Nominations for the The 6th AACTA Awards – Indigenous Films well represented

On Thursday 27th October, the nominations for the 6th annual AACTA awards were announced. The AACTA’s are the most prestigious awards ceremony for film and television in Australia. This year numerous Indigenous films were nominated for many different awards. These nominations are an excellent endorsement for the Indigenous film industry, as it illustrates that Indigenous films are worth seeing and being made. 

The AACTA awards (previously the AFI Awards) was launched in 2011 by the Australian Film Institute (AFI). The primary role of AACTA is to “recognise, encourage, promote and celebrate film and television excellence in Australia through the nation’s highest screen accolades”. AACTA is overseen by AACTA President, Geoffrey Rush, and an Honorary Council comprising more than 50 of Australia’s most outstanding film and television practitioners and performers.

While the AFI Awards were previously held in December, the AACTA awards are now held in January. This change was orchestrated so that the awards would be able to sit in the ‘International Film Awards’ calendar and be recognised as an international awards ceremony. Consequently the awards are now slotted between the Golden Globes (early January) and the Academy Awards (February). 

groupCate Blanchett, Geoffrey Rush and Russell Crowe at the 2013 AACTA Awards | Picture Source- Styleicons

Indigenous Nominee’s – 2016 AACTA Awards



Official Poster – Goldstone (2016) | Picture Source – IMDB Goldstone

Ivan Sen’s 2016 film ‘Goldstone‘ leads the nominations, for the most recognised Indigenous film. Goldstone follows the story of Indigenous Detective Jay Swan, who arrives in the frontier town of Goldstone on a missing persons enquiry. What seems like a simple light duties investigation opens a web of crime and corruption. Jay must pull his life together and work with the young local cop Josh, so they can bring justice to Goldstone. 

The following list are the nominations Goldstone received for the 6th AACTA Awards – 

  1. Best Film – Goldstone – Greer Simpkin, David Jowsey
  2. Best Direction – Goldstone – Ivan Sen
  3. Best original screenplay – Goldstone – Ivan Sen
  4. Best editing – Goldstone – Ivan Sen
  5. Best production design – Goldstone – Matt Putland


Alex Russell and Aaron Pederson in ‘Goldstone’ | Picture Source – SBS Ivan Sen’s ‘Goldstone’

TANNA (2015) 


Official Poster – Tanna (2015) | Picture Source – IMDB Tanna

The 2015 film Tanna is the second Indigenous film that has been recognised in the 6th AACTA Awards. The film, an Australia/Vanuatu co-production, is a Romeo and Juliet story set in one of the world’s last tribal societies. It is the first feature film shot entirely in the South Pacific nation of Vanuatu.  None of the ‘cast’ had ever acted before, but they passionately and naturally re-created this real-life story from recent tribal history. Although this film is based in the Island nations and was not shot on Australian soil, it is still included in my list of Indigenous films, due to the ‘tribal’ and ‘societal’ qualities. 

The following list are the nominations Tanna received for the 6th AACTA Awards – 

  1. Best Film – Tanna – Martin Butler ADG, Bentley Dean ADG, Carolyn Johnson
  2. Best Direction – Tanna – Bentley Dean ADG, Martin Butler ADG
  3. Best cinematography – Tanna – Bentley Dean ADG
  4. Best sound – Tanna – Emma Bortignon, James Ashton, Martin Butler ADG 
  5. Best original music score – Tanna – Antony Partos AGSC


SPEAR (2015) – Honorable Mention


Official Poster – Spear (2015) | Picture Source – IMDB Spear

An honorable mention goes to the 2015 Indigenous film Spear, that received two AACTA nominations. The film received nominations for Best cinematography (Bonnie Elliott) and Best costume design (Jennifer Irwin). Spear tells a contemporary Aboriginal story through movement and dance.Featuring dancers from the highly acclaimed Bangarra Dance Theatre, this is an intimate journey that brings modern day mythology to the screen. 

The AACTA Awards main televised ceremony will be in Sydney on December 7.

Please follow this link to see ALL the nominees for the 2016 AACTA Awards –


Cover Photo Source – AACTA Homepage