Australian Directors' Guild   


2023 ADG Awards


Winners Announced






Poignant portrayals of the struggles of two distinctly different women have earned their directors the ultimate accolade in the Australian Directors’ Guild Awards, announced this evening.

Victorian filmmaker Noora Niasari’s Shayda, about a young Iranian mother who takes refuge in an Australian women’s shelter with her six-year-old daughter during the two weeks of the Persian New Year, has won her the top gong for Best Direction in a Feature Film (Budget $1m or over) in the prestigious, peer-judged awards.

Sydney-based director Dr Claire Pasvolsky has taken out the Best Direction in a Feature Film (Budget under $1m) award for Three Chords and the Truth, which tells the story of a self-sabotaging 40-something musician who finds herself terminally ill, alone and struggling financially before forging an unlikely bond with a teenage runaway.

Judges said Niasari’s Shayda, which has been named Australia’s official entry for the Best International Feature category at next year’s Oscars, demonstrates the director’s “exceptional control of story, screen language and performance”, and is “a fabulous debut for a director.”

Judges described Pasvolsky’s film, set in Newcastle and starring Australian singer-songwriter Jackie Marshall in her first acting role, as “restrained, tender and vulnerable”.

The award for Best Direction in a Debut Feature Film has gone to Mark Leonard Winter for The Rooster, about a small-time cop who seeks answers from a volatile hermit, played by Hugo Weaving, who was the last person to see his troubled friend alive. The film was shot in the stunning Daylesford forests surrounding Winter’s Glenlyon home.

The Rooster was described as “an astonishing debut film that deeply affected judges with the depth and complexity of its character development and provided a vehicle for what may be Weaving’s most powerful performance to date”.

Niasari, Pasvolsky and Winter, as well as Emma Sullivan who won Best Direction in a Documentary Feature for her portrayal of psychopathic Danish inventor Peter Madsen in Into the Deep, are all first-time feature film directors. Sullivan’s documentary played a critical role in the conviction of Madsen for the murder of Swedish journalist Kim Wall, which occurred as the documentary was being made. Judges said the film “distinguished itself through the director's adept adherence to the unadulterated narrative, deftly coupled with an editing approach that weaved a captivating and suspenseful tapestry."

Australian Directors’ Guild Executive Director Sophie Harper said seeing debut feature filmmakers take out the top four awards this year was incredibly exciting and a first for the ADG Awards.

“Australia has rightfully earned a reputation for our compelling, relatable and distinctive screen storytelling over many decades and this year’s winners demonstrate the incredible depth of new talent coming through

the ranks,” Ms Harper said. Ms Harper said one of the biggest challenges facing Australian directors was breaking into the professional

ranks and then maintaining a long-term, viable career. Ongoing struggles to ensure suitable Australian content quotas and conditions for streamed content were placing additional pressure on the local industry.

“These awards not only provide a springboard for many directors to launch national and international careers but shine a spotlight on our best local filmmaking as a tangible reminder of why it’s so important that

we protect and promote homegrown directing talent,” she said.

Seventy-four judges, among them some of Australia’s most celebrated directors, viewed 329 entries in this year’s awards across 20 categories.

Indigenous storytellers who were recognised include Queensland-based Torres Strait Islander John Harvey, who won Best Direction in a TV or SVOD Documentary Series Episode or Documentary One-Off Award for

Still We Rise. Harvey painstakingly pieced together archival footage and photos to produce his detailed story of the establishment of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy in Canberra, the world’s longest living protest, on it50th anniversary.

Kerinne Jenkins and Nicole Hutton-Lewis won Best Direction in an Interactive or Immersive Project for In our

Own Right – Black Australian Nurses’ Stories. Another outstanding documentary work, Tom Chapman’s Eden Alone Surpasses Thee, depicting the plight of at-risk youth in Tasmania’s remote west coast and one man’s determination to provide opportunities to those who have few, won its director the award for Best Direction in a Documentary Short Subject.

Australian Directors’ Guild President Rowan Woods congratulated the winners and thanked every filmmaker who had entered the 2023 awards.

“Tonight’s awards are an opportunity to celebrate all that’s great about Australian filmmaking and to remind audiences that Australian directors are up there with the world’s best, whether they are working in film,

television, documentary, animation music videos or interactive media,” Mr Woods said. “It’s more important than ever that we acknowledge and celebrate their achievements.”

