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Nominees revealed for the 2021 AACTA Awards

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Presented by Foxtel and held at the Sydney Opera House, the best in homegrown entertainment will take centre stage in December for the 2021 AACTA Awards.

The Australian Academy of Cinema Television Arts (AACTA) is thrilled to announce the star-studded nominees for the 2021 AACTA Awards presented by Foxtel Group, which will be held at the iconic Sydney Opera House on Wednesday, December 8.

In what’s sure to be a memorable day of celebration and glamour, the prestigious 2021 AACTA Awards will honour Australian television, film, and digital entertainment performers and creatives for their remarkable achievements over the past year.

Nine of the year’s most popular and talked-about films – including Nitram featuring Anthony LaPaglia, The Dry starring Eric Bana, and Penguin Bloom with Naomi Watts – and 65 critically acclaimed television productions will compete for coveted AACTA Awards in 2021.

With technical crafts yet to be announced, The Newsreader – a six-part ABC drama about a 1980s TV newsroom – is in the running for 10 awards and currently has the most nominations this year including Best Drama Series, with director Emma Freeman and actors Anna Torv, Sam Reid, William McInnes, and Stephen Peacocke among those up for accolades.

The compelling final seasons of Wentworth, Mr Inbetween, and Jack Irish are also recognised this year.

Actress Noni Hazlehurst’s work in both television and film is acknowledged with nominations for Best Actress in the bittersweet movie, June Again, and Best Supporting Actress in the compelling Foxtel euthanasia miniseries The End.

Some of television’s biggest entertainment juggernauts and reality formats – such as The Block, MasterChef Australia, The Voice and LEGO Masters – will vie for awards alongside the new kid on the block, Luxe Listings Sydney and returning favourite The Real Housewives of Melbourne.

Another big year of TV laughs sees newcomers Preppers, Fisk, The Moth Effect and Aunty Donna’s Big Ol’ House of Fun join perennial favourites Rosehaven, Hard Quiz and The Weekly in the comedy categories. Acclaimed sets from Hannah Gadsby, Tom Gleeson and Celia Pacquola feature in the new Best Stand-Up category and the Best Comedy Performer category expands to eight nominees, with Nakkiah Lui, Sarah Kendall and Kitty Flanagan among the hilarious comics in the running.

Tom Gleeson hosts HARD QUIZ (image – ABC)

AACTA CEO Damian Trewhella said:

“AACTA is proud to be able to host and honour the work of Australia’s established and emerging talent; whose work kept us entertained and connected for the past year. 2021 has been a challenging year for many Australian industries and ours is no exception.

“We are privileged to be able to host an event that brings together some of Australia’s most talented and creative practitioners and allows us to recognise the people who have kept us entertained over the past year. Being able to do this at the iconic Sydney Opera House is icing on the cake.”   

Without doubt, the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance, ingenuity, and resilience of the Australian entertainment industry. Despite many challenges, the industry has forged ahead with local and international productions, including the AACTA-nominated Netflix series Clickbait, which showcased the skills of Australian cast and crew to the rest of the world.

We’ve also seen emerging digital content creators, many of whom have pivoted their careers and found opportunities in the formidable lockdowns experienced across the country. Making their mark and making us laugh were people like AACTA LMAO judge Jimmy Rees, fan favourites Nat’s What I Reckon and Ozzy Man Reviews and upcoming content creator Samantha Andrew, who will also be recognised at the 2021 AACTA Awards presented by Foxtel Group.

The Awards, which incorporates the public voted AACTA Audience Choice Awards, will be broadcast on its new home, Channel 10, at 7.30pm, Wednesday, December 8, and encored in the days following on FOX ARENA on FOXTEL, BINGE, and AACTA TV.

FOXTEL Group Executive Director of Television, Brian Walsh said:

“We are delighted the Australian film and television industry can come together to celebrate at the AACTA Awards after the challenging year we have had, and what better location than the iconic Sydney Opera House?  This is a great opportunity to acknowledge and applaud our incredible Australian talent – both in front of and behind the camera – and we look forward to sharing the broadcast with our viewers across the Foxtel Group.”

Senior Vice President, Content and Programming, ViacomCBS, Daniel Monaghan said:

“Network 10 is thrilled to be the broadcast partner of the prestigious AACTA Awards once again. It’s a privilege to showcase the best our local television and film industries have to offer and to celebrate the best of the best in such a special way.”

NSW Minister for Tourism Stuart Ayres said:

“We are delighted to roll out the red carpet in Sydney for this year’s AACTA Awards. I would like to congratulate all the nominees for their contribution to the ongoing success of Australia’s screen industry. The AACTA Awards honour the many talented people involved in our unique Australian entertainment sector, one that has faced enormous challenges this past two years.

“It is fantastic to see the tremendous achievements of those working in front and behind the scenes of our world-class film and television productions. The Awards generate significant publicity through extensive media coverage, positioning Sydney as the centre for Australian screen production, generating screen industry revenue and attracting visitors to the city.”

AACTA members can see all 97 nominated films, TV shows, and short form content on AACTA TV. Round 2 voting opens Sunday, October 31 and closes at 5pm AEDT Monday, November 8.  These votes will determine the winners of the 2021 AACTA Awards.

AACTA are also excited to announce the return of the AACTA Audience Choice Awards, which once again puts voting in the hands of the audience.

Voting for the AACTA Audience Choice Awards opens today via news.com.au and will close Sunday, November 7. Voting will run online, with the top five nominees in each category announced in early December ahead of the 2021 AACTA Awards Presented by Foxtel Group broadcast on Channel 10, on Wednesday, December 8.

The 2021 AACTA Audience Choice Awards are:

  • Favourite Australian Actor
  • Favourite Australian TV Drama
  • Favourite Australian Film
  • Favourite Australian Competition Reality Show
  • Favourite Australian Entertainment Show
  • Favourite Australian Digital Comedy Creator
  • Favourite Australian TV Host

Nominees for Best Documentary were announced earlier this year.

AACTA recently announced a renewed presenting partnership with the Foxtel Group for a further three years. This will allow both AACTA and Foxtel to continue their support for the Australian screen industry.

More information on the AACTA Industry Awards, including Technical Craft Nominees, will be announced soon.

The 2021 AACTA Awards will be broadcast on Channel 10 on Wednesday, December 8.

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