A gold Academy Award statue seen from the waist up, with a man clutching the handle of a sword
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Australian Films at the Oscars

Australian films at the Oscars

The first Australian film nominated for an Academy Award ('Oscar') won - Kokoda Front Line! in 1942.

Since then, Australian productions and co-productions have been nominated in virtually every category - from Best Picture to Costume Design, Documentary Feature to Animated Short (all except Original Song).

In this collection you can view clips from Australian films nominated for Academy Awards from the 1940s to today, and learn more about some of our Oscar-winning artists and craftspeople.

You can discover more about many of these people and films at our exhibition Australians & Hollywood: A Tale of Craft, Talent and Ambition, now showing at the NFSA.

Australian actors are more frequently Oscar-nominated for their Hollywood films - you can see some of their early Australian work in our Before They Were Famous curated collection.

Academy Award won by Ken G Hall for Kokoda Front Line! in 1943
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Kokoda Front Line! Oscar for Best Documentary
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This is Australia’s first ever Oscar, awarded to Cinesound Review’s chief director Ken G Hall (1901–1994) for Kokoda Front Line! (1942). The inscription on the Oscar reads: ‘To Kokoda Front Line! for its effectiveness in portraying simply yet forcefully the scene of war in New Guinea and for its moving presentation of the bravery and fortitude of our Australian comrades in arms'.

Kokoda Front Line! was one of four films that shared the Academy Award for Best Documentary in 1943. According to Ray Edmondson, Curator Emeritus of the NFSA, it was the only newsreel to ever be awarded an Oscar. In an oral history recorded in 1985, Hall recalls that being awarded the Oscar was a ‘great joy and delight to all my people and to me especially because I’d had a fair amount to do with it’.

At first Hall was sent an ersatz gunmetal Oscar because gold and metals were scarce during the war. Then in 1945 he was presented with the real Oscar, which is the one in the NFSA collection. Hall specified in his will that the Oscar should be archived as a tribute to Damien Parer – ‘to his bravery, skill and endurance … He made it possible.’ Parer was killed in action in 1944.

Kokoda Front Line!
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83395
Courtesy:
Cinesound Movietone Productions
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This iconic and Academy Award-winning newsreel shot by Damien Parer contains some of the most recognised images of Australian troops in the Second World War.

Australian troops from the 39th Battalion along the Kokoda trail through dense jungle terrain and across a river. The voice-over commentary by actor Peter Bathurst emphasises the harsh conditions, the bravery of the troops and the care and kindness of the Papuan carriers.

It also shows the presence of the Salvation Army and includes a shot of Father Albert Moore lighting the cigarette of a wounded soldier. Another wounded man with his arm in a sling stands outside a village hut.

The final sequence contains a series of shots filmed from elevated positions along the track of the stretcher bearers carrying wounded soldiers and troops climbing through steep sections in gruelling conditions.

Members of the 39th Battalion are framed from the waist down, trudging through ankle-thick mud as the image of Damien Parer is superimposed on screen in a reprise from his introduction to camera. He addresses the audience directly to remind them that the 'country is in peril’.

The clip ends with a dissolve back to feet trudging along the muddy track. An evocative instrumental score is used throughout the clip. Summary by Poppy De Souza

Jane Campion on The Power of the Dog
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1662459
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See-Saw Films
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In an interview for The Power of the Dog Electronic Press Kit, director Jane Campion discusses how she first came across the novel of the same name, by Thomas Savage, and why she chose to adapt it as a film.

At the 94th Oscars in March 2022, Jane Campion won for Best Directing. In total, the New Zealand-Australian co-production of The Power of the Dog received 12 nominations, making it the most Oscar-nominated Australian film to date.

Campion, who had previously won the Original Screenplay Oscar for The Piano (1993), received 3 nominations: for Best Directing, Motion Picture (alongside fellow producers Tanya Seghatchian, Emile Sherman, Iain Canning and Roger Frappier) and Adapted Screenplay.

