AACTA Winners & Nominees

AFI Past winners

Of 16 nominated films in 1996, 13 received two or more nominations. The nominees for Best Film were Shine (12), Children Of The Revolution (9), Love & Other Catastrophes (5) and Mr Reliable (3). The other multiple nominees were Life (4), Cosi (3), Floating Life (3), Dead Heart (3), Brilliant Lies (3), Lilian's Story (2), What I Have Written (2), To Have And To Hold (2) and Love Serenade (2).

The awards were shared among four films. Lilian's Story had been nominated for Best Original Music (Cezary Skubiskewski) and in the category of Best Supporting Actress, which it won. This was Toni Collette’s third AFI Award nomination. She had been named Best Lead Actress for Muriel's Wedding in 1994 and followed up this year with her outstanding performance in Lilian's Story.

Cosi had been nominated in three categories – Best Editing (Nicholas Beauman), Best Supporting Actor (Barry Otto) and Best Adapted Screenplay (Louis Nowra). Its sole award went to Nowra, who had skilfully adapted his wonderful play.

The main competition to Shine came from Children Of The Revolution, and the film was successful in three categories. The award for Best Costume Design went to Terry Ryan, who had won this award in 1986 (Kangaroo) and in 1995 (Billy's Holiday). Production designer Roger Ford received his second award from four nominations after previous success with Flirting. Judy Davis was named Best Lead Actress. This was her sixth award from eight nominations.

Shine was victorious in nine categories and became the launching pad for many careers. The distinguished German actor Armin Mueller-Stahl was named Best Supporting Actor. The award for Best Original Music went to David Hirschfelder, for whom this nomination was his first. The award for Best Sound was given to a team that included veteran Roger Savage, for whom this was his tenth AFI Award from an impressive 19 nominations.

Pip Karmel, at her first nomination, won the award for Best Editing. Director of photography Geoffrey Simpson took home his second AFI Award. He had previously been successful with his work on The Navigator in 1988. Best Lead Actor Geoffrey Rush had appeared in four films before SHINE, mostly in small roles. This was his first nomination.

Jan Sardi’s success in the category of Best Original Screenplay followed nominations for Street Hero, Ground Zero and Halifax f.p. The film had been a labour of love over many years for director Scott Hicks, who won Best Direction. The award for Best Film went to producer Jane Scott, who had been previously nominated for Goodbye Paradise and The Boys From The Bush.

The 1996 awards were dominated in every sense by Shine. The film had enjoyed a remarkable success, first at Sundance and later at Fort Lauderdale, St Louis and Toronto. At the 1997 Academy Awards, Geoffrey Rush was named Best Lead Actor, with nominations going to Armin Mueller-Stahl, David Hirschfelder, Pip Karmel, Jan Sardi, Scott Hicks and Jane Scott.

There were also some major achievements in the non-feature and television categories. The award for Best Documentary, in an exceptional field, went to Gillian Armstrong for Not Fourteen Again. Armstrong had won Best Direction for her debut feature My Brilliant Career and had been nominated for High Tide and The Last Days Of Chez Nous. Best Cinematography in a Non-Feature Film went to Mandy Walker for Parklands. Ray Thomas’ work in Rats In The Ranks won him Best Editing in a Non-Feature Film. Best Short Fiction Film went to Richard Frankland for his memorable debut work No Way To Forget.

Since her debut, Claudia Karvan had been nominated as Best Supporting Actress for High Tide (1987) and as Best Lead Actress for The Big Steal (1990), Redheads (1992), Broken Highway (1993) and Dating The Enemy (1996). It was her performance in an episode of GP this year that led to her first award win (Best Actress in a Television Drama). The other major television awards went to Blue Murder, which remains a milestone in Australian television history. Awards went to Tony Martin (Best Actor in a Television Drama), Ian David (Best Screenplay in a Television Drama), Michael Jenkins (Best Direction in a Television Drama) and Rod Allan (Best Mini-Series or Telefeature).

Laura Jones was the recipient of the Byron Kennedy Award for her consistent and passionate pursuit of excellence. The Raymond Longford Award was not presented this year.

1996 Winners & Nominees







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

    Fargo Ethan Cohen


    Burnt By The Sun Nikita Mikhalkov, Michael Seydoux
    Dead Man Walking Tim Robbins, Jon Kilik, Rudd Simmons
    Trainspotting Andrew Macdonald

  • Byron Kennedy Award
  • Winner:

    Laura Jones

  • Open Craft Award
  • Winner:

    Rhythms Of Life (for Special Effects) Andrew Davies-Coward, Mark Lamble, Simon Kerwin, Mike Carroll


    Here I Sit (for Innovation in Form) Alyson Bell
    The Existentialist Cowboy's Last Stand (for Visual Design) Michael Rowland
    The Mini-Skirted Dynamo (for Script) Rivka Hartman

  • Holding Redlich Young Actor's Award
  • Winner:

    Mirror, Mirror Petra Jared