This morning, we celebrate the news of Shannon Murphy’s British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA) nomination for Best Director for her feature debut Babyteeth – another stop on this stellar alumna’s (Graduate Diploma in Directing, 2013) meteoric rise. Murphy will be competing against Thomas Vinterberg (Another Round), Lee Isaac Chung (Minari), Chloé Zhao (Nomadland), Jasmila Žbanić (Quo Vadis, Aida?) and Sarah Gavron (Rocks). Notably, four of the six nominees are women.
This latest announcement follows a sweep at the recent AACTA Awards, where Babyteeth won nine of its 13 nominations. Babyteeth follows seriously ill teenager Milla (played by Eliza Scanlen) who, much to the horror of her parents (played by Essie Davis and Ben Mendelsohn) falls madly in love with smalltime drug dealer Moses (played by Toby Wallace, who was awarded the prestigious Marcello Mastroianni award at Venice for his performance). As the one-liner says “Babyteeth is a heartbreaking comedy about how good it is not to be dead yet and how far we will go for love.”
Babyteeth features the work of several other AFTRS alumni: producer Alex White (Graduate Certificate in Producing, 2011), cinematographer Andrew Commis (Master of Arts – Film & TV Cinematography, 1998), composer Amanda Brown (Graduate Certificate in Screen Composition, 1999), production designer Sherree Phillips (Graduate Diploma in Production Design, 2012) and design assistant Laura Anna Lucas (Master of Arts Screen: Production Design, 2018).
In 2019, the film had its world premiere at Venice International Film Festival, where it collected four awards and was nominated for the Golden Lion. Murphy was practically plucked from the red carpet and flown straight to London to direct two episodes of the hit TV show, Killing Eve.
Britsh critics and audiences alike have embraced Murphy. Aside from today’s BAFTA nomination, Babyteeth was nominated last month for the Best International Independent Film at the British Independent Film Awards (BIFA) and has a British series in development with Australian writer Beatrix Christian. TV is where Murphy cut her teeth immediately after graduating from AFTRS, and her talent is on full display on beloved Aussie shows Rake, Offspring and the four-part mini-series On the Ropes.
The 74th BAFTAs will be announced at a ceremony on 11 April 2021. See the full list of nominees here.