AACTA Winners & Nominees

AFI Past winners

Strictly Ballroom and The Piano were the major AFI winners in 1992 and 1993, with both also enjoying great international success. In 1994, the flood gates opened with a remarkable group of films, encompassing many genres and styles, competing for major awards. There had not been such a large group of outstanding Australian films in any single year since 1978.

Heading the list was Muriel's Wedding with 11 nominations in 10 categories, ahead of The Adventures Of Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert with 9 in 8. Both, of course, were finalists for Best Film, along with Bad Boy Bubby (6) and The Sum Of Us (6).

Other multiple nominees were Country Life (5), Traps (5), Body Melt (3), Sirens (3), Everynight ... Everynight (2 including Best Direction) and Exile (2).

The first winner of a major award was Max Cullen, who was named Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Spider And Rose. That was the sole category in which the film had been nominated and Cullen had strong competition from Bill Hunter (Muriel's Wedding), John Polson (The Sum Of Us) and Kiet Lam (Traps). Cullen had been previously nominated in this category for his performance in Hoodwink.

Bad Boy Bubby won four very important awards. Nicholas Hope, in his first major screen appearance, was named Best Lead Actor. Suresh Ayyar won the award for Best Editing, following previous nominations for The Dreaming and Dingo, and a win for Double Concerto. Most strikingly, in this very strong field, Rolf de Heer won the awards for Best Original Screenplay and Best Direction. He had been previously nominated for Dingo in the categories of Best Film and Best Direction. Bad Boy Bubby took other major awards at Venice, Valenciennes and Seattle.

David Stevens’ adaptation of his own play The Sum Of Us won the Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.

Priscilla won the awards for Best Costume Design and Best Production Design. Lizzy Gardiner and Tim Chappel, who shared the Costume award, were making their screen debuts. The pair would win the Academy Award in 1995 for their work on this film. Production designer Owen Paterson had been previously nominated for his work on Bliss and A Place At The Coast.

Best Original Music went to Stephen Rae (then Douglas Stephen Rae) for Traps. This was his first nomination.

The Award for Best Cinematography went to Nino Gaetano Martinetti for Exile. He had been previously nominated for his work on Golden Braid, On The Border Of Hopetown and Buckeye And Pinto.

That left four awards for Muriel's Wedding. It received the award for Best Sound. This went to a team including David Lee, who was also nominated this year for Sirens. Rachel Griffiths, who was making her debut in the cinema, was named Best Supporting Actress. Toni Collette was named Best Lead Actress for what was her second screen performance. She had a previous nomination for her debut in Spotswood. Both would receive Academy Award nominations for other work before the end of the decade.

Lynda House and Jocelyn Moorhouse, producers of Muriel's Wedding, received the award for Best Film. Two years earlier, House had won the Best Film award and Moorhouse had won Best Direction for Proof.

There were some exciting talents on display in the non-feature section. James Bradley, Carol Ruff and Ned Lander won the Best Documentary award for 50 Years Of Silence, while Dion Beebe took the prize for Best Cinematography in a Non-Feature Film for his outstanding work on Lawrence Johnston’s Eternity.

Suresh Ayyar won his second award for Best Editing that night for his work on Watch The Watch. And Ana Kokinos’ Only The Brave took the awards for Best Screenplay in a Non-Feature Film and Best Short Fiction Film. Only The Brave also received an Open Craft award for the performance of Elena Mandalis.

Best Mini-Series or Telefeature went to Franco di Chiera for an episode of Under The SkinThe Damnation Of Harvey McHugh won awards for Best Episode in a Television Drama (Sue Masters, in a tie with Bruce Best for Heartland), Best Screenplay in a Television Drama (John Misto), Best Actor in a Television Drama (Aaron Blabey) and Best Actress in a Television Drama (Monica Maughan). While Masters, Misto and Maughan had all previously won AFI Awards, Blabey was a first-time nominee. Monica Maughan would achieve success over four decades. She had won the Hoyts Prize for Best Performance in 1971 for A City Chid and was nominated as Best Supporting Actress for Annie's Coming Out in 1984. After her win in 1994, she would receive a final nomination in 2007 for her work on The King.

Jack Thompson received the Raymond Longford Award for his outstanding contribution to Australian cinema.

John Hargreaves received the Byron Kennedy Award not only for the brilliance and daring of his acting but, in well-chosen words, “for his ability to inspire”. This was a memorable evening.

1994 Winners & Nominees





  • Lexmark Award for Best Documentary
  • Winner:

    50 Years Of Silence James Bradley, Ned Lander, Carol Ruff (Director)


    Eternity Lawrence Johnston (Director)
    The Last Magician Tracey Holloway, Liz Thompson (Director)
    Watch The Watch Malcolm McDonald (Director)

  • Best Short Animation Film
  • Winner:

    Gorgeous Kaz Cooke (Director)


    Muttaburrasaurus Grahame Binding, Norman Yeend (Director)
    The Junky's Christmas Nick Donkin (Director)
    Total Recession Durand Greig (Director)

  • Best Short Fiction Film
  • Winner:

    Only The Brave Ana Kokkinos (Director)


    Frailejon Joshua Yeldham (Director)
    Rosie's Secret Lisa Matthews (Director)
    Simple Polly Seddon (Director)

  • Best Screenplay in a Short Film
  • Winner:

    Only The Brave Ana Kokkinos, Mira Robertson


    Frailejon Joshua Yeldham
    Simple Polly Seddon
    The Silk Alison Lyssa

  • Kodak Award for Best Achievement in Cinematography in a Non-Feature Film
  • Winner:

