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:: Spotlight :: 2007 L'Oreal Paris AFI Awards

By: Anna Kosmanovski / Carmine Pascuzzi; photos by Diane Kitanoski

After months of speculation, plans for the L’Oréal Paris 2007 AFI Awards, to be held in Melbourne on December 5-6, are now confirmed. The Australian Film Institute and the producer of the AFI Awards, Paul Dainty of Dainty Consolidated Entertainment, have announced the full plans for the AFI Awards season this year, which is now in full swing. Details include:
L’Oréal Paris AFI Australian Screenings
August 17 to September 16, 2007

The L’Oréal Paris 2007 AFI Australian Screenings will present all 15 feature films in this year’s AFI Awards competition, in addition to the 12 non-feature films nominated for Best Documentary, Best Short Fiction Film and Best Short Animation.

Gala Opening Nights
Sydney - Friday, August 17 - Cinema Paris, Entertainment Quarter
Melbourne - Monday, August 20 - Palace Cinema Como
Hobart - Wednesday, August 22 - State Cinema
Brisbane - Friday, August 24 - Palace Centro Cinemas
Canberra - Monday, August 27 - Australian War Memorial
Adelaide - Wednesday, August 29 - Palace Eastend Cinemas
Perth - Friday, August 31 - Palace Cinema Paradiso

L’Oréal Paris AFI Awards Nominations Announcement
Wednesday, October 24 2007

Nominations in all categories including feature film, non-feature film and television will be formally announced in Sydney.

L’Oréal Paris AFI Industry Awards
Wednesday, December 5, 2007 - Melbourne Exhibition Centre
Now in its third year, the Industry Awards turns the spotlight on the people we don’t see on screen, including our cinematographers, editors, production designers, sound and costume designers. It has quickly developed into a must-attend night of fabulous industry celebration and essential end-of-year networking.

L’Oréal Paris AFI Awards Dinner
Thursday, December 6, 2007 - Melbourne Exhibition Centre
The AFI Awards Dinner will be broadcast nationally on the Nine Network and will again be hosted by Academy Award winner Geoffrey Rush, two major co-hosts (to be announced!) and a cavalcade of screen stars, industry heavyweights and top music performances. It will once again be Australian screen culture’s night of nights!

There are 15 feature films entered into the L'Oréal Paris 2007 AFI Awards and this year’s entries include a rich and highly diverse line-up of Australian productions. They are The Bet, Burke & Wills, Clubland, Dr Plonk, The Final Winter, Gone, The Home Song Stories, Irresistible, Like Minds, Lucky Miles, Noise, Razzle Dazzle, Rogue, Romulus, My Father and West. Each of these films will be on show at the L'Oréal Paris AFI Australian Screenings.

Executive Producer of the L'Oréal Paris 2007 AFI Awards Paul Dainty said, “We are just so proud to be part of the L'Oréal Paris 2007 AFI Awards. There is no question that these awards are our film and television industries’ premier and most glamorous awards. Our goal is to share the prestige, celebration and excitement of the AFI Awards with the largest possible television audience, while ensuring the experience for our live audience is absolutely first class.”

The L'Oréal Paris 2007 AFI Awards will be broadcast nationally on the Nine Network at 9.30pm on Thursday, December 6, and will feature the half hour L'Oréal Paris Red Carpet Arrivals, directly followed by the awards ceremony.

Also in its third year will be the News Limited AFI Readers’ Choice Award whereby the Australian public will be able to participate in the AFI Awards by SMS and online voting for their favourite actor or actress from a feature film or television program.

The AFI will be hosting ‘State of the Nation’ Forums in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth. James Hewison, AFI CEO and AFI Award winning filmmaker Rolf de Heer will lead the panel discussion with filmmakers and industry representatives on the subject: ‘Upstream or Downstream: Currents in Australian Cinema’

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**L’Oréal Paris 2007 AFI Awards Nominations**

L’Oréal Paris AFI Award for Best Film
The Home Song Stories – Liz Watts & Michael McMahon
Lucky Miles – Jo Dyer & Lesley Dyer
Noise – Trevor Blainey
Romulus, My Father – Robert Connolly & John Maynard

