12 July, 2019
Writers of The Favourite, Hotel Mumbai, The Cry, Rosehaven and The Harp in the South among nominees for 52nd Annual AWGIE Awards
An outstanding field of Australian screen and stage writers have been nominated for the 52nd Annual AWGIE Awards in a year that will see some of our most beloved and iconic stories celebrated alongside exciting and bold new works, a testament to how Australian-told stories continue to resonate with audiences both here and abroad.
Nowhere is this more apparent than in the feature film categories, where the stories of an English Queen (Academy Award-nominated The Favourite), the first woman to win the Melbourne Cup (Ride Like A Girl), the tragic 2008 Mumbai attacks (Hotel Mumbai), a horrific manifestation of dementia (Relic), Australia’s favourite 1920s sleuth (Miss Fisher and the Crypt of Tears), the infamous Ned Kelly (True History of the Kelly Gang) and the last days of Shakespeare (All Is True) have been masterfully woven by some of our most accomplished screenwriters.
Showcasing their incredible versatility, many of the feature film nominees honed their craft writing top Australian drama, with Andrew Knight (Ride Like a Girl) receiving a second nomination in 2019 for the ABC’s Jack Irish. It will go up against Bloom, Secret City: Under the Eagle and The End in the Series or Miniseries category, with the critically-acclaimed The Cry, Lambs of God and On the Ropes nominated for Telemovie or Miniseries. For the first time in many years, the stalwarts of the Serial category Home and Away and Neighbours face competition in ABC newcomer The Heights. In the Comedy categories, Rosehaven and The Family Law will vie with Tim Minchin’s upcoming series Upright, and Orange is the New Brown will go head-to-head with The Weekly with Charlie Pickering.
The theatre nominees continue to showcase the exceptional craft of our top playwrights, with 2018 Stage winner Michele Lee’s Going Down up against Kate Mulvany’s adaptation of the Australian classic The Harp in the South, Toby Schmitz’s Degenerate Art, H Lawrence Sumner’s The Long Forgotten Dream and Lachlan Philpott’s Lost Boys. Works by Rachael Coopes, Caleb Lewis, Mary Rachel Brown, Noëlle Janaczewska, Duncan Graham and Vanessa Bates will compete for Community and Youth Theatre and Theatre for Young Audiences.
The Beatles-inspired children’s program Beat Bugs dominates the Animation category, with nominations also for Berry Bees, Monstrous and Spongo, Fuzz and Jalapeña. Meanwhile, the Interactive category celebrates a class of storytellers championing how technology and creativity can produce new and exciting ways of telling uniquely Australian stories, with nominations for VR works Awake and Eleven Eleven up against educational ANZAC-inspired app Days in Conflict and an interactive retelling of Storm Boy: The Game. The Web Series nominees also bring new life to the past, with Hannah and Eliza Reilly’s Sheilas, a hilarious series on the forgotten and badass women of Australian history up against Andy Muir’s episodes of The Twist, an ABC retelling of true Australian crime.
In the Documentary category, Ben Lawrence’s Ghosthunter will compete with Matthew Bate’s The Art of the Game and the epic voyage The Pacific: In the Wake of Captain Cook with Sam Neill by Sally Aitken, Owen Hughes, Meaghan Wilson-Anastasios, David Alrich and Sam Neill.
Awards will be presented across 18 individual categories including feature film, television, documentary, theatre, audio, animation and interactive media. Individual category winners will be eligible for the Major Award, given to the most outstanding script of the year. Past winners have included Lost & Found (2018), The Drover’s Wife (2017), The Code (2014 and 2016), The Water Diviner (2015), The Sapphires (2012), Animal Kingdom (2010) and Cloud Street (1999). Individual theatre category winners are also eligible for the David Williamson Prize for Excellence in Writing for Australian Theatre.
AWGIE recipients will be announced at the 52nd Annual AWGIE Awards on Thursday 22 August 2019 at the City Recital Hall, Sydney. Tickets on sale next week.
Since 1968 the Australian Writers’ Guild has presented the AWGIE Awards to recognise and reward the talents, triumphs and unique contributions of Australian screen and stage writers to the Australian arts. The AWGIE Awards are the only writers’ awards judged solely by writers, based on the written script – the writer’s intention rather than the finished product.
Find the full list of nominees for the 52nd Annual AWGIE Awards here.