AACTA Winners & Nominees

AFI Past winners

The Australian Film Development Corporation (AFDC) had been in place for just one year and only a handful of feature films had emerged. They included Libido, 27A and the animated film Marco Polo Junior Versus The Red Dragon. Omnibus feature Libido was produced by the Producers and Directors Guild of Australia, with the production being overseen by John B. Murray. He also directed Libido's first episode, The Husband, from a script by Craig McGregor. The Child was directed by Tim Burstall from a script by Hal Porter. Fred Schepisi made his debut in drama with The Priest from a script by Thomas Keneally. And The Family Man was directed by David Baker from an original screenplay by David Williamson.

This omnibus film was derived from a series of workshops and cost approximately $100,000. Libido ran for three months at Melbourne’s Rapallo Cinema and was later screened in London. The episodes had different strengths and ranged widely in quality.

The best received was probably The Child, which, while reminiscent of The Go Between, remains a beautiful piece of cinema. This episode shared the Gold Award for Fiction with 27A. Judy Morris won the Hoyts Prize for Best Performance by an Actor and Actress for her role in The Child, while Jill Forster received an Honourable Mention in the same category. The Child also shared the Bronze Medallion of the Kodak Award for Photography (Colour). The Silver Award for Fiction was shared by The Priest and Dick Mason’s Moving On. The Family Man received an Honourable Mention for Jack Thompson’s performance as a boorish husband.

Moving On has other historical interest. It was the first major writing credit for Anne Brooksbank and the last film directed by Richard Mason.

Unexpectedly, the Village Cinemas & Village Theatres Prize for the Best Direction went to Eric Porter for Marco Polo Junior Versus The Red Dragon, which also won the Gold Award in the General category.

Another big winner on the night was 27A, a memorable film exhibiting a social-realist style and gritty themes that were at odds with other productions being made in Australia at the time. Directed and produced with youthful energy by Esben Storm and Haydn Keenan respectively, 27A was made for about $40,000 and was applauded by Sandra Hall as “one of the best features so far produced here”. The film featured a standout performance by Robert McDarra, who would win the Hoyts Prize for Best Performance by an Actor and Actress, playing a jailed meth drinker who volunteers for psychiatric treatment. He finds himself committed to a psychiatric hospital until deemed ready for release. 27A also marked the first major screen appearance by Bill Hunter, playing a sadistic male nurse. The film also became the second recipient of the Australian Film Development Corporation Award Award, which was collected with great enthusiasm by the producer Haydn Keenan.

The Bronze Award in the Fiction category went to Gillian Armstrong’s short film One Hundred A Day, which also took the Film Editors' Guild of Australia Award and the Silver Medallion of the Kodak Award for Photography (Black and White). For most of the audience, it was the first glimpse of her distinctive talent.

Another debut was that of Brian Trenchard-Smith, whose documentary The Stuntman showcased his skills and preoccupations. It received an Honourable Mention for the Film Editors' Guild of Australia Award.

The major documentary winner was Tidikawa And Friends, which was also awarded the Silver Medallion of the Kodak Award for Photography (Colour), and a Special Award for Sound in the Documentary category. The Bronze Award in the Documentary category went to Joan Long’s The Passionate Industry. Joan still had her best work ahead of her. And so did a young director who received an Honourable Mention in the Fiction category for the short film Caravan Park. His name was Phillip Noyce.


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.

1973 Winners & Nominees



  • Advertising
  • Winner:

    Qantas Honourable Mention (Producer / Director: Ian Macrae)
    Singapore International Airlines 747 B Honourable Mention (Producer: Ruth Sainsbury, Director: Ros Wood)

  • Australian Tourist Commission Award
  • Winner:

    Late In A Wilderness Jedda Award (Production Company: Oryx Films, Director: David G. Corke)

  • Department of the Media Award
  • Winner:

    Nah... He Was In A Big House Before David McRae

  • Documentary
  • Winner:

    Tidikawa And Friends Gold Award (Producer / Director: Geoff Doring, Susan Doring)
    Antarctic Winter (ABC) Silver Award (Producer: Ken Taylor, Director: David Parer)
    The Passionate Industry Bronze Award (Producer: Frank Bagnall, Director: Joan Long)
    Towards Baruya Manhood Special Citation for Ethnographic Film (Production Company: Film Australia, Director: Ian Dunlop)
    Muster Special Award for Sound
    Tidikawa And Friends Special Award for Sound



  • Grand Prix
  • Winner:

    Not awarded

  • Alan Stout Award
  • Winner:

    Scars Paul Winkler (First Prize)
    Reflections James Ricketson (First Prize)
    Ten Minutes David Stocker (First Prize)

  • Experimental
  • Winner:

    Scars Silver Award (Producer / Director: Paul Winkler)
    Ten Minutes Bronze Award (Director: David Stocker)

  • General
  • Winner:

    Marco Polo Junior Versus The Red Dragon Gold Award (Producer / Director: Eric Porter)
    Incredible Floridas Bronze Award (Producer: Malcolm Otton, Director: Peter Weir)
    The Living Forest Honourable Mention (Producer: Ken Widowson, Director: Tom Crosbie Morrison)



  • Australian Film Development Corporation Award
  • Winner:

    27A Haydn Keenan

  • Fiction
  • Winner:

    Child episode of Libido Gold Award (Producer: Christopher Muir, John B. Murray, Director: Tim Burstall)
    27A Gold Award (Producer: Haydn Keenan, Director: Esben Storm)
    Moving On Silver Award (Producer: Don Murray, Director: Richard Mason)
    Priest episode of Libido Silver Award (Producer: Christopher Muir, John B. Murray, Director: Fred Schepisi)
    One Hundred A Day Bronze Award (Producer: Storry Walton, Director: Gillian Armstrong)
    Seven Little Australians (ABC) Special Award for Art Direction (Production Designer: Quentin Hole)
    Seven Little Australians (ABC) Special Award for Music (Composer: Bruce Smeaton)
    Caravan Park Honourable Mention (Producer / Director: Phillip Noyce)
    Reflections Honourable Mention (Director: James Ricketson)
    Waiting... For Lucas Honourable Mention (Director: Ian Barry)