    Eternity Dion Beebe


    Concrete Flesh Susan Thwaites
    El Angelito (The Little Angel) Tristan Milani
    Motherland Kriv Stenders

  • Best Achievement in Editing in a Non-Feature Film
  • Winner:

    Watch The Watch Suresh Ayyar


    Simple Nick Meyers
    The Junky's Christmas Joel Pront
    The Last Magician Stewart Young

  • Best Achievement in Sound in a Non-Feature Film
  • Winner:

    Universal Appliance Company Greg Fitzgerald, Peter Johnson, Andrew Lancaster


    Aeroplane Dance Bronwyn Murphy, Ronnie Reinhard, Peter Walker
    The Last Magician Steve Best, Ian Sherry, Peter Sullivan
    The Sewing Room Craig Carter, James Currie, Gretchen Thornburn
    Watch The Watch Michael Gissing, Peter Miller, Leo Sullivan



  • Palace/AFI Members Award for Best Foreign Film
  • Winner:

    Four Weddings And A Funeral Duncan Kenworthy


    Like Water For Chocolate Alfonso Arau
    Schindler's List Steven Spielberg
    In The Name Of The Father Jim Sheridan

  • Raymond Longford Award
  • Winner:

    Jack Thompson (Actor)

  • Byron Kennedy Award
  • Winner:

    John Hargreaves

  • Open Craft Award
  • Winner:

    Only The Brave (for Performance) Elena Mandalis


    Frailejon (for Innovation in Form) Joshua Yeldham
    Pram Factory (for Art Direction) Rey Carlson, Anna Grieve, James Manche
    The Last Magician (for Direction) Tracey Holloway, Liz Thompson

  • Young Actors Award (Television)
  • Winner:

    Sky Trackers (Seven Network) Zybch Trofimiuk



  • Best Children’s Television Drama
  • Winner:

    Sky Trackers - Episode 1, 'Skating The Dish' (Seven Network) Patricia Edgar, Margot McDonald


    Escape From Jupiter - Episode 6, 'Fitness Test' (ABC) Terry Jennings
    Escape From Jupiter - Episode 4, 'Decoy' (ABC) Terry Jennings
    Sky Trackers - Episode 17, 'Long Distance Call' (Seven Network) Patricia Edgar, Margot McDonald

  • Best Episode in a Television Drama Series
  • Winner:

    Heartland - Episode 7 (ABC) Bruce Best
    The Damnation Of Harvey McHugh - Episode 9, 'Hey, St Jude' (ABC) Sue Masters


    G.P., Series 6 - Episode 13, 'Double Bind' (ABC) Peter Andrikidis
    Police Rescue, Series 3 - Episode 12, 'Double Illusion' (ABC) Sandra Levy, John Edwards

  • AAV Award for Best Mini-Series or Telefeature
  • Winner:

    Under The Skin - Episode 5, 'The Long Ride' (SBS) Franco di Chiera


    The Battlers (Seven Network) Gus Howard
    Under The Skin - Episode 3, 'Grandma's Teeth' (SBS) Franco di Chiera
    Seventh Floor (Network Ten) John Sexton

  • Best Achievement in Direction in a Television Drama
  • Winner:

    Heartland - Episode 7 (ABC) Julian Pringle


    Under The Skin - Episode 3, 'Grandma's Teeth' (SBS) Belinda Chayko
    The Damnation Of Harvey McHugh - Episode 9, 'Hey, St Jude' (ABC) Geoffrey Nottage
    Police Rescue, Series 3 - Episode 12, 'The Last To Know' (ABC) Michael Carson

  • Best Screenplay in a Television Drama
  • Winner:

    The Damnation Of Harvey McHugh - Episode 9, 'Hey, St Jude' (ABC) John Misto


    Under The Skin - Episode 5, 'The Long Ride' (SBS) Tony Ayres
    G.P., Series 6 - Episode 13, 'Double Bind' (ABC) Kristen Dunphy
    Blue Heelers, Series 1 - Episode 27, 'Nowhere To Run' (Seven Network) Susan Hore

  • Beyond Television Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Television Drama
  • Winner:

    The Damnation Of Harvey McHugh - Episode 1, 'Spay Misty For Me' (ABC) Aaron Blabey


    G.P., Series 6 - Episode 8, 'Innocent Bystander' (ABC) Peter Kowitz
    Heartland - Episode 4 (ABC) Bradley Byquar
    Heartbreak High - Episode 14 (Network Ten) Hugh Baldwin
    Heartland - Episode 7 (ABC) Ernie Dingo

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

    The Damnation Of Harvey McHugh - Episode 3, 'My Brilliant Chorea' (ABC) Monica Maughan


    Under The Skin - Episode 5, 'The Long Ride' (SBS) Diana Lin
    G.P., Series 6 - Episode 13, 'Double Bind' (ABC) Sigrid Thornton
    The Battlers (Seven Network) Jacqueline McKenzie

  • Lemac Award for Best Television Documentary
  • Winner:

    So Help Me God (ABC) Jennifer Brockie


    No Death In Brunswick (SBS) Andrew Wiseman, Jack White
    Creative Spirits 2 - 'Lowering The Tone - 45 Years Of Robyn Archer' (ABC) Don Featherstone
    Black Angels: A Widening Vision (ABC) Jon Davy Tristram, I. James Wilson