AACTA Winners & Nominees

AFI Past winners

For the fourth consecutive year, the New South Wales Film Corporation had supported one of the two most nominated films at the AFI Awards. In 1978, Newsfront received 14 nominations, My Brilliant Career had 13 the next year, Stir had 11 in 1980 and Hoodwink would secure 8 nominations in 1981.

In 1982, the most nominated film was Gallipoli, which received 12 nominations. Hoodwink had not received a nomination for Best Film, which increased Gallipoli’s perceived invincibility. In an otherwise evenly contested year, Winter Of Our Dreams finished just behind Hoodwink with 7 nominations, followed by The Club with 5 nominations.

There was a major surprise when Wrong Side Of The Road was nominated for Best Film, having secured only one other nomination for Best Music. John Duigan’s contemporary love story Winter Of Our Dreams and Bruce Beresford’s The Club were the other two finalists.

Gallipoli had opened one month before the Awards to great critical acclaim and success at the box office. The film achieved a sweeping victory that year, winning nine AFI Awards. Thirty years later it usually appears prominently in lists of favourite Australian films.

It was the logical choice for Best Film and a good reward for Producer Patricia Lovell, who had been nominated previously for Picnic At Hanging Rock and Break Of Day. Peter Weir won Best Direction, ten years after winning the same award for Homesdale.

Gallipoli won Mel Gibson his second award as Best Lead Actor, while the Best Screenplay award was David Williamson’s third. Bill Hunter won the Best Supporting Actor award, three years after his triumph in Newsfront. Herbert Pinter and Wendy Weir took the prize for Best Art Direction. It was the first nomination for both of them.

Russell Boyd won his third AFI Award for Best Cinematography. Two of his fellow nominees in this category, Vince Monton and Don McAlpine, were previous winners. This was Monton’s fifth nomination and Don McAlpine's third. The other nominee, John Seale, was receiving his first nomination, foreshadowing achievements to come.

Gallipoli won two other awards - a third AFI Award for William Anderson for Best Editing and a second Best Sound award for Don Connolly and Greg Bell, who had previously won for their work on The Last Wave.

Several other nominees won major awards. Wrong Side Of The Road had built momentum since the AFI audience screenings in June and July and the film’s success as winner of the Jury Prize reflected this.

John Hargreaves’s performance in Hoodwink had been considered the major obstacle to a second Best Actor Award for Mel Gibson. It was a first nomination for Hargreaves, who had been overlooked for The Removalists, Don’s Party and Long Weekend. But it was no surprise that Judy Davis was named Best Lead Actress for Winter Of Our Dreams. It was and is an extraordinary performance. Moreover, she emulated the double success of Angela Punch-McGregor, who in 1978 also won in both acting categories. Davis’ Best Supporting Actress Award was for Hoodwink.

Fatty Finn won the award for Best Original Music and Norma Moriceau gained her second Best Costume Design award for the same film.

The Best Short Fiction award went to Stephen Wallace and Don Catchlove for Captives Of Care. Stephen had won the Gold Award in the Special Fiction category in 1977 with Love Letters From Teralba Road and had made a striking feature debut with Stir in 1980.

Best Documentary went to Chris Noonan’s Stepping Out. Noonan had first captured attention in 1974-75 with his short film Bulls. This work was a significant step forward and his best was still to come.

The Raymond Longford Award went to producer Phillip Adams. Adams had been a pioneer of the re-born industry and a prime mover in sustaining its impetus. He was now Chief Executive Officer of film production company Adams Packer, which would give birth to the 1982 Best Film winner.

1981 Winners & Nominees



  • Best Film
  • Winner:

    Gallipoli Robert Stigwood, Patricia Lovell


    The Club Matt Carroll
    Winter Of Our Dreams Richard Mason
    Wrong Side Of The Road Ned Lander, Graeme Isaac

  • Best Achievement in Directing
  • Winner:

    Gallipoli Peter Weir


    Hoodwink Claude Whatham
    The Club Bruce Beresford
    Winter Of Our Dreams John Duigan

  • Best Screenplay
  • Winner:

    Gallipoli David Williamson


    Hoodwink Ken Quinnell
    The Club David Williamson
    Winter Of Our Dreams John Duigan

  • Best Achievement in Cinematography
  • Winner:

    Gallipoli Russell Boyd


    Roadgames Vincent Monton
    The Survivor John Seale
    The Club Donald M. McAlpine

  • Best Achievement in Film Editing
  • Winner:

    Gallipoli William Anderson


    Fatty Finn Robert Gibson
    Hoodwink Nicholas Beauman
    Roadgames Edward McQueen-Mason

  • Best Sound
  • Winner:

    Gallipoli Don Connolly, Greg Bell, Peter Fenton


    Hoodwink Gary Wilkins, Andrew Steuart, Peter Fenton
    The Survivor Peter Fenton, Jack Friedman, Bruce Lamshed, Tim Lloyd
    Winter Of Our Dreams Lloyd Carrick, Andrew Steuart, Phil Judd, Phil Hayward

  • Best Original Music Score
  • Winner:

    Fatty Finn Rory O'Donoghue, Grahame Bond


    Grendel, Grendel, Grendel Bruce Smeaton
    Roadgames Brian May
    Wrong Side Of The Road No Fixed Address, Us Mob

  • Best Achievement in Art Direction
  • Winner:

    Gallipoli Herbert Pinter, Wendy Weir


    Fatty Finn Lissa Coote
    Grendel, Grendel, Grendel Alex Stitt
    The Survivor Bernard Hides
    Winter Of Our Dreams Lee Whitmore

  • Best Achievement in Costume Design
  • Winner:

    Fatty Finn Norma Moriceau


    Gallipoli Terry Ryan, Wendy Weir
    Hoodwink Ross Major
    Wu Ting Ruth De la Lande

  • Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
  • Winner:

    Gallipoli Mel Gibson


    Gallipoli Mark Lee
    Hoodwink John Hargreaves
    The Club Graham Kennedy

  • Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role
  • Winner:

    Winter Of Our Dreams Judy Davis


    Fatty Finn Lorraine Bayly
    Fatty Finn Noni Hazlehurst
    The Survivor Jenny Agutter

  • Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role
  • Winner:

    Gallipoli Bill Hunter


    Gallipoli Bill Kerr
    Hoodwink Max Cullen
    The Club Harold Hopkins

  • Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role
  • Winner:

    Hoodwink Judy Davis


    Fatty Finn Rebecca Rigg
    Roadgames Marion Edward
    Winter Of Our Dreams Cathy Downes