AFI Award for Best Direction
Clubland – Cherie Nowlan
The Home Song Stories – Tony Ayres
Noise – Matthew Saville
Romulus, My Father – Richard Roxburgh

AFI International Award for Best Actress
Rachel Griffiths – Brothers & Sisters (Seven Network)
Rose Byrne – Damages (Nine Network)
Jacinda Barrett – The Last Kiss
Toni Collette – Little Miss Sunshine

AFI International Award for Best Actor
Eric Bana - Lucky You
Julian McMahon - Nip/Tuck (Nine Network)
Hugh Jackman - The Prestige
Dominic Purcell - Prison Break (Seven Network)

L’Oréal Paris AFI Young Actor Award
Irene Chen – The Home Song Stories
Joel Lok – The Home Song Stories
Corey McKernan – Lockie Leonard (Nine Network)
Kodi Smit-McPhee – Romulus, My Father

Macquarie Private Wealth AFI Award for Best Screenplay (Original or Adapted)
Clubland – Keith Thompson
The Home Song Stories – Tony Ayres
Lucky Miles – Helen Barnes & Michael James Rowland
Noise – Matthew Saville
Romulus, My Father – Nick Drake

AFI Award for Best Cinematography
Clubland – Mark Wareham ACS
The Home Song Stories - Nigel Bluck
Noise – Laszlo Baranyai ACS
Romulus, My Father – Geoffrey Simpson ACS

AFI Award for Best Editing
Clubland – Scott Gray
The Home Song Stories – Denise Haratzis ASE
Noise – Geoff Hitchins
Romulus, My Father – Suresh Ayyar ASE

AFI Award for Best Sound
Clubland – Andrew Neil, Ian McLoughlin CAS, Liam Egan & Stephen Jackson-Vaughan
The Home Song Stories – Craig Carter, James Harvey, Andrew Neil & John Wilkinson
Noise – Emma Bortignon, Doron Kipen & Philippe Decrausaz
Romulus, My Father – Sam Petty, Gary Wilkins CAS & Phil Heywood

AFI Award for Best Original Music Score
The Home Song Stories – Antony Partos
Noise – Bryony Marks
Razzle Dazzle – Roger Mason & Green Dragon
Romulus, My Father – Basil Hogios

AFI Award for Best Production Design
Clubland – Nell Hanson
The Home Song Stories – Melinda Doring
Noise – Paddy Reardon
Romulus, My Father – Robert Cousins

AFI Award for Best Costume Design
Clubland – Emily Seresin
The Home Song Stories – Cappi Ireland
Razzle Dazzle – Ariane Weiss
Romulus, My Father – Jodie Fried

AFI Award for Best Lead Actor
Qi Yuwu – The Home Song Stories
Brendan Cowell – Noise
Eric Bana - Romulus, My Father
Kodi Smit-McPhee – Romulus, My Father

AFI Award for Best Lead Actress
Brenda Blethyn – Clubland
Joan Chen – The Home Song Stories
Kerry Armstrong – Razzle Dazzle
Franka Potente – Romulus, My Father

AFI Award for Best Supporting Actor
Frankie J. Holden - Clubland
Richard Wilson – Clubland
Marton Csokas – Romulus, My Father
Russell Dykstra – Romulus, My Father

AFI Award for Best Supporting Actress
Sibylla Budd – The Bet
Emma Booth - Clubland
Irene Chen – The Home Song Stories
Esme Melville – Romulus, My Father

NON-FEATURE NOMINEES

AFI Award for Best Documentary
4 – Joanna Buggy, Tim Slade
Forbidden Lie$ - Sally Regan & Anna Broinowski
Global Haywire – Claude Gonzalez
Words from the City- Philippa Campey

AFI Award for Best Direction in a Documentary
Crude – Richard Smith
Forbidden Lie$ - Anna Broinowski
Global Haywire – Bruce Petty
Words from the City- Rhys Graham & Natasha Gadd

AFI Award for Best Cinematography in a Documentary
4 – Pieter de Vries ACS
Cuttlefish - The Brainy Bunch – Malcom Ludgate ACS, Joel Peterson & Scott Carrithers
Thunderheads – Klaus Toft, Cameron Davies & Mark Lamble ACS
Words from the City- Rhys Graham & Natasha Gadd

