Congratulations 2017 Academy Awards® Recipients
“The significance of this year’s record number of Academy Awards® nominations is truly monumental when you consider Australia is a country that makes around 30 films a year and has a population of just 23 million”, said Graeme Mason, CEO of Screen Australia. “It’s a credit to the creative teams of Lion, Hacksaw Ridge and Tanna; it’s thanks to the training they had here and abroad; and it’s due to Australian tax payers investing in our stories and our home-grown creativity.”
“Special congratulations to the Hacksaw Ridge team for their two Academy Awards®. Thank you to producers Bill Mechanic and David Permut and director Mel Gibson for fostering such an international approach to sharing the incredible story of Desmond Doss’ life on screen.”
This year’s Academy Awards® were historic for the local industry, as it was the first time two Australian films were nominated for Best Picture (Lion, Hacksaw Ridge) and the first time an Australia film scored a nomination in the Foreign Language Film category (Tanna). The 13 nominations were in addition to Australians working on foreign films, including Jason Billington nominated as part of the Deepwater Horizon team for Achievement in Visual Effects.
The Academy Awards® round out what has been an incredible summer of success for the Australian screen industry, with the six films selected for the Sundance Film Festival and nine films for the Berlinale, including the Crystal Bear for Best Short Film Wolfe and the prestigious Berlinale Camera for Geoffrey Rush.
Commercially, documentary Casting JonBenet and thriller Berlin Syndrome were snapped up by Netflix, Cargo became the first Australian Netflix original feature, and Hacksaw Ridge and Lion continue to do incredible business at the worldwide box office – AUD$231m and AUD$109m respectively as of February 23, 2017. Lion has also joined the history books, now counted amongst the all-time top 20 Australian films at the UK and US box office, and is fast approaching the top 5 locally. Lion was also the first Australian film since 1986’s Crocodile Dundee to top the Australian box office for three consecutive weekends.
There are high hopes that other Australian feature titles will follow this trend including Jasper Jones (released March 2), Dance Academy (April 6), Simon Baker’s director debut in Breath, Flammable Children, Cargo, Hotel Mumbai, Mountain and Three Summers to name a few.
Last year’s record year of television production is now translating to screen time, with Hoges (Seven), No Activity Season 2 (Stan) and Let’s Talk About Season 2 (Foxtel Play) available now, and The Warriors (ABC), Seven Types of Ambiguity (ABC) and Casting Jon Benet (Netflix) all expected in autumn. Air dates are yet to be announced for the anticipated returns of The Secret Daughter (Seven), The Wrong Girl (Ten), Doctor Doctor (Nine), The Family Law (SBS) and Here Come the Habibs (Nine). 2017 air dates are also expected for Wake in Fright (Ten), Sunshine (SBS) and Australia Day (Foxtel), with the adaption of Picnic at Hanging Rock (Foxtel) and Ronny Chieng: International Student (ABC) filming now.
“If you ever needed proof of the demand for Australian content, the last 12 months have been it,” said Graeme Mason. “Not every film will bring a commercial windfall, not every TV show will be a ratings hit, but across the board Australians are voting with their remote controls, at the box office and online that they want to see their own stories on screen.”