AACTA Award for Best Direction

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Best Direction
Presented byAustralian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA)
First awarded1971
Currently held byBaz Luhrmann, Elvis (2022)

The AACTA Award for Best Direction is an award presented by the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA), a non-profit organisation whose aim is to "identify, award, promote and celebrate Australia's greatest achievements in film and television."[1] The award is presented at the annual AACTA Awards, which hand out accolades for achievements in feature film, television, documentaries and short films.[2]

From 1969 to 2010, the category was presented by the Australian Film Institute (AFI), the Academy's parent organisation, at the annual Australian Film Institute Awards (known as the AFI Awards).[3] When the AFI launched the Academy in 2011, it changed the annual ceremony to the AACTA Awards, with the current award being a continuum of the AFI Award for Best Direction.[3]

Bruce Beresford, Rolf de Heer, Ray Lawrence, Baz Luhrmann, George Miller, Fred Schepisi, Peter Weir and Jennifer Kent have received the award the most times with two each. Paul Cox has been nominated seven times, more than any other director with one win.

Winners and nominees[edit]

In the following table, the years listed correspond to the year of film release; the ceremonies are usually held the same year.[A] The director in bold and in dark blue background have received a special award; those in bold and in yellow background have won a regular competitive award. Those that are neither highlighted nor in bold are the nominees. Within each year, the table lists the winning director first and then the other nominees.[4][5]

Year Director Film
1971 Peter Weir Homesdale
1972 Tim Burstall Stork
1973 Eric Porter Marco Polo Junior Versus the Red Dragon
1974/5 John Power Billy and Percy
1976 Fred Schepisi The Devil's Playground
Tim Burstall End Play
Bert Deling Pure S
Peter Weir Picnic at Hanging Rock
1977 Bruce Beresford Don's Party
Chris Löfvén Oz
Philippe Mora Mad Dog Morgan
Henri Safran Storm Boy
1978 Phillip Noyce Newsfront
John Duigan Mouth to Mouth
Fred Schepisi The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith
Peter Weir The Last Wave
1979 Gillian Armstrong My Brilliant Career
Donald Crombie Cathy's Child
George Miller Mad Max
Esben Storm In Search of Anna
1980 Bruce Beresford Breaker Morant
John Honey Manganinnie
Stephen Wallace Stir
Simon Wincer Harlequin
1981 Peter Weir Gallipoli
Bruce Beresford The Club
John Duigan Winter of Our Dreams
Claude Whatham Hoodwink
1982 George Miller Mad Max 2
Paul Cox Lonely Hearts
Michael Pattinson Moving Out
Carl Schultz Goodbye Paradise
1983 Carl Schultz Careful, He Might Hear You
Paul Cox Man of Flowers
Peter Weir The Year of Living Dangerously
Simon Wincer Phar Lap
1984 Paul Cox My First Wife
Gil Brealey Annie's Coming Out
Ken Cameron Fast Talking
Sophia Turkiewicz Silver City
1985 Ray Lawrence Bliss
Bill Bennett A Street to Die
Bob Ellis Unfinished Business
Glenda Hambly Fran
1986 Nadia Tass Malcolm
Bruce Beresford The Fringe Dwellers
Paul Cox Cactus
George Ogilvie Short Changed
1987 John Duigan The Year My Voice Broke
Gillian Armstrong High Tide
Bruce Myles, Michael Pattinson Ground Zero
Roger Scholes The Tale of Ruby Rose
1988 Vincent Ward The Navigator: A Medieval Odyssey
Pino Amenta Boulevard of Broken Dreams
Craig Lahiff Fever
Don McLennan Mull
1989 Fred Schepisi Evil Angels
Paul Cox Island
Ben Lewin Georgia
Phillip Noyce Dead Calm
1990 Ray Argall Return Home
Paul Cox Golden Braid
Jerzy Domaradzki Struck by Lightning
Stephen Wallace Blood Oath
1991 Jocelyn Moorhouse Proof
Rolf de Heer Dingo
Jackie McKimmie Waiting
John Ruane Death in Brunswick
1992 Baz Luhrmann Strictly Ballroom
Gillian Armstrong The Last Days of Chez Nous
Bruce Beresford Black Robe
Geoffrey Wright Romper Stomper
1993 Jane Campion The Piano
Michael Jenkins The Heartbreak Kid
Vincent Ward Map of the Human Heart
James Ricketson Blackfellas
1994 Rolf de Heer Bad Boy Bubby
Stephan Elliott The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert
P. J. Hogan Muriel's Wedding
Alkinos Tsilimidos Everynight ... Everynight
1995 Michael Rymer Angel Baby
Richard Franklin Hotel Sorrento
Margot Nash Vacant Possession
John Ruane That Eye, the Sky
1996 Scott Hicks Shine
Paul Cox Lust and Revenge
Peter Duncan Children of the Revolution
Clara Law Floating Life
1997 Bill Bennett Kiss or Kill
David Caesar Idiot Box
Chris Kennedy Doing Time for Patsy Cline
Samantha Lang The Well
1998 Rowan Woods The Boys
Ana Kokkinos Head On
Craig Monahan The Interview
Rachel Perkins Radiance
1999 Gregor Jordan Two Hands
Christina Andreef Soft Fruit
Bill Bennett In a Savage Land
John Curran Praise
2000 Andrew Dominik Chopper
Pip Karmel Me Myself I
Jonathan Teplitzky Better Than Sex
Kate Woods Looking for Alibrandi
2001 Ray Lawrence Lantana
David Caesar Mullet
Robert Connolly The Bank
Baz Luhrmann Moulin Rouge!
2002 Ivan Sen Beneath Clouds
Tony Ayres Walking on Water
Rolf de Heer The Tracker
Phillip Noyce Rabbit-Proof Fence
2003 Sue Brooks Japanese Story
Gregor Jordan Ned Kelly
Paul Moloney Crackerjack
Jonathan Teplitzky Gettin' Square
2004 Cate Shortland Somersault
Khoa Do The Finished People
Jan Sardi Love's Brother
Alkinos Tsilimidos Tom White
2005 Sarah Watt Look Both Ways
John Hillcoat The Proposition
Greg McLean Wolf Creek
Rowan Woods Little Fish
2006 Peter Djigirr, Rolf de Heer Ten Canoes
Paul Goldman Suburban Mayhem
Clayton Jacobson Kenny
Ray Lawrence Jindabyne
2007 Tony Ayres The Home Song Stories
Cherie Nowlan Clubland
Richard Roxburgh Romulus, My Father
Matthew Saville Noise
2008 Elissa Down The Black Balloon
Peter Duncan Unfinished Sky
Nash Edgerton The Square
Dee McLachlan The Jammed
2009 Warwick Thornton Samson and Delilah
Bruce Beresford Mao's Last Dancer
Robert Connolly Balibo
Rachel Ward Beautiful Kate
2010 David Michôd Animal Kingdom
Julie Bertuccelli The Tree
Jane Campion Bright Star
Jeremy Sims Beneath Hill 60
AACTA Awards
Justin Kurzel Snowtown
Daniel Nettheim The Hunter
Fred Schepisi The Eye of the Storm
Kriv Stenders Red Dog
Wayne Blair The Sapphires
Kieran Darcy-Smith Wish You Were Here
Cate Shortland Lore
Jonathan Teplitzky Burning Man
Baz Luhrmann The Great Gatsby
Kim Mordaunt The Rocket
Ivan Sen Mystery Road
The Turning Ensemble The Turning
Jennifer Kent The Babadook
Rolf de Heer Charlie's Country
David Michôd The Rover
The Spierig Brothers Predestination
George Miller Mad Max: Fury Road
Neil Armfield Holding the Man
Jocelyn Moorhouse The Dressmaker
Jeremy Sims Last Cab to Darwin
Mel Gibson Hacksaw Ridge
Martin Butler, Bentley Dean Tanna
Rosemary Myers Girl Asleep
Ivan Sen Goldstone
Garth Davis Lion
Cate Shortland Berlin Syndrome
Jeffrey Walker Ali's Wedding
Ben Young Hounds of Love
Warwick Thornton Sweet Country
Joel Edgerton Boy Erased
Simon Baker Breath
Bruce Beresford Ladies in Black
Jennifer Kent The Nightingale
Anthony Maras Hotel Mumbai
Mirrah Foulkes Judy and Punch
David Michôd The King
Shannon Murphy Babyteeth
John Sheedy H Is for Happiness
Leigh Whannell The Invisible Man
Natalie Erika James Relic
Justin Kurzel True History of the Kelly Gang
Justin Kurzel Nitram
Robert Connolly The Dry
Glendin Ivin Penguin Bloom
Roderick MacKay The Furnace
Stephen Maxwell Johnson High Ground
Baz Luhrmann Elvis
Hannah Barlow, Kane Senes Sissy
Leah Purcell The Drover's Wife: The Legend of Molly Johnson
Thomas M. Wright The Stranger
George Miller Three Thousand Years of Longing


