Australia’s brightest homegrown talent has gathered to celebrate a record number of locally made films at the entertainment industry’s night of nights.
Stars including leading lady Nicole Kidman and AACTA awards nominee Simon Baker hit the red carpet before the 60th anniversary of the Australian Film Institutes’ official award ceremony.
The actors are in Sydney to celebrate the best of a record 38 homegrown films as well as TV shows, produced in 2018.
Kidman, a tower of feminine pink and green sequins in long sleeved dress, used her best supporting actress win for Boy Erased to champion for local filmmakers.
“It’s so hard for films to get the money raised today,” she told a press conference backstage.
Boy Erased was a film that won’t leave audiences devastated but it might change them, Kidman said.
Based on Garrard Conley’s memoir about his forced stay at a conversion therapy camp, the actor played the character of his mother a Martha Conley who worked closely with Kidman while she was learning the part.
“The thing about Martha she is so open and so willing to admit her mistakes because she didn’t realise what she was doing and I think that’s what makes her story so amazing,” Nicole Kidman told AAP.
“She’s cultivated an amazing relationship with her son since then and it shows you can make mistakes and you can heal.”
And there are many more stories, films and TV shows to come out of Australia, Kidman said.
She was joined on the red carpet by her “feminist mother” and niece Lucia Hawley, who also accompanied Kidman at the 2018 ARIA Awards hosted by her husband Keith Urban.
Other Australian stars attending the ceremony included screen stalwart Marta Dusseldorp who called for more support for the local industry.
“It has to come from the government and legislation, without arts funding we can’t thrive,” she told AAP.
“I’m sure there’s enough money somewhere to pull out.”
The portrayal of women on the small and big screen was also a hot topic, including for TV’s Doctor Doctor star Tina Bursill.
Fresh off the back of the Me Too movement, Bursill said there were more conversations being had about the treatment of women in the entertainment industry.
“The positive change is the fact that we’re talking about it,” Bursill said.
It is vitally important stories are told of all elements of life in Australia, she said.
“We’re all over the bit of sameness of stories of the past.”
Let’s hope we eradicate that behaviour for the next generation - and the next generation.”
Australian Associated Press