The film's other Academy Award nominations include: Actor in a Leading Role (Benedict Cumberbatch), Actor in a Supporting Role (Jesse Plemons and Kodi Smit-McPhee), Actress in a Supporting Role (Kirsten Dunst), Cinematography (Ari Wegner), Editing (Peter Sciberras), Production Design (Grant Major and Amber Richards), Original Score (Jonny Greenwood) and Sound (Richard Flynn, Robert Mackenzie and Tara Webb).

In the lead-up to the Oscars, The Power of the Dog won over 30 Best Picture prizes including at the British Academy Awards (the BAFTAs), Golden Globes, Critics' Choice Awards and AACTA International Awards.

In addition, Campion won over 30 individual Best Director prizes from critics' groups and other organisations, including the New York Film Critics' Circle and the Los Angeles Film Critics' Association.

The Power of the Dog: Behind-the-scenes
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1662459
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See-Saw Films
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This excerpt from The Power of the Dog Electronic Press Kit shows Jane Campion directing two sequences from the Oscar-nominated film.

The first features an intimate moment between newly married George and Rose Burbank (played by real-life couple Jesse Plemons and Kirsten Dunst) on a mountain near the Burbank ranch in Wyoming, 1925. Campion has stated in interviews that this scene – in which George tells Rose 'I just want to say how nice it is not to be alone' – is one of the most pivotal in the film.

The second part of the clip features Campion talking to actors Kirsten Dunst and Kodi Smit-McPhee (playing Peter, Rose's son from a previous marriage) in a vintage car on set.

At the 94th Oscars in March 2022, Jane Campion won the award for Best Directing. The New Zealand-Australian co-production The Power of the Dog received 12 nominations in total, making it the most Oscar-nominated Australian film to date.

The film's nominations include Best Picture (producers Jane Campion, Tanya Seghatchian, Emile Sherman, Iain Canning and Roger Frappier), Directing and Adapted Screenplay (both Jane Campion), Actor in a Leading Role (Benedict Cumberbatch), Actor in a Supporting Role (Jesse Plemons and Kodi Smit-McPhee), Actress in a Supporting Role (Kirsten Dunst), Cinematography (Ari Wegner), Editing (Peter Sciberras), Production Design (Grant Major and Amber Richards), Original Score (Jonny Greenwood) and Sound (Richard Flynn, Robert Mackenzie and Tara Webb).

In the lead-up to the Oscars, The Power of the Dog won over 30 Best Picture prizes including at the British Academy Awards (the BAFTAs), Golden Globes, Critics' Choice Awards and AACTA International Awards.

In addition, Campion won over 30 individual Best Director prizes from critics' groups and other organisations, including the New York Film Critics' Circle and the Los Angeles Film Critics' Association.

Ken G Hall and his Oscars
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1244341
Courtesy:
Mike Walsh AM, OBE Hayden Productions
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Filmmaker Ken G Hall appears on The Mike Walsh Show with the two different Oscars he received for the newsreel Kokoda Front Line (1942).

The first Oscar he shows is an ersatz (substitute) statue issued during the Second World War when gold and other metals were scarce. Hall says it is made from gunmetal.

Then Mike Walsh shows the real one, made of gold, which he received in 1945. This is the Oscar that is part of the NFSA collection. You can read the full story on the blog.

This is an excerpt from The Mike Walsh Show: Episode 8045 which aired on 4 April 1978.

Andrew Garfield crouches behind a dirt mound with soldiers taking aim behind him and a soldier's body in the foreground, during the Battle of Okinawa in the Second World War
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Andrew Garfield in Hacksaw Ridge
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Andrew Garfield as American Army Medic Desmond T Doss in a scene from Hacksaw Ridge. Doss was a conscientious objector who famously received a Medal of Honour for his actions during the Second World War's Battle of Okinawa, saving the lives of between 50 and 100 soldiers without ever firing a shot.

The image of Garfield as Doss comes from the climactic battle scenes set on Hacksaw Ridge at Okinawa. It shows Doss looking expectant but remaining calm and focused in the chaos of the fighting going on around him. A body in the foreground is a stark reminder of the tragic casualties of the war that Doss opposed and the blood on his face reminds us of the constant risks to his own life that he faced while saving the lives of others.