A^ : From 1958-2010, the awards were held during the year of the films release. However, the 1974-75 awards were held in 1975 for films released in 1974 and 1975, and the first AACTA Awards were held in 2012 for films released in 2011.[6][7]
B^ : The Turning Ensemble consists of the seventeen people who directed their individual segments in the film. They are: Jonathan auf der Heide, Tony Ayres, Simon Stone, Jub Clerc, Robert Connolly, Shaun Gladwell, Rhys Graham, Justin Kurzel, Yaron Lifschitz, Anthony Lucas, Claire McCarthy, Ian Meadows, Ashlee Page, Stephen Page, Warwick Thornton, Marieka Walsh, Mia Wasikowska and David Wenham.[8]


  1. ^ "AACTA - The Academy". Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA). Archived from the original on 24 June 2012. Retrieved 4 July 2012.
  2. ^ "AACTA - The Academy - The Awards". Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA). Retrieved 4 July 2012.
  3. ^ a b "AACTA - The Academy - Background". Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA). Retrieved 4 July 2012.[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ "AFI/AACTA - Winners & Nominees". Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA). Retrieved 4 June 2012. Note: User must select years listed on page to view winners of that decade/year.
  5. ^ Additional winners and nominees references:
    • French, Lisa; Poole, Mark (2009). Shining a Light: 50 Years of the Australian Film Institute. Australian Teachers of Media. p. 165. ISBN 1-876467-20-7.
    • French, Lisa; Poole, Mark (2009). Shining a Light: 50 Years of the Australian Film Institute. Australian Teachers of Media. p. 166. ISBN 1-876467-20-7.
    • French, Lisa; Poole, Mark (2009). Shining a Light: 50 Years of the Australian Film Institute. Australian Teachers of Media. p. 167. ISBN 1-876467-20-7.
    • French, Lisa; Poole, Mark (2009). Shining a Light: 50 Years of the Australian Film Institute. Australian Teachers of Media. p. 168. ISBN 1-876467-20-7.
  6. ^ "AACTA - Past Winners - 1970-1979 - 1974-1975". Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA). Retrieved 3 June 2012.
  7. ^ Bodey, Michael (8 November 2011). "Industry academy announces new awards". The Australian. News Limited (News Corporation). Retrieved 5 June 2012.
  8. ^ George, Sandy (23 March 2012). "Blanchett one of 17 directors behind The Turning". Special Broadcasting Service (SBS). Retrieved 14 January 2014.

External links[edit]