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Major Prizes for AFTRS Alumni at the 2022 AACTA Awards

AFTRS Alumni have been honoured among Australia’s best and brightest screen talent at the 2022 Australian Academy of Cinema Television Arts (AACTA) Awards. AFTRS talent claimed five major prizes across television, documentary and digital categories, announced over two ceremonies on 5 and 7 December at Sydney’s Hordern Pavillion.

Mystery Road: Origin, produced by AFTRS alum Greer Simpkin alongside David Jowsey, led the winners in television, claiming Best Drama Series, and sweeping six additional categories, including Best Sound in Television (AFTRS alum Luke Mynott, alongside Wes Chew, Trevor Hope, Dylan Barfield), Best Direction in Drama or Comedy (Dylan River), Best Cinematography in Television (Tyson Perkins), Best Editing in Television (Nicholas Holmes), Best Lead Actor (Mark Coles Smith) and Actress (Tuuli Narkle). The Bunya Productions series also features the work of AFTRS alumni, executive producers Andrew Gregory and Ivan Sen, as well as writers Timothy Lee and Stephen McGregor.

Another major winner of the night was Netflix mega-hit Heartbreak High, created and written by AFTRS alum Hannah Carroll Chapman, who earned Screenplay in Television for the series’ first episode. The global sensation also earned the awards for Best Costume Design in Television (Rita Carmody), Best Supporting Actor in a Drama (Thomas Weatherall), and all three of its eligible public-voted Audience Choice Award categories: Best TV Show, Best Actor (Bryn Chapman), and Best Actress (Chloe Hayden). The series also showcases the work of alumni, writer Thomas Wilson-White, script producer/writer Megan Palinkas, line producer Cathy Flannery and editor Andrew Macneil. AFTRS Council Member Chris Oliver-Taylor is one of the show’s executive producers.

Meanwhile, AFTRS alum Jennifer Peedom’s hit River claimed the AACTA Award for Best Documentary together with Best Original Score in a Documentary (Richard Tognetti, William Barton, Piers Burbrook de Vere). A follow-up to Peedom’s 2017 feature Moutain, the Willem Dafoe-nominated documentary broke Australian box office records as the highest-grossing homegrown non-IMAX documentary. Several AFTRS alumni are featured among the credits, including producers Jo-Anne McGowan and Paul Wiegard, sound designer Tara Webb, visual effects artist Tamatea Kohu, additional cinematography Hugh Miller, on-line editor Joyce Escuadro and assistant editor Wayne C. Blair.

Rounding out the prizes for alumni at this year’s AACTAs was the AACTA Award for Best Digital Series or Channel, claimed by A Beginner’s Guide to Grief AFTRS alum, executive producer Linda Ujuk, alongside Anna Lindner, Renee Mao, Linda Ujuk, and Kate Butler.

The 2022 AACTA ceremony was broadcast and is available to stream on-demand via Foxtel and Binge, and will be available on AACTA TV. Clips from the show are available AACTA’s YouTube Channel.

See the full list of winners and nominees here.