The Black Balloon leads the feature film nominations for the 50th AFI Awards, which were announced this afternoon in Sydney.
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29 Oct 2008 - 4:10 PM  UPDATED 7 Nov 2012 - 2:30 AM

Vince Colosimo joined fellow actors Asher Keddie and Steve Bisley at the Sydney Theatre, Walsh Bay to announce the nominations.

As expected, Elissa Down\'s film was the front runner in the nominations, and its 11 nominations just pipped Peter Duncan\'s Unfinished Sky, which earned 10.

Both face stiff competition from indie hit The Jammed, which won best film at the IF Awards in 2007 but was ineligible for last year\'s AFIs because its unconventional distribution strategy conflicted with entry guidelines at the time. The Jammed Nash Edgerton\'s debut feature The Square also fared well in the nominations, earning 7, including best film.

All of the films nominated in the Best Film category also earned nods for their directors. Those nominees are Elissa Down (The Black Balloon), Dee McLachlan (The Jammed), Nash Edgerton (The Square) and Peter Duncan (Unfinished Sky).

Noni Hazelhurst earned a best actress nomination for her turn as a grieving mother in Bitter and Twisted, and both Emma Lung and Veronica Sywak were recognised for their performances in the gruelling sex slave drama The Jammed. Dutch actress Monic Hendrickx also received a nomination for her role as a traumatised Afghan refugee in Unfinished Sky.

In the best lead actor category, Rhys Wakefield\'s performance as an anxious teenager in The Black Balloon is up against Guy Pearce\'s turn as Harry Houdini (Death Defying Acts), David Roberts\' reluctant criminal (The Square) and William McInnes\' complicated loner in Unfinished Sky.

The 2008 AFI Awards will take place at Melbourne’s Princess Theatre on Saturday 6 December and will be televised on the Nine Network at 9.30pm. Craft awards will be presented on December 5 in the \'AFI Industry Awards\'.


AFI Awards Nominees

AFI International Award for Best Actor
Eric Bana. The Other Boleyn Girl
Russell Crowe. American Gangster
Heath Ledger. The Dark Knight
Jack Thompson. Leatherheads

AFI International Award for Best Actress
Cate Blanchett. Elizabeth: The Golden Age
Judy Davis. The Starter Wife. Network Ten
Rachel Griffiths. Brothers & Sisters. Seven Network
Nicole Kidman. The Golden Compass

AFI Young Actor Award
Danielle Catanzariti. Hey Hey It’s Esther Blueburger
Tom Green. The Ground Beneath
Saoirse Ronan. Death Defying Acts
Clarence John Ryan. September

AFI Visual Effects Award
Death Defying Acts. James Rogers
Double The Fist (Series 2). Doug Bayne, Adam MacGowan, Michael Blake & Bill McGuire. ABC
Gabriel. Matthew Graham & Steve Anderson
H2O – Just Add Water (Series 2). Barry Lanfranchi. Network Ten

FEATURE FILM NOMINEES

AFI Award for Best Film
The Black Balloon. Tristram Miall
The Jammed. Dee McLachlan, Andrea Buck & Sally Ayre-Smith
The Square. Louise Smith
Unfinished Sky. Cathy Overett & Anton Smit

AFI Award for Best Direction
The Black Balloon. Elissa Down
The Jammed. Dee McLachlan
The Square. Nash Edgerton
Unfinished Sky. Peter Duncan

AFI Award for Best Original Screenplay
The Black Balloon. Elissa Down & Jimmy The Exploder
Hey Hey It’s Esther Blueburger. Cathy Randall
The Jammed. Dee McLachlan
The Square. Joel Edgerton & Matthew Dabner

AFI Award for Best Adapted Screenplay
All My Friends Are Leaving Brisbane. Stephen Vagg
Unfinished Sky. Peter Duncan

AFI Award for Best Cinematography
The Black Balloon. Denson Baker ACS
Death Defying Acts. Haris Zambarloukos BSC
The Tender Hook. Geoffrey Simpson ACS
Unfinished Sky. Robert Humphreys ACS

