Nitram sweeps the 2021 AACTA awards: here’s the full list of winners


Last night’s AACTA awards brought together the best in Australian creativity on big screens, small screens, and even smaller, weeny lil phone screens, thanks to new categories celebrating digital content creators.

With the late David Dalaithngu‘s face projected onto the side of Sydney’s majestic opera house, the 2021 Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards were off to a special start. An impassioned opening speech from Russell Crowe raised the spirits of guests and viewers even higher, after a patchy year of coronavirus-induced cinema closures and ongoing lack of governmental support for the arts.

Controversial Port Arthur Massacre drama Nitram dominated the ceremony: Caleb Landry-Jones, Judy Davis, Anthony LaPaglia, and Essie Davis were each awarded in the film acting categories, with Justin Kurzel winning Best Direction and Shaun Grant winning Best Original Screenplay.

Despite also being awarded Best Film by the Academy, that honour instead went to The Dry when it came to People’s Choice, with the public also choosing a surprised Eric Bana as their Favourite Actor.

Lego Masters Australia triumphed as the people’s fave Competition Reality Show; prison drama Wentworth won Favourite Television Drama in its final brutal season; and bearded legend Costa Georgiadis is 2021’s Favourite Television Host for his wholesome work on Gardening Australia, also the evening’s Favourite Entertainment Show. What a guy.

Despite years of budget cuts, the national broadcaster emerged victorious in many TV categories, winning multiple awards for The Newsreader, Total Control, Fires, and Fisk. One absolute given was the supremacy of Bluey as Best Children’s Program—all hail Bluey, praise be to Bluey.

In comedy, Hannah Gadsby’s Douglas won Best Stand-Up Special and Hard Quiz nabbed not only a statue for Best Comedy Entertainment Program, but a special guest contestant with some Jurassic expertise.

Scroll away for the full list of AACTA nominees and winners, or visit AACTA’s official website.

AACTA Award for Best Film
The Dry
The Furnace
High Ground
Nitram—WINNER
Penguin Bloom
Rams

AACTA Award for Best Indie Film
Disclosure
Ellie and Abbie (& Ellie’s Dead Aunt)—WINNER
Lone Wolf
Moon Rock For Monday
My First Summer
Under My Skin

AACTA Award for Best Direction in Film
The Dry—Rob Connolly
The Furnace—Roderick MacKay
High Ground—Stephen Maxwell Johnson
Nitram—Justin Kurzel—WINNER
Penguin Bloom—Glendyn Ivin

AACTA Award for Best Lead Actor in Film
Simon Baker—High Ground
Eric Bana—The Dry
Caleb Landry Jones—Nitram—WINNER
Ahmed Malek—The Furnace
Jacob Junior Nayinggul—High Ground

AACTA Award for Best Lead Actress in Film
Rose Byrne—Peter Rabbit 2
Judy Davis—Nitram—WINNER
Noni Hazlehurst—June Again
Genevieve O’Reilly—The Dry
Naomi Watts—Penguin Bloom

AACTA Award for Best Supporting Actor in Film
Michael Caton—Rams
Baykali Ganambarr—The Furnace
Anthony LaPaglia—Nitram—WINNER
Sean Mununggurr—High Ground
Jack Thompson—High Ground

AACTA Award for Best Supporting Actress in Film
Essie Davis—Nitram—WINNER
Claudia Karvan—June Again
Esmerelda Marimowa—High Ground
Miranda Tapsell—The Dry
Jacki Weaver—Penguin Bloom

AACTA Award for Best Original Screenplay in Film
Ellie and Abbie (& Ellie’s Dead Aunt)—Monica Zanetti
The Furnace—Roderick MacKay
High Ground—Chris Anastassiades
June Again—JJ Winlove
Nitram—Shaun Grant—WINNER

AACTA Award for Best Adapted Screenplay in Film
The Dry—Rob Connolly, Harry Cripps—WINNER
Penguin Bloom—Shaun Grant, Harry Cripps
Peter Rabbit 2—Will Gluck, Patrick Burleigh
Rams—Jules Duncan

AACTA Award for Best Documentary
Girls Can’t Surf
I’m Wanita
My Name Is Gulpilil—WINNER
Playing With Sharks
Strong Female Lead
When The Camera Stopped Rolling

AACTA Award for Best Drama Series
Clickbait
Jack Irish
Mr Inbetween
The Newsreader—WINNER
Total Control
Wakefield
Wentworth

AACTA Award for Best Miniseries or Telefeature
A Sunburnt Christmas
The End
Fires—WINNER
New Gold Mountain
The Unusual Suspects

AACTA Award for Best Narrative Comedy Series
Aftertaste
Aunty Donna’s Big Ol’ House Of Fun
Fisk—WINNER
Frayed
Preppers
Rosehaven

AACTA Award for Best Comedy Entertainment Program
Dom and Adrian 2020
Hard Quiz—WINNER
The Moth Effect
Spicks And Specks
The Weekly

