Some audiences found the violent film too much during festival screenings but The Nightingale has just won the top prize at the AACTA Awards.
Some audiences found the violent film too much during festival screenings but The Nightingale has just won the top prize at the AACTA Awards.

Controversial movie wins top award

A controversial movie that prompted walkouts has been awarded Australia's highest film honour.

The Nightingale took the top prize, Best Film, at the annual AACTA Awards this evening, while also picking up Best Direction and Best Screenplay for Jennifer Kent. Its star Aisling Franciosi won Lead Actress.

Kent made history as the first woman to win the Best Film, Best Direction and Best Screenplay trifecta, as she also served as a producer on The Nightingale.

The film beat out The King, Judy & Punch, Hotel Mumbai, Top End Wedding and Ride Like a Girl for the top trophy.

The Nightingale is set in 19th century Van Dieman's Land and tells the story of an Irish convict who seeks revenge on the sadistic British soldiers who killed her family. The critically acclaimed but brutal movie saw filmgoers walk out during some festival screenings, protesting at the raw depiction of colonial violence.

The Nightingale won a trifecta for director Jennifer Kent
The Nightingale won a trifecta for director Jennifer Kent

 

The movie also won two awards during the AACTA craft ceremony earlier this week. Last year, it won a Special Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival.

RELATED: The Nightingale review

Damon Herriman, nominated for four different performances in this year's AACTAs, took home the Lead Actor award for his role in Judy & Punch. Adam Goodes film The Australian Dream won Best Documentary.

Over on the TV side, ABC political series Total Control won Best Drama while stars Deborah Mailman and Rachel Griffiths won Best Lead Actress in a TV Drama and Best Guest or Supporting Actress in a TV Drama respectively.

Total Control won three awards, including acting gongs for Rachel Griffiths and Deborah Mailman
Total Control won three awards, including acting gongs for Rachel Griffiths and Deborah Mailman

 

Scott Ryan won the Best Lead Actor in a TV Drama for his role in Foxtel's Mr Inbetween while Richard Roxburgh was victorious in the Best Guest or Supporting Actor in a TV Drama category for The Hunting.

Foxtel series Lambs of God won the award for Best Telefeature or Miniseries.

RELATED: On set with the stars of Lambs of God

 

Lambs of God won Best Telefeature or Miniseries
Lambs of God won Best Telefeature or Miniseries

 

On the comedy side, ABC's The Letdown won Best Comedy Program while co-creator and star Alison Bell won Best Performance in a TV Comedy.

Sam Neill was awarded the Longford Lyell Award as recognition for his almost five decades in the industry, and he was feted by George Miller, Meryl Streep, Taika Waititi and Jane Campion among others.

Producer and director P.J. Voeten was honoured with the Byron Kennedy Award for his work on films and TV shows including Mad Max: Fury Road, Lambs of God, Hacksaw Ridge and Happy Feet.

Cannes Palme d'Or winner, Korean movie Parasite, won the Best Asian Film award.

Other winners in TV categories included Ten's Australian Survivor for Best Reality Program, Foxtel's Love It or List It for Best Lifestyle Program, SBS's Robbie Hood for Best Online Drama or Comedy, ABC's You Can't Ask That for Best Factual Entertainment Program, ABC's Old People's Home For 4 Year Olds for Best Documentary or Factual Program and Nine's Lego Masters Australia for Best Entertainment Program.

 

The Letdown won both Comedy categories
The Letdown won both Comedy categories

 

