AACTA Winners & Nominees

AFI Past winners

With 14 nominations, Gettin' Square equalled the long-standing record set by Newsfront in 1978. The other candidates in the Best Film category were Japanese Story with 10 nominations, Alexandra's Project (5) and The Rage In Placid Lake (4).

The other multiple nominees were Ned Kelly (9), Travelling Light (4), The Night We Called It A Day (3), Black And White (2), Crackerjack (2) and Teesh And Trude (2).

David Ngoombujarra was named Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Black And White. He had won in this category ten years earlier for Blackfellas.

Sacha Horler was named Best Supporting Actress for her performance in Travelling Light. This was her third award from four nominations in the feature film category. She was also nominated this year in the television awards for her performance in Grass Roots.

Ned Kelly won two technical awards. Steven Jones-Evans won in the category of Best Production Design - his second award from five nominations. The award for Best Costume Design went to Anna Borghesi, following nominations for her work on Romper Stomper, Body Melt, Metal Skin, Love Serenade, The Well and Head On.

The Rage In Placid Lake won in the category of Best Adapted Screenplay. The award went to Tony McNamara, who adapted his own play The Cafe Latte Kid.

Gettin' Square, which was nominated in thirteen categories, received only one, but richly deserved award when David Wenham was named Best Lead Actor. Since winning an AFI Award for his work in the mini-series Simone De Beauvoir's Babies, Wenham had received a second television nomination for SeaChange. He had four previous feature film nominations as Best Actor for The Boys, Better Than SexThe Bank and Molokai: The Story Of Father Damien.

The remaining acting award, Best Lead Actress, went to Toni Collette for Japanese Story. It was her fourth award from five nominations. Japanese Story received another seven awards. Best Sound went to a team that included Livia Ruzic, who had won twice in the non-feature category and had shared this award for her work on Ground Zero, Muriel's Wedding and Shine. Elizabeth Drake won in the category of Best Original Music. She had been nominated previously for Road To Nhill and My Life Without Steve in the category of Best Sound in a Non-Feature Film.

Jill Bilcock’s award for Best Editing was her fourth from seven nominations. Ian Baker took home the award for Best Cinematography. He had won this award in 1976 for The Devil's Playground and had been nominated for The Chant Of Jimmie Blacksmith.

Alison Tilson accepted the award for Best Original Screenplay and also won a special screenwriting prize. This was her second nomination after Road To Nhill. Director Sue Brooks, who won Best Direction, was a first-time nominee. The award for Best Film was shared by Sue Maslin, Sue Brooks and Alison Tilson. Like Tilson, Maslin was receiving her second nomination, in her case after Thanks Girls And Goodbye.

Some of the successes in the non-feature category were mirrored overseas. Harvie Krumpet won Best Short Animation. It was the fourth time Adam Elliot received this award. In 2004, Harvie Krumpet would win the Academy Award in this category.

Best Short Fiction Film and Best Screenplay in a Short Film went to Glendyn Ivin for Crackerbag, which was also nominated for Best Editing in a Non-Feature Film and Best Cinematography in a Non-Feature Film. In May 2003, Crackerbag had won the Palme D’Or at Cannes for Best Short Film.

In the television category, After The Deluge won three major awards. Essie Davis was named Best Supporting Actress in a Television Drama. She had been previously nominated for an episode of Halifax f.p and also for her work in the feature film Dad And Dave: On Our Selection. Brendan Maher won Best Direction in a Television Drama. This was his third award from four nominations. After The Deluge also took home Best Mini-Series or Telefeature. Two of the producers, Richard Keddie and Andrew Wiseman, had shared the same award in 2001 for My Brother Jack.

MDA was the major winner among television drama series. Shane Bourne was named Best Lead Actor in a Television Drama. He had previously been nominated in 2002 for his work in this series. MDA also took the award for Best Lead Actress in a Television Drama when Angie Milliken won her second AFI Award from three nominations. Denny Lawrence received the award for Best Television Drama Series. He had shared an award for Best Screenplay with Bob Ellis for Goodbye Paradise.

Geoffrey Atherden won the award for Best Screenplay in a Television Drama with By-Election - an episode of Grass Roots. He had previously won an award and been nominated for his work on another episode of this series in 2000. The award for Best Supporting Actor in a Television Drama went to John Clayton for this same episode, which marked his final screen appearance. He had been nominated as Best Lead Actor eighteen years earlier for Unfinished Business.

The Byron Kennedy Award went to Dion Beebe for “his unique and daring eye used through a wide range of styles”, from the documentary Eternity, to the films of Jane Campion and Gillian Armstrong, through to the Academy Award-winning Chicago.

Ted Robinson received the Raymond Longford Award to mark his four decades of achievement as producer, director and writer. His credits included Aunty Jack, The Big GigDAAS Kapital, Good News Week and The Glass House.

2003 Winners & Nominees







  • AFI Award for Best Foreign Film
  • Winner:

    Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers Peter Jackson, Barrie M. Osborne, Fran Walsh


    Bowling For Columbine Charles Bishop, Jim Czarnecki, Michael Donovan, Kathleen Glynn, Michael Moore
    The Hours Robert Fox, Scott Rudin
    Whale Rider John Barnett, Frank Hübner, Tim Sanders

  • AFI Longford Life Achievement Award
  • Winner:

    Ted Robinson (Writer / Producer / Director / Choreographer)

  • Byron Kennedy Award
  • Winner:

    Dion Beebe

  • AFI Global Achievement Award
  • Winner:

    Geoffrey Rush

  • AFI Award for Open Craft in a Non-Feature Film
  • Winner:

    The Brotherhood (for Excellence in Research and Innovative Story-Telling) Terry Carlyon


    Cold Turkey (for Acting) John Moore
    Love Letters From A War (for Dramatisation) Wain Fimeri
    Preservation (for Production and Costume Design) Margot Wilson, Elizabeth Mary Moore

  • AFI Open Craft Award in Television
  • Winner:

    John Safran's Music Jamboree (for Original and Innovative Programme Concept) (SBS) John Safran


    After The Deluge (for Original Music) (Network Ten) Cezary Skubiszewski
    Big Bite (for Creative Make-Up) (Seven Network) Peta Hastings, Karchi Maygar, Natalie Vincentich
    Bootleg (for Cinematography) (BBC) Craig Barden ACS

  • AFI Young Actors Award
  • Winner:

    Don't Blame The Koalas (ABC) Liam Hess


    After The Deluge (Network Ten) Emily Browning
    Teesh And Trude (SBS) Mason Richardson

  • Harper's Bazaar AFI Screenwriting Prize
  • Winner:

    Alison Tilson