World news – AU – Babyteeth wins AACTA Awards


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Babyteeth, an elaborate drama about a schoolgirl diagnosing cancer, has won the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards.

The low-cost debut feature won the Best Picture Award, with Shannon Murphy winning Best Director, Eliza Scanlen for Best Actress, Toby Wallace for Best Actress, Ben Mendelsohn for Best Supporting Actress, and Essie Davis for Best Supporting Actress.

Playwright and screenwriter Rita Kalnejais also won Best Screenplay for Babyteeth and adapted her own play which was performed at Belvoir Street Theater in 2012.

Scanlen, who appeared on the American television series Sharp Objects and starred in Little Women, played the school girl Milla, whose cancer diagnosis and how it affects the lives of everyone around her is the focus of the film.

« This film changed my life, » said Scanlen at the awards ceremony on Monday. “It means so much to me and I’m very honored to be here today and to represent this film. ”

Scanlen praised Murphy for « so much strength and grace » and said, « I really learned everything from her. « .

Wallace, best known for the TV series Romper Stomper and for the role of young Michael Hutchence in Never Tear Us Apart, played her drug-dealing friend.

This role earned him the Marcello Mastroianni Award for Best Young Actor or Best Young Actress at the Venice Film Festival last year.

In the film, which is delicately balanced on the brink of intense drama and eccentric suburban comedy, Mendelsohn and Davis played a bizarre, incongruous couple, Milla’s parents.

After a tumultuous career in the US that included The Dark Knight Rises, Rogue One and Captain Marvel, Mendelsohn returned to direct Babyteeth as his first Australian film in « eight or nine years ». .

Essie Davis and Ben Mendelsohn as Henry psychiatrists and former concert pianist Anna in Babyteeth. Photo credit: Lisa Tomasetti

« I love baby tea, » said Mendelsohn in a video from a night shoot in Sicily that was played at the ceremony. « Of all the films I’ve made, it’s my favorite. . . It seems important to me that these are people who have flaws – ridiculous flaws, funny flaws – who are desperate to contribute and to be together in really difficult circumstances. ”

A decade ago, Mendelsohn won Best Actor at the Australian Film Institute Awards – the predecessor of the AACTAs – for Animal Kingdom.

Babyteeth producer Alex White said, “There was so much hard work making this movie. It was a small film, but we had big ambitions. ”

The awards will be presented at two ceremonies today – film this afternoon and television this evening – at The Star in Sydney.

In an « out of the bush » video speech, the new Academy President Russell Crowe urged the federal government to capitalize on a boom in film and television production sparked by the containment of the coronavirus pandemic in Australia.

Shannon Murphy, Alex Whie, Eliza Scanlen, Jan Chapman and Kirsty McGregor at the AACTA Awards on Monday. Photo credit: Lisa Maree Williams / Getty Images for AFI

« I encourage the federal government to use this time to create a platform for this production surge to continue, » said Crowe. “With the right support, the display industry can be used as a powerful driver of economic recovery. ”

Babyteeth received a total of 12 AACTA Award nominations. Justin Kurzel’s wild bushranger drama True History of the Kelly Gang fought for ten awards, John Sheedy’s family film H Is For Happiness for nine. All three were ready for the best film with horror thriller and international hit The Invisible Man, Helen Reddy’s bio image I Am Woman and horror image Relic. The nominations in the television categories were led by the ABC series Mystery Road and Stateless, each with seven nominations.

At those previous Industry Awards, The Invisible Man won Best Camera, Editing, and Sound Quality. The real story of the Kelly Gang claimed the best in costume design, production design, and hair and makeup. and Babyteeth won best casting and best score. Stateless won six awards in the television categories: Best Cinematography, Costume Design, Editing, Original Score, Production Design, and Sound on TV.

AACTA Awards, Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts, Red Carpet, Ben Mendelsohn, Essie Davis, Eliza Scanlen

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