AFI Award for Best Editing in a Documentary
Cuttlefish- The Brainy Bunch – Carsten Orlt
Forbidden Lie$ - Vanessa Milton & Alison Croft
Global Haywire – Sam Petty
Words from the City – Paul Williams

AFI Award for Best Sound in a Documentary
Cuttlefish- The Brainy Bunch – Sam Hayward
Forbidden Lie$ - Peter Smith & Craig Carter
Global Haywire – Sam Petty
Words from the City – Peter Smith & Emma Bortignon

AFI Award for Best Short Animation
An Imaginary Life - Steve Baker
The Bat and the Butterfly (Dust Echoes 2)- Michael Wagner & Dave Jones
The Girl Who Swallowed Bees- Justine Kerrigan & Paul McDermott
The Goat That Ate Time – Lucinda Schreiber

AFI Award for Best Short Fiction Film
Boy’s Own Story – Michael Petroni & Jamie Hilton
Dugong – Melanie Brunt & Erin White
Spike Up – Anthony Maras & Kent Smith
Swing - Louise Pascale & Christopher Houghton

AFI Award for Best Screenplay in a Short Film
Boy’s Own Story – Michael Petroni
Crossbow – David Michod
Dugong - Erin White
Katoomba – Leon Ford

TELEVISION NOMINEES

AFI Award for Best Children’s Television Drama
The Adventures of Bottle Top Bill – Jacqueline Chan & Noel Price (ABC)
I Got a Rocket – Suzanne Ryan (Network Ten)
Lockie Leonard – Kylie du Fresne (Nine Network)
The Sleepover Club – Susie Campbell (Nine Network)

AFI Award for Best Television Comedy Series
The Chaser’s War on Everything – Andy Nehl, Julian Morrow & Jo Wathen (ABC)
David Tench Tonight – Todd Abbott (Network Ten)
Supernova – David Maher & David Taylor (UKTV)
Wilfred – Jenny Livingston (SBS)

AFI Award for Best Television Drama Series
All Saints – Bill Hughes & MaryAnne Carroll(SevenNetwork)
Dangerous – John Edwards & Imogen Banks (Fox)
Love My Way – John Edwards & Claudia Karvan (Showtime)

AFI Award for Best Light Entertainment Television Series
The New Inventors – Anita Jorgensen & Jo Wathen (ABC)
RocKwiz – Brian Nankervis, Ken Connor, Peter Bain-Hogg & Joe Connor (SBS)
The Sideshow with Paul McDermott – Ted Robinson, Pam Swain & Megan Harding (ABC)
Spicks and Specks – Anthony Watt & Bruce Kane (ABC)

AFI Award for Best Telefeature or Mini Series
Bastard Boys – Brett Popplewell & Ray Quint (ABC)
The Circuit – Ross Hutchens & Colin South (SBS)
The King – Jason Stephens (TV1)

AFI Award for Best Direction in Television
Bastard Boys – Ray Quint (ABC)
The Circuit: Home Is Where the Past Is – Richard Frankland (SBS)
The King – Matthew Saville (TV1)
Lockie Leonard: Cyril – Tony Tilse (Nine Network)
Wilfred: Dogs of War – Tony Rogers (SBS)

AFI Award for Best Screenplay in Television
Bastard Boys – Sue Smith (ABC)
The Circuit: Home Is Where the Past Is – Kelly Lefever (SBS)
Lockie Leonard: The Ladder of Love – Keith Thompson (Nine Network)
Love My Way: Cars Without Brakes – Tony McNamara (Showtime)

AFI Award for Best Lead Actor in a Television Drama
Daniel Frederiksen – Bastard Boys (ABC)
Khan Chittenden – Dangerous (Fox
Stephen Curry – The King (TV1)
Ben Mendelsohn – Love My Way (Showtime)

AFI Award for Best Lead Actress in a Television Drama
Catherine McClements – Call Me Mum (SBS)
Tammy Clarkson – The Circuit (SBS)
Claudia Karvan – Love My Way (Showtime)
Noni Hazlehurst – Stepfather of the Bride (ABC)