At the 2016 Oscars, Hacksaw Ridge received six nominations - including Best Picture, Actor (Andrew Garfield), Directing (Mel Gibson) and Sound Editing (Robert Mackenzie and Andy Wright). It won two Oscars – for John Gilbert's Film Editing and the Sound Mixing team of Kevin O'Connell, Andy Wright, Robert Mackenzie and Peter Grace.

Notes by Stephen Groenewegen

Lion director Garth Davis talking to Sunny Pawar (Young Saroo) and Rita Boy (Amita), who are sitting on a step with cinematographer Greig Fraser setting up a shot behind them
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Garth Davis and Greig Fraser on the set of Lion
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1501004
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See-Saw Films
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Lion director Garth Davis talks to Sunny Pawar (playing Young Saroo) and Rita Boy (Amita), while cinematographer Greig Fraser sets up a shot behind them.

Greig Fraser's work was nominated for Best Cinematography at the 2016 Oscars. Lion also received Academy Award nominations for Best Picture (Emile Sherman, Iain Canning and Angie Fielder), Supporting Actor (Dev Patel), Supporting Actress (Nicole Kidman), Adapted Screenplay (Luke Davies) and Original Score (Dustin O'Halloran and Hauschka).

Notes by Stephen Groenewegen

David Wenham, Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman embracing and looking at each other
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Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman in Lion
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1501007
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See-Saw Films
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John and Sue Brierley (played by David Wenham and Nicole Kidman) embrace Saroo Brierley (Dev Patel), one of their adopted sons.

Nicole Kidman received her fourth Academy Award nomination for Lion; Dev Patel earned his first.

At the 2016 Oscars, Lion was nominated for Best Picture (Emile Sherman, Iain Canning and Angie Fielder), Supporting Actor (Dev Patel), Supporting Actress (Nicole Kidman), Adapted Screenplay (Luke Davies), Cinematography (Greig Fraser) and Original Score (Dustin O'Halloran and Hauschka).

Notes by Stephen Groenewegen

Mad Max: Fury Road set for Oscar wins
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1471710
Courtesy:
Seven Network
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This story from Southern Cross News, Tasmania previews the 2015 Academy Awards, held in Hollywood on 28 February 2016. It spotlights the record number of Australians nominated for awards, many of them from Mad Max: Fury Road, which was then Australia's most-nominated film to date.

Among the Mad Max: Fury Road nominees interviewed in this clip are: sound mixer Ben Osmo, sound editor David White, make-up artist Elka Wardega and production designer Colin Gibson.

At the 2015 Academy Awards, Mad Max: Fury Road was nominated for 10 awards and won 6. It won Oscars for Costume Design (Jenny Beavan), Film Editing (Margaret Sixel), Makeup and Hairstyling (Lesley Vanderwalt, Elka Wardega and Damian Martin), Production Design (Colin Gibson and Lisa Thompson), Sound Editing (Mark Mangini and David White) and Sound Mixing (Chris Jenkins, Gregg Rudloff and Ben Osmo).

It received additional nominations for Best Picture (Doug Mitchell and George Miller), Directing (George Miller), Cinematography (John Seale) and Visual Effects (Andrew Jackson, Tom Wood, Dan Oliver and Andy Williams).

Notes by Stephen Groenewegen

Mad Max: Fury Road convoy hits Sydney
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Network Ten
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A convoy of stunt performers outside the Sydney Opera House promote Mad Max: Fury Road ahead of its premiere.

Interviewed for this Ten Eyewitness News story on 13 May 2015 was production designer Colin Gibson who won an Oscar for his work on Mad Max: Fury Road nine months later, on 28 February 2016.