AACTA Award for Best Entertainment Program
Australian Ninja Warrior
LEGO® Masters Australia
The Masked Singer
Mastermind
Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras 2021—WINNER
The Voice

AACTA Award for Best Factual Entertainment Program
Australia Talks
Courtney Act’s One Plus One
Gogglebox Australia
Love on the Spectrum—WINNER
The Project
You Can’t Ask That

AACTA Award for Best Lifestyle Program
Adam and Poh’s Malaysia in Australia
The Cook Up with Adam Liaw
Gardening Australia
Grand Designs Australia—WINNER
The Living Room
Love it or List it Australia

AACTA Award for Best Reality Program
The Amazing Race Australia
Australian Survivor: Brains v Brawn
The Block
Luxe Listings Sydney
MasterChef Australia—WINNER
The Real Housewives of Melbourne

AACTA Award for Best Documentary or Factual Program
Brazen Hussies
EXPOSED: The Ghost Train Fire
Life in Colour with David Attenborough
Ms Represented with Annabel Crabb
Old People’s Home For 4 Year Olds—WINNER
The School That Tried to End Racism

AACTA Award for Best Children’s Program
100% Wolf: Legend of the Moonstone
Bluey—WINNER
The Bureau of Magical Things
Dive Club
Hardball
Kangaroo Beach

AACTA Award for Best Stand-Up Special
Anne Edmonds and Lloyd Langford – Business with Pleasure
Celia Pacquola – Let Me Know How It All Works Out
Hannah Gadsby – Douglas—WINNER
Lano and Woodley in Lano and Woodley
Rhys Nicholson Live at the Athenaeum
Tom Gleeson – Lighten Up

AACTA Award for Best Lead Actress in a Drama presented by Foxtel
Deborah Mailman—Total Control
Mandy McElhinney—Wakefield
Miranda Otto—Fires
Pamela Rabe—Wentworth
Anna Torv—The Newsreader—WINNER

AACTA Award for Best Lead Actor in a Drama presented by Foxtel
Rudi Dharmalingam—Wakefield
Guy Pearce—Jack Irish
Sam Reid—The Newsreader
Richard Roxburgh—Fires
Scott Ryan—Mr Inbetween—WINNER

AACTA Award for Best Comedy Performer
Mark Samual Bonanno—Aunty Donna’s Big Ol’ House Of Fun
Kitty Flanagan—Fisk—WINNER
Tom Gleeson—Hard Quiz
Broden Kelly—Aunty Donna’s Big Ol’ House Of Fun
Sarah Kendall—Frayed
Nakkiah Lui—Preppers
Luke McGregor—Rosehaven
Celia Pacquola—Rosehaven

AACTA Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama
Michelle Lim Davidson—The Newsreader
Marg Downey—The Newsreader
Harriet Dyer—Wakefield
Rachel Griffiths—Total Control—WINNER
Noni Hazlehurst—The End

AACTA Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama
Harry Greenwood—Wakefield
William McInnes—The Newsreader—WINNER
Matt Nable—Mr Inbetween
Stephen Peacocke—The Newsreader
Justin Rosniak—Mr Inbetween

AACTA Award for Best Direction in Drama or Comedy
Fires – Episode 2: Everything’s Gone—Ana Kokkinos
Mr Inbetween – Episode 6: Ray Who?—Nash Edgerton
The Newsreader – Episode 1: Three, Two, One…—Emma Freeman—WINNER
Wakefield – Episode 5—Kim Mordaunt
Wakefield – Episode 8—Jocelyn Moorhouse

AACTA Award for Best Screenplay in Television
Mr Inbetween – Episode 6: Ray Who?—Scott Ryan—WINNER
The Newsreader – Episode 1: Three, Two, One…—Michael Lucas
The Newsreader – Episode 5: No More Lies—Kim Ho, Michael Lucas
Total Control – Episode 1: Aftermath—Stuart Page
Wakefield – Episode 5—Kristen Dunphy, Sam Meikle

AACTA Award for Best Direction in Nonfiction Television
Brazen Hussies—Catherine Dwyer
Hannah Gadsby – Douglas—Madeleine Parry
Love on the Spectrum – Episode 4—Cian O’Clery—WINNER
Ms Represented with Annabel Crabb – Episode 1: Getting There—Stamatia Maroupas
You Can’t Ask That – Episode 1: Cheaters—Kirk Docker

AACTA Award for Best Short Form Comedy presented by Facebook
A Life in Questions: Wisdom School with Aaron Chen
All My Friends Are Racist—WINNER
Celebration Nation
Hug the Sun
Jimmy Rees
Samantha Andrew

AACTA Award for Best Short Form Drama
Beautiful They
The Bends
Dwarf Planet
Grace
The Tailings—WINNER
You and Me, Before and After

AACTA Award for Best Short Form Entertainment
Chopsticks or Fork?
Gourmet Lazy
Nat’s What I Reckon
Ozzy Man Reviews
Strong Women—WINNER
Woven Threads – Stories from Within