July 14, 2020

In by Dov Kornits


The Australian Directors’ Guild today announced nominees for the 2020 ADG Awards, to be announced in Sydney at an Awards ceremony at the City Recital Hall on October 19.

A record 202 entries were received this year, up from 117 in 2019.

The Awards celebrate the outstanding work of Australian screen directors over the past year across 19 categories including film, television, online, music and advertising.

Six directors will vie for the Best Direction in a Feature Film (Budget $1M or over). They are

Thomas Wright for Acute Misfortune, Sophie Hyde for Animals, John Sheedy for H is for Happiness, Ben Lawrence for Hearts and Bones, Natalie Erika James for Relic and Wayne Blair for Top End Wedding.

Some of Australia’s most exciting young cinema talent are represented in the nominations for the Best Direction in a Feature Film (Budget under $1M) category. Nominees are Josephine Mackerras for Alice, Imogen Thomas for Emu Runner, Lucy Coleman for Hot Mess, Luke Sullivan for Reflections In The Dust and Samuel Van Grinsven for Sequin In A Blue Room.

The nominees for Best Direction in a Documentary Feature are Ian Darling for The Final Quarter, Maya Newell for In My Blood It Runs, Peter Hegedus for LILI and Allan Hardy for Viva The Underdogs.

Sophie Hyde and Jeffrey Walker have both been nominated twice in this year’s awards. They are two of the four directors nominated for Best Direction in a TV or SVOD Mini-Series. The nominees are Mat King for Bloom – Episode 5, Sophie Hyde for The Hunting – Episode 4, Jeffrey Walker for Lambs Of God – Episode 1 and Emma Freeman for Stateless – Episode 3.

The nominees for Best Direction in a TV or SVOD Drama Series are Jeffrey Walker for The Commons – Episode 1, Nash Edgerton for Mr. Inbetween – Episode 4 Season 2, Peter Andrikidis for Reckoning – Episode 4, Tony Krawitz for Secret City – Episode 1 Season 2, Rachel Perkins for Total Control – Episode 4 and Kevin Carlin for Wentworth – Episode 10 Season 7.

Rebecca O’Brien has been nominated for Best Direction in a Children’s TV or SVOD Drama Program for The Unlisted – Episode 13, a role she received support through the ADG/Gender Matters shadow directing program.  Lucy Gaffy and Darlene Johnson also supported previously through this program have been nominated today.

“At these challenging times, it is more important than ever that we come together as a creative community to celebrate our achievements of the past year. Australian directors are creating fine work across all forms and genres and these nominations reflect the depth of talent in this country,” said ADG Executive Director Diana Burnett.

A full list of nominees across all 19 categories is below.

Any Australian Directors’ Guild member can submit for the ADG Awards. The judging panels are drawn from ADG membership (Full Members).  The ADG also offers Associate Membership. In order to support the industry, particularly emerging directors, the ADG has offered free Associate membership for the past three months.

This year the Awards Ceremony returns to Sydney’s iconic City Recital Hall and will be followed by a Gala Dinner at the Ivy Ballroom.  There are several ticketing options available.


ADG Members FREE Admission (RSVP is essential)

Students FREE Admission (RSVP is essential)

General Admission $50


Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Gala Dinner is available only to screen guild and

ASDACS members at this time.

ADG Members $150

ASDACS and other screen guilds members $175

Tickets are available here:

The ADG Awards recognise excellence in the craft and art of directing, as well as honouring individual contributions by Australian screen directors to the screen industry. The Awards are the only opportunity for Australian directors and their work to be acknowledged by their directing peers. The Awards cover the breadth of screen directing with categories across feature film, documentary, television, subscription video on demand, commercial, short film, animation, online, music video and interactive media.

Best Direction in a Feature Film (Budget $1M or over)

Thomas Wright – Acute Misfortune

Sophie Hyde – Animals
John Sheedy – H is for Happiness

Ben Lawrence – Hearts and Bones
Natalie Erika James – Relic
Wayne Blair – Top End Wedding

Best Direction in a Feature Film (Budget under $1M)