The ADG Awards is supported by sponsors including Principal Partner ASDACS and Major Partner Netflix Australia.



LIST OF 2023 AUSTRALIAN DIRECTORS’ GUILD

AWARD WINNERS

Best Direction in a Mobile-First Online Series Episode
Erin Good – Krystal Klairvoyant: Episode 22 – Season Finale

Best Direction in a Children's TV or SVOD Drama Series Episode
Nicholas Verso – Crazy Fun Park: Season 1: Episode 1 – 
I Don't Want To Grow Up

Best Direction in a TV or SVOD Documentary Series Episode or Documentary One-Off
John Harvey – Still We Rise

Best Direction in a Documentary Short Subject
Tom Chapman – Eden Alone Surpasses Thee

Best Direction of Commercial Content
James Dive – Don’t You Forget About Me

Best Direction in a Commercial Advertisement
Sanjay De Silva – IKEA – Show Off Your Savvy

Best Direction in an Online Drama Series Episode
Bonnie Cee – Casino Beach – Pilot

Best Direction in an Online Comedy Series Episode
Madeleine Gottlieb – Latecomers: Episode 6 – Coming Good

Best Direction in an Interactive or Immersive Project
Kerinne Jenkins and Nicole Hutton-Lewis –
In Our Own Right –

Black Australian Nurses' Stories

Best Direction in a Short Film
Alies Sluiter – Myth

Best Direction in a Student Film
(Tie) Gabriel Murphy – Enemy Alien
(Tie) Vee Shi – Jia

Best Direction in Animation
Ricard Cussó and Tania Vincent – Scarygirl

Best Direction in a Music Video
Toby Morris – Middle Kids – Bootleg Firecracker

Best Direction in a TV or SVOD Comedy Series Episode
Max Miller – Aunty Donna's Coffee Café: Season 1: Episode 2

Best Direction in a TV or SVOD Drama Series Episode
Emma Freeman – The Newsreader: Season 2: Episode 5

Best Direction in a TV or SVOD Mini-Series Episode
Tony Krawitz – Significant Others: Episode 1

Best Direction in a Documentary Feature
Emma Sullivan – Into The Deep

Best Direction in a Debut Feature Film
Mark Leonard Winter – The Rooster

Best Direction in a Feature Film (Budget under $1M)
Claire Pasvolsky – Three Chords And The Truth

Best Direction in a Feature Film (Budget $1M or over)
Noora Niasari – Shayda

Honorable mention (Best Direction in a Documentary Feature)
Selina Miles – Harley and Katya

Honorable mention (Feature Film Budget $1m or over)
Colin Cairnes and Cameron Cairnes – Late Night With the Devil


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FULL LIST OF NOMINEES 2023 ADG AWARDS

Best Direction in a Mobile-First Online Series Episode 

Joel Ludemann  Tales From 88 
Erin Good  Krystal Klairvoyant (E22) – Season Finale 


Best Direction in a Children's TV or SVOD Drama Series Episode 

Elissa Down  Ivy + Bean: Doomed to Dance 
Guy Edmonds  Spooky Files (S1 E9) – The Mist of Misery 
Imogen McCluskey  Soundtrack To Our Teenage Zombie Apocalypse (S1 E10) 
Julie Kalceff The PM’s Daughter (S2 E2) – Be Relentless 
Nicholas Verso Crazy Fun Park (S1 E1) – I Don’t Want To Grow Up
Tenika Smith Turn Up The Volume (E6)


Best Direction in a TV or SVOD Documentary Series Episode or Documentary One-Off 

John Harvey  Still We Rise 
Kriv Stenders  The Black Hand (E1) 
Nick Robinson  Australia’s Wild Odyssey (E1) – Arteries and Veins 
Patrick Abboud  Kids Raising Kids 
Stamatia Maroupas Queerstralia (E1) – The Law


Best Direction in a Documentary Short Subject 

Hailey Bartholomew  Ageless 
Madeleine Mytkowski  Salt Dreams 
Sofya Gollan & Jodee Mundy OAM Imagined Touch 
Tilly Robba & Steph Jowett  Lesbians on the Loose 
Tom Chapman  Eden Alone Surpasses Thee 


Best Direction in Commercial Content 

Craig Melville  Dead Island 2 – Another Day in HELL.A 
Gavin Banks  Sione’s Story – Department of Communities and Justice
Gracie Otto  Zimmermann Fall 22 – Stargazer 
Henry Stone  Square Mo-gal Webin-ya! 
James Dive  Don’t You Forget About Me 
Selina Miles Ovaries. Talk About Them.