AFI Award for Best Guest or Supporting Actor in a Television Drama
Mark Priestley – All Saints (Seven Network)
Justin Smith – Bastard Boys (ABC)
Jack Thompson – Bastard Boys (ABC)
David Ngoombujarra – The Circuit (SBS)

AFI Award for Best Guest or Supporting Actress in a Television Drama
Lynette Curran – Call Me Mum (SBS)
Vicki Saylor – Call Me Mum (SBS)
Monica Maughan – The King (TV1)
Justine Clarke – Love My Way (Showtime)

AFI Award for Best Performance in a Television Comedy
Drew Forsythe – David Tench Tonight (Network Ten)
Peter Kowitz – Supernova (UKTV)
Jason Gann – Wilfred (SBS)
Adam Zwar – Wilfred (SBS

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**List Of Winners**

SPECIAL AWARDS

International Award for Best Actor
Dominic Purcell – Prison Break (Seven Network)

International Award for Best Actress
Rose Byrne – Damages (Nine Network)

L’Oréal Paris Young Actor Award
Kodi Smit-McPhee – Romulus, My Father

Byron Kennedy Award
Curtis Levy

Raymond Longford Award
David Hannay

Global Achievement Award
Dr George Miller – Happy Feet

TELEVISION

Best Television Drama Series
Love My Way – John Edwards and Claudia Karvan (Showtime)

Best Telefeature or Mini Series
The King – Jason Stephens (TV1)

Best Lead Actor in a Television Drama
Stephen Curry – The King (TV1)

Best Lead Actress in a Television Drama
Claudia Karvan – Love My Way (Showtime)

Best Children’s Television Drama
Lockie Leonard – Kylie du Fresne (Nine Network)

Best Television Comedy Series
Wilfred – Jenny Livingston (SBS)

Best Light Entertainment Television Series
RocKwiz – Brian Nankervis, Ken Connor, Peter Bain-Hogg and Joe Connor (SBS)

Best Direction in Television
The King – Matthew Saville (TV1)

Best Screenplay in Television
Bastard Boys – Sue Smith (ABC)

Best Guest or Supporting Actor in a Television Drama
David Ngoombujarra – The Circuit (SBS)

Best Guest or Supporting Actress in a Television Drama
Vicki Saylor – Call Me Mum (SBS)

Best Performance in a Television Comedy
Adam Zwar – Wilfred (SBS)

Outstanding Achievement in Television Screen Craft
Paddy Reardon (Production Design) – Bastard Boys, Call Me Mum and The King

NON-FEATURE

Best Documentary
Forbidden Lie$ - Sally Regan and Anna Broinowski

Best Short Animation
The Girl Who Swallowed Bees- Justine Kerrigan and Paul McDermott

Best Short Fiction Film
Spike Up – Anthony Maras and Kent Smith

Best Direction in a Documentary
Global Haywire – Bruce Petty

Best Cinematography in a Documentary
Cuttlefish - The Brainy Bunch – Malcolm Ludgate ACS, Joel Peterson and Scott Carrithers

Best Editing in a Documentary
Forbidden Lie$ - Vanessa Milton and Alison Croft

Best Sound in a Documentary
Global Haywire – Sam Petty

Best Screenplay in a Short Film
Crossbow – David Michôd

Outstanding Achievement in Short Film Screen Craft
Mark Lapwood ACS (Cinematography) - Eclipse

FEATURE FILM

L’Oréal Paris Award for Best Film
Romulus, My Father – Robert Connolly and John Maynard

Best Direction
The Home Song Stories – Tony Ayres

Macquarie Private Wealth Award for Best Screenplay (Original or Adapted)
The Home Song Stories – Tony Ayres

Best Lead Actor
Eric Bana - Romulus, My Father

Best Lead Actress
Joan Chen – The Home Song Stories

Best Supporting Actor
Marton Csokas – Romulus, My Father

Best Supporting Actress
Emma Booth - Clubland

Best Cinematography
The Home Song Stories - Nigel Bluck

Best Editing
The Home Song Stories – Denise Haratzis ASE

Best Sound
Noise – Emma Bortignon, Doron Kipen and Philippe Decrausaz

Best Original Music Score
The Home Song Stories – Antony Partos

Best Production Design
The Home Song Stories – Melinda Doring

Best Costume Design
The Home Song Stories – Cappi Ireland

Visual Effects Award
Rogue – Andrew Hellen, Dave Morley, Jason Bath and John Cox

International Award for Excellence in Filmmaking
Jill Bilcock

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**Anna Kosmanovski's report on the AFI Awards**

It was a balmy night for the stars who came out to play for the L'Oreal Paris AFI awards. Held at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre, the awards ceremony was hosted over two nights, with the former being mainly production based awards and the latter been billed as the ‘main’ event.

