AACTA Awards

Byron Kennedy Award

The Byron Kennedy Award celebrates outstanding creative enterprise within the film and television industries. Determined annually by an appointed jury, the Award is given to an individual or organisation whose work embodies innovation and the relentless pursuit of excellence.

Presented by Kennedy Miller Mitchell in association with AACTA, the Award honours Dr George Miller's original filmmaking partner and MAD MAX co-creator Byron Kennedy, and includes a cash prize of $10,000.

Byron Kennedy Award recipients are dynamic and diverse. They include: filmmaker and film festival founder John Poulson; award-winning filmmaking duo Baz Luhrmann and Catherine Martin; cutting edge film technology/computer graphic imaging experts Animal Logic; multidisciplinary filmmaker Ivan Sen; cinematographer Adam Arkapaw; acclaimed virtual reality artist and filmmaker Lynette Wallworth; Oscar®-nominated collaborative filmmakers Martin Butler and Bentley Dean; and, most recently, Award-winning filmmaker, photographer and philanthropist Ian Darling AO, who is also the founder of Shark Island Institute, Good Pitch Australia and the Documentary Australia Foundation, with all of whom he shares the Award.

For a full list of Byron Kennedy recipients, click here.


Roger Savage was the recipient of the inaugural Byron Kennedy Award in 1984 for his innovative and pioneering work in film and television sound. Since then, the award has gone on to celebrate the outstanding achievements of some of Australia's most talented screen practitioners. We look forward to being able to continue honouring the bright and diverse talent in our industry.



Jane Campion

for her innovative, highly individual and uncompromising work in writing, producing and directing a body of outstanding films and television programmes which have gained recognition both in Australia and overseas.



Alison Barrett

one of Australia’s foremost casting agents.

Arthur Cambridge

colour grader of at least 300 Australian feature films, which is more than half of the Australian industry’s output since the early 1970s.



Baz Luhrmann & Catherine Martin

for their process of ‘Total Filmmaking’. Never conventional, they immerse the whole team, from actor to editor, in experimentation and pre-visualisation. In this way, they evolve a comprehensive aesthetic which informs everything, from the concept to poster, with flair. The results, always groundbreaking, speak for themselves.



Rachel Perkins

for her vast amount and breadth of her work as writer, director, producer, executive producer and instigator across drama, documentary and television; for her dynamism and creativity; for her outstanding ability to inspire others and work collaboratively; and for her passionate championing of indigenous filmmaking and filmmakers.



Curtis Levy

for his dedication to the art of documentary over the past twenty-five years and his continued questioning of the status quo. A modest and courageous man who has directed and produced films of great relevance, technical skill and humanity; from his award-winning films THE PRESIDENT VERSUS DAVID HICKS and HEPHZIBAH to SONS OF NAMATJIRA.



Animal Logic

for aesthetic and technical excellence in computer graphic imaging. Under the stewardship of Zareh Nalbandian, this visual effects house has risen with the digital revolution to become one of the world’s leading facilities.



Adam Arkapaw

for his pursuit of excellence and devotion to the art of cinematography. His work, already acknowledged as virtuosic and innovative, is always in the service of the story.



Lynette Wallworth

for her innovative use of virtual reality and her tireless work pushing the boundaries of screen, using emerging technologies and visionary artistic media to engage audiences around the world in new, innovative experiences.



Martin Butler & Bentley Dean

in recognition of their ten-year low-tech partnership which has focused on genuine collaboration with Indigenous communities to produce some of the most emotionally compelling stories ever seen on screen.


Thanks to the generous support of our 
partners and sponsors.


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