Best Direction in a Commercial Advertisement

Michael Spiccia  Amazon Prime – Separation 
Michael Spiccia  Enchanté – Smell the Roses 
Nash Edgerton  Tag Heuer – The Chase for Carrera
Sanjay De Silva  IKEA – Show Off Your Savvy 
Tom Noakes Amazon Books – That Reading Feeling Awaits
Yianni Warnock Meat & Livestock Australia – Infinite Cultural Exile


Best Direction in an Online Drama Series Episode 

Bonnie Cee  Casino Beach – Pilot
Tam Sainsbury  Time & Place 


Best Direction in an Online Comedy Series Episode 

Madeleine Gottlieb  Latecomers (E4) – Wet 
Madeleine Gottlieb  Latecomers (E6) – Coming Good
Max Miller  Finding Yeezus (S1 E1) 
Neil Sharma  Appetite (E1) – Dead Head
Neil Sharma  Appetite (E2) – Pho Ken What? 
Renée Mao  A Beginner’s Guide To Grief (E1) 


Best Direction in an Interactive or Immersive Project 

Kerinne Jenkins & Nicole Hutton-Lewis In Our Own Right – Black Australian Nurses’ Stories 
Peter Hegedüs  Sorella’s Story 
Stuart McDonald  Choose Love 


Best Direction in a Short Film

Alies Sluiter  Myth 
David Ma  The Dancing Girl and The Balloon Man 
David Robinson-Smith  We Used to Own Houses 
Matthew Thorne & Derik Lynch Marungka Tjalatjunu – Dipped in Black
Neer Shelter Perspectives
Robin Summons Victim


Best Direction in a Student Film

Gabriel Murphy  Enemy Alien 
Gilbert Kemp Attrill  Reunion  
Guillym Davenport  Pitch Black
Karen Liebau McPherson  Laugh With Me  
Stephen Di Gravio Anna
Vee Shi Jia


Best Direction in Animation

Christian Barkel  Lego Monkie Kid (S4) 
Ricard Cussó & Tania Vincent Scarygirl


Best Direction in a Music Video

Bill Bleakley  The Teskey Brothers – True Life Trilogy 
Jesse Samos Leaman  Didirri – Often Broken 
Kaius Potter  Bad//Dreems – See You Tomorrow 
Lucy Knox  DMAS – Forever
Sanjay De Silva  Jerome Farah – Concrete Jungle Fever 
Toby Morris  Middle Kids – Bootleg Firecracker 


Best Direction in a TV or SVOD Comedy Series Episode

Robyn Butler & Wayne Hope Summer Love, (S1 E1) – Jules and Tom and Jonah and Steph
Bjorn Stewart Gold Diggers (S1 E5) – Man Ban
Helena Brooks  Gold Diggers (S1 E3) – I’m with the Bandits 
Matthew Moore  Colin From Accounts – (S1 E6) – The Good Room 
Max Miller  Aunty Donna’s Coffee Café (S1 E2) 
Shaun Wilson  Romantic Getaway 


Best Direction in a TV or SVOD Drama Series Episode

Emma Freeman  The Newsreader (S2) - Episode 5
Gracie Otto  Heartbreak High (S1 E8)
Gracie Otto  Deadloch (S1 E6) 
Jennifer Leacey  The Secrets She Keeps (S2 E3)
Sian Davies  Black Snow (E1) 


Best Direction in a TV or SVOD Mini- Series Episode

Peter Andrikidis & Katrina Irawati Graham  Bali 2002 (E1) – Island of the Gods 
Jeffrey Walker  The Clearing (E1) – The Season of Unfoldment 
Corrie Chen  Bad Behaviour (E1) – Moth to a Flame 
Peter Andrikidis & Katrina Irawati Graham  Bali 2002 (E2) – From the Ashes
Stevie Cruz-Martin Safe Home (E1)
Tony Krawitz Significant Others (E1)


