AACTA Winners & Nominees

AFI Past winners

The 10BA tax concessions had ignited an explosion in film production, which had been reflected in the record 30 feature entries in the 1982 AFI Awards. In 1983, that number had dropped back to 20. This year, the Best Screenplay Award would be split into two categories - original screenplays and those adapted from another source. This had already occurred in 1978 and 1979, and throughout the years, the Best Screenplay categories would remain in flux, often due to a lack of adapted screenplays.

Of those 20 feature films, 11 would be nominated in at least one category. All four finalists for Best Film were also finalists in the Best Direction category. They were Careful, He Might Hear You (13), The Year Of Living Dangerously (11), Phar Lap (8) and Man Of Flowers (5). Other multiple nominees were Undercover (6), Buddies (5), The Wild Duck (3) and The Clinic (2).

Careful, He Might Hear You supplied the New South Wales Film Corporation with their sixth consecutive nomination for Best Film and their third victory. It was producer Jill Robb’s first nomination. For his work on Careful, He Might Hear You, Carl Schultz won Best Direction. He had been nominated in 1982 for his work on Goodbye Paradise. Other victories included Best Adapted Screenplay, which went to Michael Jenkins at his first nomination, and Best Cinematography, which went to John Seale. Seale had been nominated in 1981 for The Survivor. John Stoddart won for Best Production Design, having been previously nominated for Best Art Direction in 1978 for The Getting Of Wisdom. The award for Best Costume Design went to Bruce Finlayson, who had been nominated in 1978 for his work on The Chant Of Jimmie Blacksmith.

Two other major awards to the film were for performance. John Hargreaves won in the Best Supporting Actor category. (He had been nominated in 1981 as Best Lead Actor for Hoodwink.) The award for Best Lead Actress went to Wendy Hughes. She had been nominated three times previously for her performances in films that had been named Best Picture (Newsfront, My Brilliant Career and Lonely Hearts). Careful, He Might Hear You won eight awards from a total of 13 nominations.

Best Original Screenplay went to John Dingwall for Buddies. The strong field also included Man Of Flowers (Paul Cox and Bob Ellis), Phar Lap (David Williamson) and The Clinic (Greg Millin).

Phar Lap took three AFI Awards. Tony Paterson won the Best Editing, following his 1979 success with Mad Max. Bruce Rowland again won the music award, one year after his success with The Man From Snowy River. Best Sound went to Peter Burgess, Peter Fenton, Phil Heywood, Ron Purvis, Terry Rodman and Gary Wilkins. It was Wilkins' third success following Mad Max (1979) and Breaker Morant (1980).

Two other films won awards in the feature film category. Linda Hunt won the award as Best Supporting Actress for her performance as a male Indonesian photographer in The Year Of Living Dangerously. She also shared the Jury Award with Peter Weir. One year later, she would receive the Oscar for the same performance. Norman Kaye, who had been nominated the previous year for Lonely Hearts, succeeded this time with his performance in Man Of Flowers. Other nominees were the child actor Nicholas Gledhill for Careful, He Might Hear You, Mel Gibson in The Year Of Living Dangerously and Martin Vaughan in Phar Lap. Vaughan had won in 1974/5 for Billy And Percy. This year, he was unsuccessfully nominated both for Best Lead Actor and Best Supporting Actor (The Winds Of Jarrah). Mel Gibson’s previous two nominations had resulted in two wins.

Best Documentary went to Robin Anderson and Bob Connolly for First Contact. This was the dawn of their exceptionally successful partnership. In 1984, they would also be nominated at the Oscars for the same film.

Suresh Ayyar won the award for Best Editing in a Non-Feature Film for Double Concerto. Another nominee was Jane Campion for Peel, which would be awarded the Palme D’Or at Cannes in 1986.

The Raymond Longford Award went to Bill Gooley, a legendary laboratory liaison worker. Bill had worked on a huge number of feature films, from The Removalists in 1974 through to Double Sculls in 1987. His commitment, enthusiasm and patience were legendary and his credits included Picnic At Hanging Rock, The Devil’s Playground, The Chant Of Jimmie Blacksmith, Newsfront, Long Weekend, Mad Max, Heatwave, The Man From Snowy River and The Year Of Living Dangerously.

1983 Winners & Nominees