AFI Award for Best Editing
The Black Balloon. Veronika Jenet ASE
Black Water. Rodrigo Balart
The Jammed. Dee McLachlan & Anne Carter
Unfinished Sky. Suresh Ayyar ASE

AFI Award for Best Sound
The Black Balloon. Ben Osmo & Paul Pirola
Hey Hey It’s Esther Blueburger. Liam Egan, Tony Murtagh, Phil Judd MPSE & Des Kenneally
The Tender Hook. Liam Egan, Tony Murtagh, Phil Judd MPSE & Gary Wilkins
Unfinished Sky. Andrew Plain, Annie Breslin & Will Ward

AFI Award for Best Original Music Score
The Black Balloon. Michael Yezerski
The Square. François Tétaz & Ben Lee
The Tender Hook. Chris Abrahams
Unfinished Sky. Antony Partos

AFI Award for Best Production Design
Children of the Silk Road. Steven Jones-Evans
Death Defying Acts. Gemma Jackson
The Tender Hook. Peter Baxter
Unfinished Sky. Laurie Faen

AFI Award for Best Costume Design
Children of the Silk Road. Wenyan Gao & Kym Barrett
Death Defying Acts. Susannah Buxton
Hey Hey It\'s Esther Blueburger. Shareen Beringer
The Tender Hook. Cappi Ireland

AFI Award for Best Lead Actor
Rhys Wakefield. The Black Balloon
Guy Pearce. Death Defying Acts
David Roberts. The Square
William McInnes. Unfinished Sky

AFI Award for Best Lead Actress
Noni Hazlehurst. Bitter & Twisted
Emma Lung. The Jammed
Veronica Sywak. The Jammed
Monic Hendrickx. Unfinished Sky

AFI Award for Best Supporting Actor
Luke Ford. The Black Balloon
Erik Thomson. The Black Balloon
Joel Edgerton. The Square
Anthony Hayes. The Square

AFI Award for Best Supporting Actress
Leeanna Walsman. Bitter & Twisted
Toni Collette. The Black Balloon
Maeve Dermody. Black Water
Saskia Burmeister. The Jammed

AFI Award for Best Documentary
Beyond Our Ken. Luke Walker
Not Quite Hollywood. Craig Griffin & Michael Lynch
The Oasis. Ian Darling
Rare Chicken Rescue. Vickie Gest

AFI Award for Best Direction in a Documentary
Beyond Our Ken. Melissa Maclean & Luke Walker
The Oasis. Ian Darling & Sascha Ettinger Epstein
Rachel: A Perfect Life. Fiona Cochrane
Rare Chicken Rescue. Randall Wood

AFI Award for Best Cinematography in a Documentary
A Northern Town. Andrew Commis & Rachel Landers
Bomb Harvest. Kim Mordaunt
NIGHT. Laurie McInnes
Rare Chicken Rescue. Randall Wood

AFI Award for Best Editing in a Documentary
Not Quite Hollywood. Jamie Blanks, Sara Edwards & Mark Hartley
The Oasis. Sally Fryer
Rare Chicken Rescue. Scott Walton
The Siege. Stewart Young ASE

AFI Award for Best Sound in a Documentary
Fairweather Man. Ben Crane, Michael Gissing, Guy Gross & Mike Jones
The Oasis. Felicity Fox & Michael Gissing
Rare Chicken Rescue. Brett Aplin, Greg Docwra & John Willsteed
The Siege. Ian McLoughlin, Antony Partos & David White

AFI Award for Best Short Animation
Chainsaw. Fiona Cochrane & Dennis Tupicoff
Dog With Electric Collar. Steve Baker & Damon Escott
Mutt. Beth Frey & Glen Hunwick
Paper City Architects. Daniel Agdag

AFI Award for Best Short Fiction Film
fOUR. Zyra McAuliffe & Erin White
Jerrycan. Stuart Parkyn & Julius Avery
The Ground Beneath. Kristina Ceyton & Rene Hernandez
My Rabit Hoppy. Anthony Lucas

AFI Award for Best Screenplay in a Short Film
296 Smith Street. John Evagora
Chainsaw. Dennis Tupicoff
fOUR. Erin White
The Ground Beneath. Rene Hernandez