Australian Aborigines' Ancestors Top AFI Awards + Winners Heath Ledger & Rachel Griffiths

Australian aborigines Ten Canoes: 1st film shot in local languages tops AFI AwardsAustralian aborigines' ancestors in Ten Canoes. Rolf de Heer and Peter Djigirr's depiction of the lives of a group of egg-hunting and story-telling Australian aborigines prior to contact with Europeans – along with the cautionary story of these aborigines' ancestors, one of whom coveted one of the wives of one of his brothers – was the top winner at the 2006 AFI Awards, collecting six trophies, including Best Film and Best Director. Reportedly the first production featuring dialogue solely in the languages of Australian aborigines, Ten Canoes is a potential contender for the 2007 Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. Jamie Gulpilil (right) stars.

Australian aborigines' ancestors drama tops AFI Awards

The winners of the 2006 Australian Film Institute Awards (AFI Awards), which cover Australian film and television, were announced in two stages: “industry” awards on Dec. 6, and the top awards on Dec. 7. In the film categories, the top winner was Rolf de Heer and Peter Djigirr's leisurely paced Ten Canoes, which chronicles the lives of the ancient ancestors of one group of Australian aborigines – depicted as neither “politically incorrect exotics” nor “noble savages.”

Ten Canoes won a total of six awards, including Best Film, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay (de Heer). Filmed in the indigenous languages Gunwinggu and Yolnu Matha (the latter is more like a language family), Ten Canoes is Australia's submission for the 2007 Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award.

See further below the full list of Australian Film Institute Award winners and nominees in the feature categories.

More AFI Award winners

In other categories, the AFI Awards went from the distant past of Australian aborigines to more contemporary Australian denizens.

Among these were Best Actor Shane Jacobson, who plays a dim-witted toilet salesman in the popular Kenny, and Best Actress Emily Barclay, singled out for her performance as a teenage girl out to do away with her father in the psychological drama Suburban Mayhem.

In the International categories, given to Australian nationals working abroad on film or television, Heath Ledger was chosen Best Actor for his deeply closeted gay cowboy/sheepherder in Ang Lee's sleeper hit Brokeback Mountain, while Rachel Griffiths was Best Actress for her work in the TV series Six Feet Under.

See also: 2006 Australian Film Institute nominations.

Ten Canoes trailer. Set in the far-away past, Rolf de Heer and Peter Djigirr's drama revolves around a group of Australian aborigines, one of whom covets the wife of his older brother. A cautionary tale is then told about another aboriginal man from the even more distant past who also coveted one of the wives of one of his brothers.

Australian Film Institute Awards: Winners and nominations

Below is the full list of feature films shortlisted for the 2006 AFI Awards, in addition to a partial list of television, short film, and documentary nominees and winners.

The nominations were announced by Justine Clarke, Richard Roxburgh, and Robert Connolly on Oct. 19. The winners were announced at two ceremonies: Dec. 6 (“industry” categories) and Dec. 7 (top categories).

The AFI International Awards are given to Australians working abroad.

Narrative Feature Films

BEST FILM
Candy - Margaret Fink & Emile Sherman.
Jindabyne - April Films & Catherine Jarman.
Kenny - Clayton Jacobson & Rohan Timlock.
* Ten Canoes - Julie Ryan & Rolf de Heer.

BEST DIRECTOR
Jindabyne - Ray Lawrence.
Kenny - Clayton Jacobson.
Suburban Mayhem - Paul Goldman.
* Ten Canoes - Rolf de Heer & Peter Djigirr.

BEST ACTOR
Heath Ledger - Candy.
Gabriel Byrne - Jindabyne.
* Shane Jacobson - Kenny.
Steve Le Marquand - Last Train to Freo.