Josephine Mackerras – Alice

Imogen Thomas – Emu Runner

Lucy Coleman – Hot Mess

Luke Sullivan – Reflections In The Dust

Samuel Van Grinsven – Sequin In A Blue Room

Best Direction in a Documentary Feature

Ian Darling – The Final Quarter

Maya Newell – In My Blood It Runs

Peter Hegedus – LILI

Allan Hardy – Viva The Underdogs

Best Direction in a TV or SVOD Drama Series 

Jeffrey Walker – The Commons – Episode 1

Nash Edgeton – Mr. Inbetween – Episode 4 Season 2

Peter Andrikidis – Reckoning – Episode 4

Tony Krawitz – Secret City – Episode 1 Season 2

Rachel Perkins – Total Control – Episode 4

Kevin Carlin – Wentworth – Episode 10 Season 7

Best Direction in a TV or SVOD Mini-Series 

Mat King – Bloom – Episode 5

Sophie Hyde – The Hunting – Episode 4

Jeffrey Walker – Lambs Of God – Episode 1

Emma Freeman – Stateless – Episode 3

Best Direction in a Documentary Series

Rosie Jones – The Cult Of The Family – Episode 1

Cian O’Clery – Love On The Spectrum – Episode 1

Genevieve Clay Smith – Perspective Shift – Episode 1

Best Direction in a TV or SVOD Comedy Series 

Matthew Moore – Diary Of An Uber Driver – Episode 2

Amanda Brotchie – The Letdown – Episode 1

Trent O’Donnell – The Letdown – Episode 4 Season 2

Matthew Saville – Upright – Episode 5

Best Direction in a Children’s TV or SVOD Drama Program

Kacie Anning – Hardball – Episode 6

Isaac Elliot – The Legend of Burnout Barry

Lucy Gaffy – The Unlisted – Episode 10

Rebecca O’Brien – The Unlisted – Episode 13

Best Direction in a TV or SVOD Drama Serial

Renee Webster – The Heights – Episode 15

Darlene Johnson – The Heights – Episode 22

Arnie Custo – Home and Away – Episode 7117

Danny Raco – Home and Away – Episode 7225

David Gould – Home and Away – Episode 7271

Tony Gardiner – Neighbours – Episode 8325

Best Direction in an Animated Project 

Jo Boag – Alice Miranda: Friends Forever

Holly Hargraeves – Bonnie The Elephant

Best Direction in Commercial Content

Nicholas Carlton – A Future For All Of Us (Australian Greens)

Lucy Coleman – Koala Presents: Mattress (Ex)orcism (Koala Mattress)

Craig Melville – Unexpected Journeys (TBWA)

Allan Hardy – Volvo Penta Makes Australian Farming Possible (Allabah Pastural Co.)

Best Direction in Commercial Advertisement

Ven Gia – Made Here. By Us. (Corowa Distilling Co.)

Luke Shanahan – Little Fibs (NZ Post)

Tim Bullock – New–Australia Land (Meat and Livestock Australia)

Best Direction in an Online Drama Series

Husein Alicajic – One Sided // The Acquired Inability To Escape

Best Direction in an Online Comedy Series

Max Miller- Aunty Donna: Glennridge Secondary College

Michael O’Neill- Australia’s Best Street Car Racer

Miley Tunnecliffe- Molly and Cars

Eliza Reilly- Sheilas

Best Direction in a Documentary Short Subject

Dr. Karen Pearlman – I Want To Write A Film About Women

Stefan Bugryn – War Mothers: Unbreakable

Logan Much – We’re All In This together

Rob Innes – Youth On Strike!

Best Direction in a Music Video

Lucy Knox – I’m Not Afraid (Artist: G Flip)

Lucy Knox – If I Could Give You (Artist: Clare Bowditch)

Matthew Thorne – The Only Boy Racer Left On The Island (Artist: The Howl & The Hum)

Nick Waterman – Ready (Artist: Montaigne)

Riley Blakeway – Whenever You Are (Artist: Kodaline)

Best Direction in an Interactive or Immersive Title

Matthew Sleeth – A Drone Opera – 3 Channel Gallery Installation

Best Direction in a Short Film

Simon Croker – All Good Things

Melissa Anastasi – Chlorine

Sam Lara – Featherweight

Michael Shanks – Rebooted

Lydia Rui – This Perfect Day

Lewis Attey – Three Stories Inside a Rental Van  

Best Direction in a Student Film

Dylan Ferenc Nyerges- Arthur, Blessed

Alies Sluiter – Ayaan

Alex Wu- Idol
Peter Skinner- Lost Boy
Eva Justine Torkkola- ЩОСЬ В ЛIСI ЗДОХЛО (Something Has Died In The Forest)

Naomi Fryer- This River