Hosted by Geoffrey Rush, the prestigious awards attracted Australia's international stars such as Cate Blanchett, Dr George Miller, Eric Bana, Anthony LaPaglia, and Alan Dale. Other big names included Vince Colosimo, Sophie Monk, Daniel MacPherson, Delta Goodrem, Brendan Cowell and international guests like Tara Reid and Joan Chen.

Unlike last year’s mixed offering, this year was a close contest between mainly two films. One was Romulus My Father, which was nominated in every possible category that it could be. The second was Home Song Stories, which was nominated in most categories as well.

The former fared well, as expected, with Romulus star and ex Full Frontal star Eric Bana taking out Best Lead Actor. His pint sized co-star, Kodi Smit-McPhee also scooping up the Best Young Actor award as well.

The Best Supporting Actor Award was also reflective of Romulus, with Bana’s co-star Marton Csokas taking it out. The Best Supporting Actress went to Emma Booth (who critics hail as the next Abbie Cornish) for her role in Clubland.

Close contender to Romulus, Home Song Stories took out a lot of awards as well, with many being production based. Director Tony Ayers won best direction for his self inspired film of his childhood and his lead actress Joan Chen taking out Best Lead Actress as well. Craft accolades included best screenplay, best cinematography, editing, original music score, production design and costume design.

Director Dr George Miller, known for such successful films as Happy Feet, and looking very doctor like in large round shell spectacles, received the Global Achievement Award.

The documentary Forbidden Lies, about con artist Norma Khouri did well, claiming best documentary. Best sound direction went unsurprisingly to the Melbourne made film, Noise, for its stunning and unconventional use of sound editing.

SBS was an underdog winner of the evening, taking out awards for programs like Wilfred, in which Adam Zwar beat his co-star Jason Gann for best performance in a comedy. Stephen Curry’s role as Graham Kennedy in The King earned him the award for best lead actor in a television drama.

Other awards won included Lockie Leonard, for best children’s television drama, in which winner Kylie du Fresne praised the level of creative freedom offered in the children’s drama genre, as the spotlight is on other more commercial styles.

Accompanying this balmy night, as well as the stars, were elements typical of Melbourne. A screech of a tram, a tram bell was a backdrop for adolescent screams of “Delta! Delta!” As well as being accosted by swarms of paparazzi, stars were also attacked by plagues of flies, akin to Melbourne’s current insect problem.

But once safe inside the building, stars were treated to a sumptuous two course banquet, free L’Oreal goodie bags and a riveting night of celebrations and accolades of Australian achievement in the film industry, locally and internationally.

RED CARPET

While the AFIs are a celebration of Australia’s best in the film industry, the red carpet arrivals were by far a point of interest. Sophie Monk was there both nights, on the first sporting clean straight blonde locks and natural make-up teamed with a long dark blue and grey floral toned Lisa Ho dress that accentuated her trim ‘too good to be real’ looking Hollywood physique. The next night, however, sexy was the theme, and she looked kitten-eyed sexy in smouldering eye makeup and a tight black number. Hair was Bridgette Bardot inspired in an updo, except Monk sported a tighter version than the loose, unkempt locks that Bardot was famous for.

Sybilla Budd, who mentioned she is toying with the idea of writing an Australian drama series, was looking stunning in a vintage looking Gwendolynne gown. International star Joan Chen added some Hollywood glamour in a silk floral Roberto Cavalli dress that was both sweet and alluring at once.

Cate Blanchett looked her regal self, positively glowing with the mystique and confidence that only pregnant women can emulate. She wore a grey, green toned long Armani dress with a structured corset that complimented her ethetheal, classy image. Getting a heel stuck on the platform stage in the media room later, and bending down to fix it, she joked wittily, “oh yes, take a photo. My cleavage is fantastic at the moment.” Jokes aside, Blanchett did steal the show as usual and looked beautiful.

