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:: Spotlight :: 5th AACTA International Awards

By: Carmine Pascuzzi

The Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) announced that 17 films have received nominations for the 5th AACTA International Awards, recognising excellence across seven categories - Best Film, Best Direction, Best Screenplay, Best Lead Actor, Best Lead Actress, Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress.

Capturing lesbian love in 1950s New York, Todd Haynes’ CAROL leads the nominations with five nods. Nominated for Best Film, Best Direction and Best Screenplay, CAROL also sees Rooney Mara nominated for Best Supporting Actress, and Cate Blanchett nominated for Best Lead Actress, following SAG and Golden Globe award nods for both performers. CAROL marks the second collaboration between Haynes and Blanchett, with Blanchett receiving an Oscar nomination in 2008 for her role in Haynes’ unconventional journey into the life and times of Bob Dylan, I’M NOT THERE.

THE BIG SHORT - the story of four outsiders tackling the big banks in the wake of the mid-2000s housing bubble collapse - follows with four nominations, including Best Film and Best Direction for Adam McKay. Also competing alongside CAROL and THE BIG SHORT for Best Film and Best Direction are George Miller’s dystopian Road War MAD MAX: FURY ROAD (hot off the back of its wins in both categories at AACTA’s domestic Awards in Sydney last month), and Alejandro González Iñárritu’s 1820s quest for survival on a fur trade expedition, THE REVENANT. Iñárritu won in both categories at the 4th AACTA International Awards for BIRDMAN.

MAD MAX: FURY ROAD and THE REVENANT received three nominations each, as did STEVE JOBS and THE MARTIAN, which rounds out the nominees for Best Direction with a nod for Ridley Scott. SPOTLIGHT, the true story of The Boston Globe’s role in uncovering the massive scandal of child abuse and cover up by the Catholic Church, rounds out the five Best Film nominees, and is also nominated for Best Screenplay alongside CAROL, EX MACHINA, THE MARTIAN and STEVE JOBS.

Winners of the 5th AACTA International Awards will be announced at an exclusive event in Los Angeles on 29 January 2016.

AFI | AACTA CEO, Damian Trewhella, said: "Now in our fifth year, the AACTA International Awards add a unique Australian voice to the international discussion of screen excellence. On the one hand, our young Academy’s Awards have become a reliable early forecaster of which performers, practitioners and productions will be recognised by our international peers via the Oscars and the BAFTAs. On the other hand, as our Chapter members are almost all Australians, they add a uniquely Australian perspective to the conversation, clearly evident this year, with a number of nominations for outstanding Australians who have excelled on the international stage, who we are very proud to count among our nominees. We're delighted to celebrate international excellence in LA each year at the AACTA International Awards Ceremony, which has quickly become a respected annual industry meet-up; a place to do business, as well as an opportunity to connect with colleagues and peers in celebration of excellence. We congratulate all nominees, and wish them every success during this dynamic Awards season.”

The AACTA International Awards will be telecast in Australia exclusively on Foxtel. The full show will be telecast on Sunday 31 January at 7:30pm on Foxtel Arts, and at 9:30pm on Arena.

5TH AACTA INTERNATIONAL AWARDS NOMINEES

AACTA International Award for Best Film
THE BIG SHORT
CAROL
MAD MAX: FURY ROAD
THE REVENANT
SPOTLIGHT

AACTA International Award for Best Direction
THE BIG SHORT - Adam McKay
CAROL - Todd Haynes
MAD MAX: FURY ROAD - George Miller
THE MARTIAN - Ridley Scott
THE REVENANT - Alejandro González Iñárritu

AACTA International Award for Best Screenplay
CAROL - Phyllis Nagy
EX MACHINA - Alex Garland
THE MARTIAN - Drew Goddard
SPOTLIGHT - Tom McCarthy & Josh Singer
STEVE JOBS - Aaron Sorkin

AACTA International Award for Best Lead Actor
Steve Carell - THE BIG SHORT
Matt Damon - THE MARTIAN
Leonardo DiCaprio - THE REVENANT
Michael Fassbender - STEVE JOBS
Eddie Redmayne - THE DANISH GIRL

AACTA International Award for Best Lead Actress
Cate Blanchett - CAROL
Emily Blunt - SICARIO
Brie Larson - ROOM
Saoirse Ronan - BROOKLYN
Charlize Theron - MAD MAX: FURY ROAD

AACTA International Award for Best Supporting Actor
Christian Bale - THE BIG SHORT
Paul Dano - LOVE AND MERCY
Benicio del Toro - SICARIO
Joel Edgerton - BLACK MASS
Mark Rylance - BRIDGE OF SPIES

AACTA International Award for Best Supporting Actress
Judy Davis - THE DRESSMAKER
Jennifer Jason Leigh - THE HATEFUL EIGHT
Rooney Mara - CAROL
Alicia Vikander - THE DANISH GIRL
Kate Winslet - STEVE JOBS