BEST ACTRESS
Teresa Palmer - 2:37.
Abbie Cornish - Candy.
Laura LinneyJindabyne.
* Emily Barclay - Suburban Mayhem.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Geoffrey RushCandy.
Ronald Jacobson - Kenny.
Tom Budge - Last Train to Freo.
* Anthony Hayes - Suburban Mayhem.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Noni Hazlehurst - Candy.
* Susie Porter - The Caterpillar Wish.
Deborra-lee Furness - Jindabyne.
Genevieve Lemon - Suburban Mayhem.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
2:37 - Murali K. Thalluri.
Kenny - Shane Jacobson & Clayton Jacobson.
Suburban Mayhem - Alice Bell.
* Ten Canoes - Rolf de Heer.

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
The Book of Revelation - Ana Kokkinos & Andrew Bovell.
* Candy - Luke Davies & Neil Armfield.
Jindabyne - Beatrix Christian.
Last Train to Freo - Reg Cribb.

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Jindabyne - David Williamson.
Macbeth - Will Gibson.
Suburban Mayhem - Robert Humphreys ACS.
* Ten Canoes - Ian Jones ACS.

BEST EDITING
Candy - Dany Cooper ASE.
Kenny - Clayton Jacobson & Sean Lander.
Suburban Mayhem - Stephen Evans.
* Ten Canoes - Tania Nehme.

BEST ORIGINAL MUSIC SCORE
The Book of Revelation - Cezary Skubiszewski.
Jindabyne - Paul Kelly & Dan Luscombe.
Macbeth - John Clifford White.
* Suburban Mayhem - Mick Harvey.

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
Candy - Robert Cousins.
* Macbeth - David McKay.
Suburban Mayhem - Nell Hanson.
Ten Canoes - Beverley Freeman.

BEST COSTUME DESIGN
The Book of Revelation - Anna Borghesi.
Kokoda - Phill Eagles.
* Macbeth - Jane Johnston.
Suburban Mayhem - Melinda Doring.

BEST SOUND
Jindabyne - Andrew Plain, Peter Grace, Nada Mikas, Peter Miller, Linda Murdoch & Robert Sullivan.
Macbeth - Frank Lipson & John Wilkinson.
Suburban Mayhem - Liam Egan, Phil Judd & Steven Jackson-Vaughan.
* Ten Canoes - James Currie, Tom Heuzenroeder, Michael Bakaloff & Rory McGregor.

BYRON KENNEDY AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN FILMMAKING:
Rolf de Heer.

LONGFORD LIFE TIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD:
Ian Jones.

NEWS LIMITED READERS' CHOICE AWARD:
Heath Ledger.

 

Film & Television

AFI INTERNATIONAL AWARD FOR BEST ACTOR
* Heath Ledger - Brokeback Mountain.
Eric BanaMunich.
Hugo Weaving - V for Vendetta.
Anthony LaPaglia - Winter Solstice.

AFI INTERNATIONAL AWARD FOR BEST ACTRESS
Toni ColletteIn Her Shoes.
Naomi WattsKing Kong.
Radha MitchellSilent Hill.
* Rachel Griffiths - Six Feet Under.

YOUNG ACTOR AWARD
Frank Sweet - 2:37.
* Marny Kennedy - Mortified.
Christian Byers - Opal Dream.
Mia Wasikowska - Suburban Mayhem.

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS 
* Hunt Angels - Rose Draper & Mike Seymour.
Kokoda - Phil Stuart-Jones.
Unfolding Florence - The Many Lives of Florence Broadhurst - Simon Rippingale, Tim Richter & Nina Gibbs.
Wicked Science Series 2, Ep. 1 - Barry Lanfranchi, James Maclachlan & Vanessa Magyar (Network Ten).

AFI INTERNATIONAL AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN FILMMAKING
Donald McAlpine ACS (Cinematography) - The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
Roger Ford (Production Design) - The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
* Dion Beebe ACS (Cinematography) - Memoirs of a Geisha.
Roger Donaldson (Producing/Direction/Screenplay) - The World's Fastest Indian.

 

Documentary

BEST DOCUMENTARY
* Hunt Angels - Sue Maslin.
Raul the Terrible - Carlos Alperin.
Vietnam Nurses - Beth Frey & Lizzette Atkins.
Welcome 2 My Deaf World - Sally Ingleton.

