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:: Spotlight :: Winners of the 2005 L'Oreal Paris AFI Awards

By: Carmine Pascuzzi

The Australian Film Institute (AFI) staged its annual L'Oreal Paris AFI Awards last weekend. From the enthusiastic lead-up came a two-tiered ceremony, held at the Docklands Century City Studios and Waterfront City. With a new event manager and renewed spark amongst the AFI organisation, the event showed that, while a couple of things need to be worked on, the format can work to the satisfaction of sponsors and a potentially bigger television audience.

The kingpin behind a possible resurgence is Russell Crowe. He hosted both the Craft Awards (Friday night) and AFI Awards proper (Saturday night) and was determined to stop with the petty antics that guest presenters and some recipients often display. It was straight down to business with Russell presenting the majority of the awards himself. It enabled the show to run fairly smoothly and at a good pace. I don't know how it looked on the Nine Network's television coverage but the grounding looks to have been set for the future. I suggest the AFI appoint Russell Crowe as its long-term host of the awards ceremony. The other thought was that the first night be given to television and the film awards all together on the main night. That way, no less importance is attached to those who contribute to the making of a film.

As for the winners, ‘Look Both Ways’ won Best Feature Film and its director Sarah Watt took our Best Director and Best Original Screenplay in her first feature film. The other big winners were ‘Little Fish’ with three major acting awards - Hugo Weaving (Best Lead Actor), Cate Blanchett (Best Lead Actress) and Noni Hazlehurst (Best Supporting Actress). Best Supporting Actor went to Anthony Hayes for ‘Look Both Ways’. Robert Connolly and Elliot Perlman won Best Adapted Screenplay for the film Three Dollars. ‘The Proposition’ won four of the Craft Awards on the preceding night, including Best Original Score for Nick Cave and Warren Ellis.

There were some interesting acceptance speeches with Connolly and Perlman, from their Three Dollars experience, showing the potential damage that the Federal Government's Industrial Relations policy can have on society if allowed to be passed as legislation. Overall, there was significant improvement in the staging of the AFI Awards and the right steps have been taken. Hopefully, this is something that can sustained in the future.

The winners at the 2005 AFI Awards - film component:

Best Film - LOOK BOTH WAYS

Best Lead Actor - HUGO WEAVING for LITTLE FISH

Best Lead Actress - CATE BLANCHETT for LITTLE FISH

Best Direction - SARAH WATT for LOOK BOTH WAYS

Best Original Screenplay - SARAH WATT for LOOK BOTH WAYS

Best Adapted Screenplay - ROBERT CONNOLLY, ELLIOT PERLMAN for THREE DOLLARS

Best Supporting Actress - NONI HAZLEHURST for LITTLE FISH

Best Supporting Actor - ANTHONY HAYES for LOOK BOTH WAYS

Best Editing - ALEXANDRE DE FRANCESCHI, JOHN SCOTT for LITTLE FISH

Best Original Music Score - NICK CAVE, WARREN ELLIS for THE PROPOSITION

Best Production Design - CHRIS KENNEDY for THE PROPOSITION

Best Costume Design - MARGOT WILSON for THE PROPOSITION

Best Sound - SAM PETTY, PETER GRACE, ROBERT SULLIVAN, YULIA AKERHOLT for LITTLE FISH

Best Cinematography - BENOIT DELHOMME for THE PROPOSITION

International Award For Best Actor - RUSSELL CROWE for CINDERELLA MAN

International Award For Best Actress - EMILY BROWNING for LEMONY SNICKET'S A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS

International Award For Excellence in Filmmaking - ROGER SAVAGE for THE HOUSE OF FLYING DAGGERS

Byron Kennedy Award - CHRIS KENNEDY

Longford Life Achievement Award - RAY BARRETT

Readers' Choice Award - CATE BLANCHETT

Young Actor Award - SOPHIE LUCK for BLUE WATER HIGH.

Here are pictures from the Red Carpet and Media Rooms.

Best Director went to Look Both Ways' Sarah Watt Best Film went to Look Both Ways - producer Bridget Ikin
Award winner Claudia Karvan one of the special guests was Radha Mitchell
Award winner John Safan (middle) and friends Melissa George
Lifetime Achievement winner Ray Barrett Richard Roxburgh and wife
Susie Porter Geoffrey Rush
Best Actress nominee Saskia Burmeister Award winner Emily Browning
Award winner John Safran Pia Miranda
Best Actor winner Hugo Weaving Awards host Russell Crowe sang a couple of songs