Thappad, Chhpaak and Shubh Mangal Saavdhaan make it to final nominations as Best Asian Films in AACTA Awards

Ayushmann Khurrana and Bhumi Pednekar in Shubh Mangal Saavdhaan

This year’s AACTA Industry Awards presented by Foxtel ”“ previously known as the Industry Luncheon ”“ will be broadcast for the first time exclusively via the AACTA ScreenFest website and Foxtel Arts at 6:30pm on Friday 27 November. With COVID restrictions in place AACTA has joined forces with leading screen production house Cutting Edge to create a show that will celebrate the invaluable contribution behind the scenes to Australian television and film.

The list of awards being presented at the AACTA Industry Awards include the:

  • AACTA Award for Best Asian Film
  • AACTA Award for Best Casting presented by Casting Networks
  • AACTA Award for Best Cinematography in a Documentary
  • AACTA Award for Best Cinematography in Television
  • AACTA Award for Best Editing
  • AACTA Award for Best Editing in Television
  • AACTA Award for Best Editing in a Documentary
  • AACTA Award for Best Hair & Makeup presented by HASK
  • AACTA Award for Best Original Score
  • AACTA Award for Best Original Score in a Documentary
  • AACTA Award for Best Original Score in Television
  • AACTA Award for Best Sound
  • AACTA Award for Best Sound in a Documentary
  • AACTA Award for Best Sound in Television
  • AACTA Award for Direction in Nonfiction Television
  • AACTA Award for Best Costume Design
  • AACTA Award for Costume Design in Television
  • AACTA Award for Production Design
  • AACTA Award for Production Design in Television

Foxtel’s Executive Director of Television, Brian Walsh said “It’s more important now than ever, that  our industry acknowledges and celebrates local creativity in television and cinema, and we are delighted and honoured to broadcast the AACTA Awards to our audiences via Foxtel Arts. We thank the commitment of AACTA, the creative community as well as the judges who make this important event happen, especially in 2020.”

Nominations for Best Asian Films:

Taapsi Pannu in Thappad

Deepika Padukone in Chhpaak as the acid victim

Nominations for the AACTA Award for Best Asian Film are again dominated by China and India ”“ each receiving three nominations ”“ alongside two nominations for South Korea and one for Japan.

Chinese nominees are noted for their critical and commercial success, both at home and abroad. Brutal school bullying meets romantic fantasy in Kwok Cheung Tsang’s BETTER DAYS, while crime thriller THE WILD GOOSE LAKE sees a small-time gangster on the run, garnering Diao Yinan a nomination for the Palme d’Or at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival. Guan Hu’s war epic THE EIGHT HUNDRED is currently the world’s highest grossing film for 2020, depicting the story of patriotic Chinese soldiers defending the Sihang Warehouse in the battle for Shanghai.

While spanning comedy through to hard-hitting dramas, this year’s Indian nominated films all explore prescient societal issues. Anubhav Sinha”˜s THAPPAD questions the status quo of the patriarchy amidst a domestic abuse storyline, while Meghna Gulzar’s CHHAPAAK was inspired by the story of acid attack survivor, Laxmi Agarwal. Marking Hitesh Kewalya’s feature directorial debut with director Rohit Sharma, SHUBH MANGAL ZYADA SAAVDHAN, delivers a battle of conservatism versus freedom in the quest for love, as a queer couple seek family validation in this meaningful romantic-comedy.

Drawing comparisons to the post-apocalyptic world of MAD MAX, Yeon Sang-ho’s zombie cult film TRAIN TO BUSAN PRESENTS: PENINSULA is set in a virus-ravaged South Korea, some four years after the original TRAIN TO BUSAN, which was nominated for an AACTA Award in 2017. Marking a strong debut from fellow South Korean Kim Yong-hoon, BEASTS CLAWING AT STRAWS is a neo-noir crime drama based on an adaptation of a novel by Japanese author, Keisuke Sone.

Finally prolific veteran Japanese director Takashi Miike is nominated for FIRST LOVE ”“ a signature genre romp foray into the underworld.

Speaking of the nominations announcements, AACTA CEO Damian Trewhella said:

“Despite this challenging year, the number of productions nominated across a record number of Awards shows the resilience and ingenuity of the Australian industry in finding ways to continue to work, creating the outstanding content that our audiences needed more than ever before.

“I congratulate the many standout achievements, including MYSTERY ROAD’S record number of nominations over the past decade ”“ a remarkable result on an outstanding production which is not  only cementing the careers of multi-award winning practitioners, but also launching the careers of emerging talent, with many first-time nominations too.

“On the documentary front, it’s fantastic to see such diverse ground covered, highlighting the critical, confronting, liberating, heart-warming and entertaining stories that capture and fuel the Australian spirit and story.

“We also congratulate this year’s Best Asian Film nominees, noted for their audience and critical acclaim internationally, and their rich storytelling, bringing us new perspectives which resonate around the world.

“We look forward to celebrating our nation’s top talent and the outstanding screen entertainment which helped see us through this year at the AACTA Awards presented by Foxtel in Sydney in two weeks’ time,” Trewhella said.

NSW Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney Stuart  Ayres  said: “Despite the immense challenges faced this year, this outstanding list of nominees in the film, television, documentary and online categories reflects the true professionalism and resilience of our screen industry. All the nominees should be proud of their achievements and I wish them all the best of luck for the upcoming 2020 AACTA Awards.”


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