At the 2015 Academy Awards, Mad Max: Fury Road was nominated for 10 awards and won 6. It won Oscars for Costume Design (Jenny Beavan), Film Editing (Margaret Sixel), Makeup and Hairstyling (Lesley Vanderwalt, Elka Wardega and Damian Martin), Production Design (Colin Gibson and Lisa Thompson), Sound Editing (Mark Mangini and David White) and Sound Mixing (Chris Jenkins, Gregg Rudloff and Ben Osmo).

It received additional nominations for Best Picture (Doug Mitchell and George Miller), Directing (George Miller), Cinematography (John Seale) and Visual Effects (Andrew Jackson, Tom Wood, Dan Oliver and Andy Williams).

Notes by Stephen Groenewegen

The Piano: A piano on the beach
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234278
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After the long voyage from Scotland, Ada McGrath (Holly Hunter) and daughter Flora (Anna Paquin) are camped on a New Zealand beach, in a tent made from Ada’s skirt hoops. They are woken by the arrival of Mr Stewart and his neighbour George Baines (Harvey Keitel), with Maori carriers. Ada insists that they take her piano, but Stewart (Sam Neill) overrules her. Summary by Paul Byrnes.

At the 1993 Oscars, The Piano received eight nominations - including Best Picture and Director - and won the awards for Actress (Holly Hunter), Supporting Actress (Anna Paquin) and Original Screenplay (Jane Campion).

Jane Campion wins Best Original Screenplay for The Piano
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Jeremy Irons presents Jane Campion with the 1993 Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for The Piano at the 66th Academy Awards.

The ceremony was hosted by Whoopi Goldberg and took place on 21 March 1994.

Leisure
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Leisure, directed by Australian master animator Bruce Petty in 1976, won the Academy Award for Best Short Film (Animated). It is one of the more unusual films to have come out of Film Australia.

It represents a time when Film Australia and the filmmakers were pushing the boundaries and exercising more freedom in their films. The film emphasises the use of leisure time as an important aspect of life in our society. Planning for recreation and leisure time should be undertaken both on a personal and on a public level.

Bruce Petty made several more films for Film Australia as well as many independently released projects including his film Utopia in 2012. Produced by Suzanne Baker.

Academy Award: Kokoda Front Line!
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Cinesound Movietone Productions
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Cinesound announces that its newsreel film Kokoda Front Line! has received an Honourable Mention and Special Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Hollywood. Tribute is paid to Damien Parer for his photographic work and to Cinesound staff for their contributions.

Kokoda Front Line! was one of four films that shared the Academy Award for Best Documentary in 1943.

Notes by Stephen Groenewegen

The Lost Thing
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804243
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This clip is from The Lost Thing, which started as a picture book written and illustrated by Shaun Tan. The book was later adapted into a short film narrated by the multi-talented performer, Tim Minchin. It won an Oscar for Best Short Film (Animated) at the 2010 Academy Awards, held on 27 February 2011.

Set in a bleak Australian future, The Lost Thing is a story about a boy who enjoys collecting bottle tops. One day he discovers a very strange creature which the narrator refers to as 'The Lost Thing'

This clip illustrates the structured world of the film and creates a sense of isolation, particularly through the music at the beginning. Signs and instructions highlight the rigidity of the world the boy inhabits.

The story emphasises the importance of curiosity and compassion, as the boy and The Lost Thing move through a montage of the city looking for the right location. The Lost Thing is both an ally to the boy in this world and something to be looked after, akin to a younger sibling.

True to the style of Shaun Tan, many questions about The Lost Thing remain unanswered. The hulking shape and size of The Lost Thing is juxtaposed with its friendly, playful demeanour and the dainty bells that make it look vulnerable in such an indifferent world.

The tentacles and pincers are reminiscent of another sea creature – the hermit crab, which moves as it needs to inhabit larger shells. Is The Lost Thing a part of the big red teapot-like structure, or is it sheltered within?

The Eleven O’Clock: Teaser
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1547866
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FINCH
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The delusional patient of a psychiatrist believes he is actually the psychiatrist. As they each attempt to treat each other the session gets out of control.

A teaser for the short film The Eleven O'Clock, directed by Derin Seale, written by Josh Lawson and starring Josh Lawson, Damon Herriman and Jessica Wren.

