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Russell Crowe and Nicole Kidman announced as new Leaders of Australian Academy

23 November

Two of Australia’s most acclaimed performers will lead the nation’s top screen entertainment body, with Russell Crowe today announced as the President of the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA), joined by Nicole Kidman as Vice President.

Both Crowe and Kidman have amassed recognition of the highest order at home and abroad over the last 30 years, beginning with their first Australian Film Institute Awards – now known as the AACTA Awards – in 1991 and 1987 respectively.

Since then, Crowe and Kidman have received Oscar, BAFTA and Golden Globe awards for their work internationally, while also continuing to work on Australian productions.

Crowe’s local productions include 2015’s The Water Diviner, which marked his directorial debut and received five AACTA Awards, including Best Film, while he also performed in Boy Erased and most recently True History of The Kelly Gang.

Kidman’s performances in Australian productions over the last decade include Top of The Lake, Lion and Boy Erased, all of which earned her AACTA Awards.

Nicole is also currently filming an adaptation of Liane Moriarty’s novel Nine Perfect Strangers in Australia, following the success of the Big Little Lies adaptation, which saw Kidman receive Emmy Awards for performance and producing.  

Both Crowe and Kidman have been instrumental to growing AACTA internationally since the Australian Film Institute embarked on its historic transformation 10 years ago to raise the Australian screen industry’s profile internationally, and spur business, sales and job opportunities at home and abroad.

AACTA CEO Damian Trewhella said he was delighted to formalise Crowe and Kidman’s connections with Australia’s top screen body, given the impact of their support over the last 10 years.

“The support of Russell Crowe and Nicole Kidman has been integral to AACTA’s growth over the last decade, helping us to achieve record industry and audience growth and engagement in Australia and internationally.

“From charting brave new territory by hosting the inaugural AACTA International Awards in L.A. in 2012, to hosting AACTA Awards events in Sydney and China – while also leading the AACTA Asia International Awards as Jury President – Russell has been with us each step of the way. 

“Similarly, Nicole has presented at and supported many of our events in Sydney and L.A. over the last 10 years, increasing our profile and helping to garner new audiences for Australian content.   

“Naturally tenacious and talented, Russell and Nicole have both received recognition from the world’s top screen bodies, with their first AFI Awards helping to launch their international careers – a path which AACTA is fostering for Australia’s next generation of talent, and which will benefit immensely from the support of our new Presidential team.

“As the screen industry continues to evolve, so too does AACTA. With an ambitious vision to further embrace the expanding world of content, storytelling and new platforms, we require a new era of leadership, which we know Russell Crowe and Nicole Kidman will bring, opening an exciting new chapter for our industry and for the Australian Academy,” Trewhella said. 

AACTA President Russell Crowe said: “It’s an incredible honour to be asked to serve as AACTA President. I want to refocus our politicians, of all persuasions, on the power and reach of our local screen industry”

“I’ll be working on encouraging the government to give Australian producers the fiscal tools they need to be globally competitive, while simultaneously fostering local talent and magnetising the industry to attract international productions.

“We need to grow our membership in every area of the industry and encourage people who work in film and television and people who love film and television to get involved with their Academy.

“I’m doubly honoured that Nicole is going to stand with me. I think we will make a good team. She’s pretty hard to say no to.”

AACTA Vice President Nicole Kidman said: “I’ve always been so proud of the Australian screen industry and what it continues to achieve globally. I’m looking forward to playing a role in setting a tone and a platform for future success.”

New South Wales Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres said the appointments were significant for the future of Australian screen industries.

“To have two of NSW’s most acclaimed performers, Russell Crowe and Nicole Kidman, lead the Academy into the future, there is no doubt that great things will be achieved in the realm of Australian screen in Sydney, the state and across Australia.

With Sydney being the celebrated home of the AACTA Awards, the NSW Government is proud to support our creative industries including television and film production through long-standing partnerships and targeted funding programs.

It’s fantastic to have Nicole working on her upcoming production of Liane Moriarty’s Nine Perfect Strangers right here in NSW, and Russell made his directorial debut for The Water Diviner in this great state also. As industry leaders they demonstrate how Sydney and NSW is the perfect base for creative, and screen, endeavours encouraging others to follow suit,” Ayres said.


The AACTA Awards are supported by the NSW Government through its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW.

AACTA’s Best of the Decade: Australia Decides is a reimagined broadcast celebrating a decade of Australian screen and highlights from the 2020 AACTA Awards presented by Foxtel Ceremony will be on Channel Seven, Wednesday 2 December at 8.30pm AEDT and encore on Foxtel Arts, Sunday 6 December at 9.30pm AEDT.


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