BEST DIRECTION IN A DOCUMENTARY
Hunt Angels - Alec Morgan.
* Raul the Terrible - David Bradbury.
Unfolding Florence - The Many Lives of Florence Broadhurst - Gillian Armstrong.
Vietnam Nurses - Polly Watkins.

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY IN A DOCUMENTARY
He's Coming South - Steve Williams.
* Hunt Angels - Jackie Farkas.
Penicillin: The Magic Bullet - Jaems Grant.
Transit - Anthony Davison.

 

Short Films

BEST SHORT ANIMATION
The Astronomer - Kate McCartney.
Carnivore Reflux - Eddie White & James Calvert.
* Gargoyle - Michael Cusack.
The Safe House - Lee Whitmore.

BEST SHORT FICTION FILM
The 9:13 - Matthew Phipps.
The Desert - Glendyn Ivin.
Small Boxes - Rene Hernandez.
* Stranded - Stuart McDonald.

 

Television

BEST COMEDY SERIES
* The Chaser's War on Everything - Mark Fitzgerald, Julian Morrow & Andy Nehl.
Comedy Inc. - The Late Shift - David McDonald.
Supernova - David Maher, David Taylor, Beryl Vertue & Sue Vertue.

BEST DRAMA SERIES
All Saints - MaryAnne Carroll.
Blue Heelers - Gus Howard & David Clarke.
* Love My Way - John Edwards, Claudia Karvan & Jacquelin Perske.
McLeod's Daughters - Karl Zwicky & Posie Graeme-Evans.

BEST TELEFEATURE OR MINI SERIES
Answered by Fire - Roger Le Mesurier & Andrew Walker.
* RAN - Penny Chapman.
The Silence - Jan Chapman.
The Surgeon - John Edwards & Judi McCrossin (Network Ten).

BEST DIRECTION
* Answered by Fire - Jessica Hobbs.
Comedy Inc - The Late Shift, Ep. 7 - David McDonald.
Love My Way, Ep. 11- Shirley Barrett.
Mortified, Ep. 1 - Pino Amenta.

BEST SCREENPLAY
The Chaser's War on Everything, Ep.8 - The Chaser Team.
Love My Way, Ep. 11 - Jacquelin Perske.
Mortified, Ep. 1 - Angela Webber.
* RAN, Ep. 5 - Sue Smith.

BEST ACTOR IN TELEVISION DRAMA
* David Wenham - Answered by Fire.
Dan Wyllie - Love My Way.
Charles Passi - RAN.
Richard Roxburgh - The Silence.

BEST ACTRESS IN TELEVISION DRAMA
Claudia Karvan - Love My Way.
Asher Keddie - Love My Way.
* Susie Porter - RAN.
Justine Clarke - The Surgeon.

BEST GUEST OR SUPPORTING ACTOR IN TELEVISION DRAMA
John WatersAll Saints.
* Marcus Graham - Blue Heelers.
Luke Carroll - RAN.
Aaron Fa'aoso - RAN.

BEST GUEST OR SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN TELEVISION DRAMA
* Saskia Burmeister - Blue Heelers.
Margaret Harvey - RAN.
Merwez Whaleboat - RAN.
Emily Barclay - The Silence.

BEST PERFORMANCE IN TELEVISION COMEDY
* Andrew Hansen - The Chaser's War on Everything.
Paul McCarthy - Comedy Inc. - The Late Shift.
Genevieve Morris - Comedy Inc. - The Late Shift.
Kris McQuade - Supernova.

 

Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts website.

Image of Jamie Gulpilil as one of the Australian aborigines' ancestors in Ten Canoes: Palace Films and Cinemas.

Ten Canoes trailer with Australian aborigines from the distant past.

“Australian Aborigines' Ancestors Top AFI Awards + Winners Heath Ledger & Rachel Griffiths” last updated in March 2018.

Australian Aborigines' Ancestors Top AFI Awards + Winners Heath Ledger & Rachel Griffiths © 2004–2018 Alt Film Guide and/or author(s).
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