminium - An Element Of Change Silver Award (Production Company: Scope Films, Director: Edwin Scragg)
    Datsun 1200 4 Door Sedan Bronze Award (Producer: Taylor O'Brien, Director: Trevor Ling)
    First Day At School Bronze Award (Producer: Peter Clemenger, Director: Robin Copping)
    Woodstock Cider Bronze Award (Production Company / Director: Leo Burnett (Vic) Pty. Ltd.)
    Eveready "Dolphin" Honourable Mention (Producer / Director: Jules Sher)
    Sergeant Major Honourable Mention (Producer: Jacqueline Huie, Director: Rod Johnstone)

  • Australian Tourist Commission Award
  • Winner:

    The Hairy-Nosed Wombat Jedda Award (Producer / Director: Douglas Steen)

  • Department of the Interior Award
  • Winner:

    Jackpot Town (Producer: Jeff Carter, Director: Roger Whittaker)

  • Documentary
  • Winner:

    Jackpot Town Gold Award (Producer: Jeff Carter, Director: Roger Whittaker)
    The Hairy-Nosed Wombat Bronze Award (Producer / Director: Douglas Steen)
    Nowhere Game Bronze Award (Producer / Director: John Hughes, Martyn Goddard)
    Pintubi Revisit Yaru Yaru Bronze Award (Production Company: Australian Institute for Aboriginal Studies, Director: Roger Sandall)
    Water For A City Bronze Award (Producer: Malcolm Otton, Director: Bruce Moir)
    Wild Australia - At The Edge Of The Salt Plain (ABC) Honourable Mention (Production Company: ABC, Director: Ken Taylor)



  • Grand Prix
  • Winner:

    Not awarded

  • Alan Stout Award
  • Winner:

    Magic Camera Film 2 Victor Kay Jr. (First Prize)
    Violence In The Cinema... Part 1 George Miller (First Prize)
    Jackpot Town Roger Whittaker (First Prize)
    After Image Anthony Airey (Third Prize)

  • Experimental
  • Winner:

    Magic Camera Film 2 Silver Award (Producer: Victor Kay Jr., Directors: Victor Kay Jr. & friends)
    After Image Bronze Award (Producer: B. Maudsley, J. & K. Airey, Director: Anthony Airey)



  • Australian Film Development Corporation Award
  • Winner:

    Stork Tim Burstall & Associates, Bilcock & Copping

  • Fiction
  • Winner:

    Stork Gold Award (Production Company: Tim Burstall & Associates, Bilcock & Copping, Director: Tim Burstall)
    The Money Game Silver Award (Producer / Director: Michael Pearce)
    Violence In The Cinema... Part 1 Silver Award (Producer / Director: George Miller)
    Gentle Strangers Bronze Award (Producer: Roland Beckett, Director: Cecil Holmes)
    Rod Bronze Award (Producer: Michael Robertson, Director: Michael Robertson, Bruce Moir)
    Stephany Bronze Award (Producer: Malcolm Robertson, Director: Haydn Keenan)