The Australian awards season has commenced, with the announcement of the first batch of nominees for the inaugural Australian Academy Awards.
SBS Film

31 Aug 2011 - 9:33 AM  UPDATED 26 Feb 2014 - 4:09 PM

The first batch of nominees for the inaugural Australian Academy Awards have been announced, with the feature length documentary contenders ranging from explorations of racial politics on Palm Island, to a phenomenon sparked by surreptitious audio recordings, to examinations of artistic expression, and music education.

Producer Sophie Hyde is a double nominee, having been recognised for both of her co-producing efforts this year: Life In Movement, her collaboration with Bryan Mason about the life of the late dancer and would-be Sydney Dance Company director Tanja Liedtke; and Shut Up Little Man! An Audio Misadventure, her examination with co-producer (and director) Matt Bate, of the extraordinary knock-on effect of audiotaped recordings of two feuding San Francisco roommates.

Hyde and her collaborators will vie for the feature-length documentary award, against Darren Dale, who has been recognised for producing The Tall Man (pictured), director Tony Krawitz's in-depth investigation of the complex circumstances and racial politics at play on Palm Island in the lead-up and aftermath of an Indigenous man's death in custody. The Tall Man is an SBS commissioned film, which will screen at the Toronto International Film Festival next month, before a cinema release in October through Hopscotch Films.

The final feature documentary in contention for the Australian Academy Award is Mrs Carey's Concert, Bob Connolly and Sophie Raymond's co-directed study of a dedicated private school music teacher battling extenuating circumstances to guide her charges to a prestigious end of year concert at the Sydney Opera House. Connolly and Raymond are recognised as nominees, along with co-producer Helen Panckhurst. The film is still in limited release in regional Australia, haven taken in excess of $1 million in its 14-week cinema and festival run.

Other AACTA nominations include:

Best Short Animation:

Forget Me Not: Emily Dean
The Missing Key: Garth Nix, Anna McFarlane, Jonathan Nix
The Moment: Justin Wight, Kristian Moliere, Troy Bellchambers, Shane McNeil
Nullarbor: Alister Lockhart, Patrick Sarell, Katrina Mathers, Merrin Jensen, Daryl Munton

Best Short Fiction Film are:

Adam's Tallit: Justin Olstein, Marie Maroun
Cropped: Bettina Hamilton, Dave Wade
The Palace: Kate Croser, Anthony Maras, Andros Achilleos
The Telegram Man: James F. Khehtie, Victoria Wharfe McIntyre

Nominees in the Feature Film, Television and remaining Non Feature Film categories will be announced in November, becore the AACTA Awards ceremony in late January. The shortlist of feature films in contention for Academy Awards are as follows:

A Heartbeat Away
Big Mamma's Boy
Burning Man
Caught Inside
Face To Face
Griff The Invisible
Here I Am
Legend Of The Guardians: The Owls Of Ga'hoole
Mad Bastards
Oranges And Sunshine
Red Dog
Red Hill
Sleeping Beauty
Summer Coda
The Cup
The Dragon Pearl
The Eye Of The Storm
The Hunter
The Loved Ones
Wasted On The Young