ACTOR WINNERS

BEST FILM

Hotel Mumbai

Judy & Punch

The King

The Nightingale

Ride Like a Girl

Top End Wedding

BEST DIRECTION

Hotel Mumbai - Anthony Maras

Judy & Punch - Mirrah Foulkes

The King- David Michôd

The Nightingale Jennifer Kent

BEST LEAD ACTOR

Timothée Chalamet - The King

Baykali Ganambarr - The Nightingale

Damon Herriman - Judy & Punch

Dev Patel - Hotel Mumbai

Hugo Weaving - Hearts and Bones

BEST LEAD ACTRESS

Nazanin Boniadi - Hotel Mumbai

Aisling Franciosi - The Nightingale

Teresa Palmer - Ride Like a Girl

Miranda Tapsell - Top End Wedding

Mia Wasikowska - Judy & Punch

BEST DOCUMENTARY

The Australian Dream

The Eulogy

The Final Quarter

In My Blood It Runs

Mystify Michael Hutchence

BEST SCREENPLAY

Hotel Mumbai - John Collee, Anthony Maras

Judy & Punch - Mirrah Foulkes

The King - David Michôd, Joel Edgerton

The Nightingale - Jennifer Kent

BEST DRAMA SERIES

Bloom (Stan)

Mr Inbetween (Foxtel - Showcase)

Secret City: Under The Eagle (Foxtel - Showcase)

Total Control (ABC)

Wentworth (Foxtel - Showcase)

BEST TELEFEATURE OR MINI SERIES

The Cry (ABC)

Fighting Season (Foxtel - Showcase)

The Hunting (SBS)

Lambs Of God (Foxtel - Showcase)

On The Ropes (SBS)

BEST COMEDY PROGRAM

Frayed (ABC)

The Letdown (ABC)

Rosehaven (ABC)

Sammy J (ABC)

Utopia (ABC)

BEST ENTERTAINMENT PROGRAM

Australian Ninja Warrior (Nine Network)

Australia's Got Talent (Seven Network)

Hard Quiz (ABC)

Lego Masters Australia (Nine Network)

The Masked Singer (Network Ten)

BEST FACTUAL ENTERTAINMENT PROGRAM

Gogglebox Australia (Network Ten/Foxtel)

Gruen (ABC)

Todd Sampson's Body Hack (Network Ten)

Who Do You Think You Are (SBS)

You Can't Ask That (ABC)

BEST LIFESTYLE PROGRAM

Destination Flavour China (SBS)

Grand Designs Australia (Foxtel - Lifestyle)

The Great Australian Bake Off (Foxtel - Lifestyle)

Love It or List It Australia (Foxtel - Lifestyle)

Selling Houses Australia (Foxtel - Lifestyle)

BEST REALITY SERIES

Australian Survivor: Champions v Contenders (Network Ten)

The Block (Nine Network)

Married At First Sight (Nine Network)

MasterChef (Network Ten)

My Kitchen Rules (Seven Network)

BEST LEAD ACTOR IN A TELEVISION DRAMA

Patrick Brammall - Glitch (ABC)

Bryan Brown -Bloom (Stan)

Ewen Leslie - The Cry (ABC)

Sam Reid - Lambs of God (Foxtel - Showcase)

Scott Ryan - Mr Inbetween (Foxtel - Showcase)

BEST LEAD ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION DRAMA

Jenna Coleman - The Cry (ABC)

Essie Davis - Lambs of God (Foxtel - Showcase)

Ann Dowd - Lambs Of God (Foxtel - Showcase)

Deborah Mailman - Total Control (ABC)

Anna Torv - Secret City: Under the Eagle (Foxtel - Showcase)

BEST PERFORMANCE IN A TELEVISION COMEDY

Alison Bell - The Letdown (ABC)

Celia Pacquola - Rosehaven (ABC)

Celia Pacquola - Utopia (ABC)

Rob Sitch - Utopia (ABC)

Miranda Tapsell - Get Krack!n (ABC)

BEST GUEST OR SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A TELEVISION DRAMA

Damon Herriman - Lambs of God (Foxtel - Showcase)

Damon Herriman - Mr Inbetween (Foxtel - Showcase)

Ewen Leslie - Fighting Season (Foxtel - Showcase)

Richard Roxburgh - The Hunting (SBS)

John Stanton - Bloom (Stan)

BEST GUEST OR SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION DRAMA

Kate Box - Les Norton (ABC)

Rachel Griffiths - Total Control (ABC)

Asher Keddie - The Cry (ABC)

Brooke Satchwell - Mr Inbetween (Foxtel - Showcase)

Jacki Weaver - Bloom (Stan)

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