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2019 AACTA Awards

Australian Academy announces Best Documentary nominees

The Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) recently announced the nominees for Best Documentary, marking the first announcement of productions competing for this year’s AACTA Awards – Australia’s highest screen accolade.

Reinforcing a strong year for Australian documentary, the five nominees include: THE AUSTRALIAN DREAMTHE EULOGY, THE FINAL QUARTER, IN MY BLOOD IT RUNS and MYSTIFY MICHAEL HUTCHENCE.

From the offering of unique insights into the lives and legacies of Australia’s most prominent musicians and sporting figures, to the exploration of indigenous identity and resilience, the films nominated for the 2019 AACTA Award for Best Documentary are a diverse collection of personal stories that examine the Australian identity.

This year sees a number of nominees previously recognised by AFI | AACTA for their work across documentary and narrative film including: Larissa Behrendt (IN MY BLOOD IT RUNS, AFTER THE APOLOGY), Maya Newell (IN MY BLOOD IT RUNS, GAYBY BABY), Nick Batzias (THE AUSTRALIAN DREAM, THAT SUGAR FILM), Richard Lowenstein (MYSTIFY MICHAEL HUTCHENCE, HE DIED WITH A FELAFEL IN HIS HAND) and Sophie Hyde (IN MY BLOOD IT RUNS, 52 TUESDAYS). The nominees also include Ian Darling AO (THE FINAL QUARTER, THE OASIS), who continues to impact the Australian documentary landscape with his endeavors after receiving the Byron Kennedy Award at last year’s AACTA Awards.

“We are delighted to announce our first AACTA Award nominees for the year to our members and the Australian public, drawing attention to the world-class quality of Australian documentaries and the great filmmakers behind them,” said AFI | AACTA CEO Damian Trewhella. “It’s a highly competitive year for Australian documentaries with the nominees presenting a wide range of deeply moving stories that are sure to engage and inspire audiences.”

The Best Documentary nominees were determined by the AACTA Documentary Branch, which is made up of past AFI and AACTA documentary award winners and nominees as well as other highly esteemed members of the Australian documentary industry.

All nominees will be screened at AACTA Docs Fest which is exclusive and complimentary to AFI | AACTA members and their guests. Screenings will commence from Monday 16 September to Wednesday 18 September in Sydney and Brisbane at Event Cinemas and from Tuesday 17 September to Thursday 19 September in Melbourne at Cinema Nova. The full program is available on

In addition to AACTA Docs Fest in-cinema screenings, the five competing feature documentaries will be available for AFI and AACTA members to view online via AACTA TV from 16 September.

All AACTA members can vote to determine the Best Documentary winners during Round Two voting from 22 October to 3 November. More information on voting, including information on Film and TV voting, can be found at

Remaining nominees across all other AACTA Award categories will be announced in October 2019. Winners will be announced across two major 2019 AACTA Awards events in Sydney, home of the AACTA Awards: The Industry Luncheon on Monday 2 December, followed by the Ceremony & Official After Party on Wednesday 4 December, televised on Channel Seven with encore screenings on Foxtel. Tickets for both events will go on sale in early October 2019.



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