Best Direction in a Documentary Feature

Allan Clarke  The Dark Emu Story 
Emma Sullivan  Into the Deep 
Gillian Moody & Adrian Russell Wills Kindred
Laurence Billiet & Rachael Antony The Giants 
Poppy Stockell  John Farnham – Finding the Voice 
Selina Miles  Harley & Katya 


Best Direction in a Debut Feature Film

Brenda Matthews & Nathaniel Schmidt  The Last Daughter 
Gabriel Gasparinatos OneFour – Against All Odds
Jub Clerc   Sweet As 
Mark Leonard Winter  The Rooster  
Matt Vesely  Monolith 
Thomas Hyland  This Is Going to Be Big 


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

Amin Palangi  Tennessine 
Claire Pasvolsky  Three Chords and the Truth 
James Vinson  Slant 
Molly Haddon  The Longest Weekend 
Scott Major  Darklands 


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

Colin & Cameron Cairnes  Late Night With The Devil 
Gracie Otto  Seriously Red 
Jeffrey Walker  The Portable Door 
Noora Niasari  Shayda 
Warwick Thornton  The New Boy 



NOMINEES ANNOUNCEMENT 

2023 AUSTRALIAN DIRECTORS’ GUILD AWARDS 

First Nations director Warwick Thornton, whose feature films Samson and Delilah and Sweet Country won international acclaim, is among a slew of Indigenous Australians nominated in the prestigious 2023 Australian Directors’ Guild Awards.

Thornton’s direction of The New Boy, about an orphaned Aboriginal boy sent to live in an outback monastery, sets the scene for a strong focus on First Nations storytelling among this year’s awards nominees.

The full list of nominations for the 2023 Australian Directors’ Guild Awards, which recognise Australia’s top directing talent, has been announced today.

Australian Directors’ Guild Executive Director Sophie Harper said the awards would be a celebration of the very best in Australian directing across all genres and platforms.

“The Australian Directors’ Guild Awards are the only awards in Australia where directors are judged by their peers, many of whom are world-renowned for their own achievements,” Ms Harper said.

Vying with Thornton for Best Direction in a Feature Film (Budget $1m or over) is an eclectic mix of talent. Tehran-born Australian director Noora Niasari has been nominated for her debut feature Shayda; horror film siblings Colin and Cameron Cairnes have been recognised for Late Night with the Devil; Gracie Otto has been nominated for her debut narrative feature film Seriously Red and former actor and director Jeffrey Walker is in the running for fantasy adventure The Portable Door.

Niasari’s Shayda, about a young Iranian mother who finds refuge with her daughter in an Australian women’s shelter, has been named Australia’s official entry for the Best International Feature category at next year’s Oscars.

Otto, daughter of Australian acting royalty Barry and sister of Miranda, has been recognised in two additional categories – Best Direction of Commercial Content for Zimmermann Fall 22 – Stargazer; and two nominations for Best Direction in a TV or Subscription Video On Demand (SVOD) Drama Series Episode for Heartbreak High and Deadloch. Walker received a second nomination in the TV or SVOD Mini-Series category for The Clearing.

In an all-female line-up, Otto’s fellow nominees in the TV or SVOD Drama Series Episode category include Emma Freeman (The Newsreader), Jennifer Leacey (The Secrets She Keeps) and Sian Davies (Black Snow).

Emma Sullivan’s depiction of the story of journalist Kim Wall who was murdered after boarding Danish inventor Peter Madsen’s submarine in Into the Deep, and Selina Miles’ direction of Harley and Katya, the tragic story of an Australian figure skating duo, have each earned a nomination for Best Direction in a Documentary Feature. 

They’re joined by Laurence Billiet and Rachael Antony for The Giants, about the life of politician-turned-environmentalist Bob Brown, and Poppy Stockell for her direction of John Farnham – Finding the Voice

Indigenous director Allan Clarke’s The Dark Emu Story, charting the impact of Bruce Pascoe’s book, and Wodi Wodi woman Gillian Moody’s Kindred, about her connection back to her bloodlines after being adopted into a white family, have also earned them a nomination in the documentary feature category.