Tara Reid was there, flirting about in a black shift dress that was very Breakfast at Tiffanys, minus a lot of hem and adding on a lot of fake tan. Reid was at the AFIs because she left Sydney’s rainy climate in pursuit of “some fun”.

Also in pursuit of fun was the cheeky Alex Dimitriades, who represented style for his male counterparts. Dimitriades looked suave and sexy, pulling off a twist on the classic black suit by donning a normal jacket for a perfected fitted, leather blazer. He modelled a look that suited his Mediterranean appeal to a tee. Words of warning, please guys, do not think you can exchange your suit jacket for an ill fitting fake leather jacket as effortlessly. Also on his side, the side that is of style, was Noise star and Rose Byrne’s boy, Brendan Cowell who pulled off a very funky East End but preppy look in Ralph Lauren.

Fashion designers mingled amongst the bright young things too, with Alannah Hill being a glamourous and experienced fashion presence. Interestingly, she was decked in a silver sparkly bolero and black skirt, an outfit that showed no hints of the pink and or red style that is characteristic of her.

Stephen Curry, commenting on the atmosphere of the night, exclaimed, “there’s some really good looking girls around.” Erin NcNaught was one of them, looking pretty in a blue number. She told us, “You know what, I’m really boring with fashion! I’ve learnt that I’m really boring!” We don’t believe her! However, we will believe her fashion advice, such as, “It’s not good to wear trackies to the shops.” And, “It’s not good to go out without make up…. really.” “A little tinted moisturiser,” she suggested.

Isabel Lucas looked very luscious in white. Her honeyed limbs, and caramel hair made her twiggy looking but boho shift dress conjure up images of caramel and white chocolate. Draped on the arm of her good looking sidekick Daniel Macpherson, who went for an all over black look, the effect was dramatic.

Deborah Lee-Furness was practical and comfortable. This reflected, she looked it. Wearing a loose fitting high neck black ensemble, she looked appropriate for her age, comfortable and chic. Like a lot of international stars, she was able to attend the AFIs because of the writers strike in the US. Her husband, Hugh Jackman, could not get time off work. On that subject, she told Mediasearch that for Christmas, she wasn’t too materially high maintenance. What did she want Santa to bring? “Time with my family!” she laughed.

On a lighter note, Vince Colosimo, dressed in an impeccable Hugo Boss suit, offered fashion casting to Dan Watts from Beat TV who came playfully dressed in a black sequin dress and blonde wig, “If we needed to cast Warwick Capper, mate, you’d be perfect!”

But there was one star that outshone them all in the fashion stakes and he was eleven years old. Kodi Smit-McPhee made a lot of hearts melt with his mega styled ensemble. He wore a royal blue shirt with light blue tie, and to add a bit of edge, his right ear shone with a diamond earring. He later told, “it’s not real,” nevertheless, it was very David Beckham all the same. He completed the outfit with a pirate embellished stylish belt, and a wise manner beyond his years.

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**Pictures from the event**

Wednesday

Anthony La Paglia & wife Gia Carides Emma Booth
Sam & father Bruce Petty both won awards
Adam Zwar & Jason Gann
Nigel Pluck Sue Smith
Vicki Saylor Mark Lapwood
Jill Billcock Melinda Doring & Cappi Ireland
Jason Gann & girlfriend Emily Barclay & Alex Dimitriades
Sophie Monk
the winning Wilfred TV team
Emma Bortignon (centre) and colleagues

Thursday

Eric Bana Eric Bana and Kodi Smit-McPhee
Joan Chen
Delta mingling with her fans
Emma Booth Nathan Phillips
Kodi Smit-McPhee Cate Blanchett
Anthony La Paglia, Gia Carides, Vince Colosimo & Alex Dimitriades
Erin McNaught
Tara Reid
Vince Colosimo Vince with good mate Alex Dimitriades
Emily Barclay Sophie Monk
Emily Browning Red Carpet TV host Richard Wilkins
Sybilla Budd David Hannay
Alan Dale Alan Dale & wife Tracey
Rebecca & Eric Bana Brendan Cowell
For more information, visit

www.afi.org.au