Torres Strait Islander John Harvey has been nominated in the Best Direction in a TV or SVOD Documentary Series Episode or Documentary One-Off category for Still We Rise, documenting the Aboriginal Tent Embassy opposite Old Parliament House in the year of its 50th anniversary. Also nominated in the category are Kriv Stenders (The Black Hand - E1); Nick Robinson (Australia’s Wild Odyssey E1 – Arteries and Veins); Patrick Abboud (Kids Raising Kids) and Stamatia Maroupas (Queerstralia E1 – The Law).

First Nations director Jub Clerc’s Sweet Asabout an Australian teen who discovers her love for photography at a youth camp in Western Australia, has earned her a nomination for Best Direction in a Debut Feature Film. Brenda Matthews and Nathaniel Schmidt have also been nominated in the category for The Last Daughter, charting Matthews’ search for the white foster family with whom she had lost all contact. 

Other debut feature film nominees include Gabriel Gasparinatos (OneFour – Against All Odds); Mark Leonard Winter (The Rooster); Matt Vesely (Monolith) and Thomas Hyland (This is Going to Be Big).

For Best Direction in a Short Film, Yankunytjatjara man Derik Lynch and Matthew Thorne have been nominated for Marungka Tjalatjunu (Dipped in Black), alongside Alies Sluiter (Myth); David Ma (The Dancing Girl and the Balloon Man); David Robinson-Smith (We Used to Own Houses); Neer Shelter (Perspectives) and Robin Summons (Victim).

The winners of the 20 categories in the 2023 Australian Directors’ Guild Awards will be announced at an awards ceremony at The Grand Electric in Sydney’s Surry Hills on Tuesday, December 5.  

ADG President Rowan Woods said: “The awards recognise outstanding directing in everything from mobile-first online series and children’s TV drama to best music video, animation or feature film, and we’re delighted to see more nominations than ever this year.

“Judges have been blown away by the quality of entrants and have been particularly impressed by the calibre of up-and-coming talent. A win for any one of these newcomers could be the launch pad for an enduring and impactful career and we’re excited to see who takes out the awards on December 5.”

Ms Harper urged those with a passion for Australian filmmaking to come along to the awards ceremony, which is open to the public as well as industry members.

“Whether you’re an emerging director wanting to network with the best of the best in the field or a film buff who wants an inside run on the hottest new Australian directors, get in quickly and grab your tickets,” Ms Harper said.

The ADG Awards is supported by sponsors including Principal Partner ASDACS and Major Partner Netflix Australia. Limited tickets are available. Book now at www.strutnfret.com/grand-electric

PDF Media Release

 

2023 ADG Awards

Entries Now Closed


2023 ADG AWARDS CATEGORIES

Best Direction in a Debut Feature Film
Best Direction in a Narrative Feature Film (Budget $1M or over)
Best Direction in a Narrative Feature Film (Budget under $1M)
Best Direction in a Short Film
Best Direction in a Student Film
Best Direction in a Documentary Feature
Best Direction in a TV or SVOD Documentary Series Episode or Documentary One-Off
Best Direction in a Documentary Short Subject
The Esben Storm Award for Best Direction in a Children's TV or SVOD Series Episode
Best Direction in a TV or SVOD Drama Series Episode
Best Direction in a TV or SVOD Comedy Series Episode
Best Direction in a TV or SVOD Miniseries Episode
Best Direction in an Online Drama Series Episode
Best Direction in an Online Comedy Series Episode
Best Direction in a Mobile-First Online Series Episode
Best Direction in Animation
Best Direction in a Commercial Advertisement
Best Direction in Commercial Content
Best Direction in a Music Video
Best Direction in an Interactive or Immersive Project

KEY DATES:
Submissions Open: 4 July 2023, 9:00am AEST
Submissions Close: 15 August, 2023, 11:59PM AEST
Nominees Announcement: November, 2023
2023 ADG Awards Ceremony: 5 December 2023

Terms and conditions for eligibility and category information can be found HERE

If you have any questions or concerns, please email ash.gray@adg.org.au.


2023 ADG AWARDS SPONSORS

The ADG Awards are made possible with the generous support of our industry partners. 


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To visit the ADG 2022 AWARDS page, go to: Australian Directors' Guild - ADG AWARDS 2022

 


To visit the ADG 2021 AWARDS page, go to: Australian Directors' Guild - ADG AWARDS 2021