The Eleven O'Clock was nominated for Best Live Action Short at the 2017 Academy Awards, held on 4 March 2018. In December 2017 it won Best Short Fiction Film at the 7th AACTA Awards.

Notes by Stephen Groenewegen

Romeo + Juliet: Love at first sight
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500378
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At a party in the Capulet mansion, Romeo (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Juliet (Claire Danes) meet for the first time. The couple cannot take their eyes off each other. Juliet is ushered away by her maid (Miriam Margolyes). Summary by Richard Kuipers.

Romeo + Juliet was nominated for Best Art Direction at the 1996 Academy Awards (Art Direction: Catherine Martin; Set Decoration: Brigitte Broch).

Moulin Rouge!: Satine, the sparkling diamond
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Christian (Ewan McGregor) is captivated by the courtesan Satine. Toulouse-Lautrec (John Leguizamo) promises Christian he will meet Satine alone. The same promise is made by Moulin Rouge impresario Zidler (Jim Broadbent) to his wealthy financial backer, the Duke (Richard Roxburgh).

Summary by Richard Kuipers

At the 2001 Oscars, Moulin Rouge! received eight nominations - including Best Picture, Actress (Nicole Kidman), Cinematography (Donald M McApline), Film Editing (Jill Bilcock), Make-up (Maurizio Silvi, Aldo Signoretti) and Sound (Andy Nelson, Anna Behlmer, Roger Savage, Guntis Sics). It won the awards for Art Direction (Art Direction: Catherine Martin; Set Decoration: Brigitte Broch) and Costume Design (Catherine Martin, Angus Strathie).

Australia: ‘That’d be a mistake’
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777885
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Lady Sarah Ashley (Nicole Kidman) is confronted by cattle baron Neil Fletcher (David Wenham). Fletcher offers to buy Faraway Downs and use his influence to save Nullah (Brandon Walters) from being removed to a mission. Lady Sarah refuses his offer.

Summary by Richard Kuipers

Catherine Martin received a nomination for Best Costume Design for Australia at the 2008 Academy Awards.

WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are advised that the following program may contain images and/or audio of deceased persons
Catherine Martin wins Best Costume Design for The Great Gatsby
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Naomi Watts and Samuel L Jackson present Catherine Martin with the 2013 Academy Award for Costume Design for The Great Gatsby at the 86th Academy Awards.

The ceremony took place on 2 March 2014.

Priscilla: 20 Years Young - creating the iconic costumes

Academy Award-winning costume designer Tim Chappel (Mental, Miss Congeniality) discusses the inspiration behind the iconic, Oscar-winning frocks from The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, and the challenges resulting from the film's low budget.

Priscilla Wins Best Costume Design: 1994 Oscars

This excerpt from the 1994 Oscars shows Costume Designer Tim Chappel and co-designer Lizzy Gardiner from The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert receiving the best costume award from presenter Sharon Stone. Lizzy wears a dress constructed of gold American Express credit cards.

Producer Emile Sherman on his Oscar for The King's Speech
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Emile Sherman, producer and managing director of See-Saw Films, came to the NFSA office in Sydney to record an Oral History interview. We asked him which prop or costume used in his projects should be preserved in the NFSA collection, and he revealed that his 2011 Academy Award for The King's Speech has been to quite a few film industry parties.

Evil Angels: ‘The dingo’s got my baby!’
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48012
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At a camping ground near Uluru (Ayers Rock), Lindy Chamberlain (Meryl Streep) witnesses a dingo carrying her baby Azaria from a tent. Michael Chamberlain (Sam Neill) begins a search in the darkness.

Summary by Richard Kuipers

Meryl Streep was nominated for Best Actress for A Cry in the Dark (AKA Evil Angels) at the 1988 Academy Awards.

My Brilliant Career: 'I want to be a writer'
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6989
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Harry Beecham (Sam Neill) has waited two years for Sybylla (Judy Davis) to agree to marry. As drought grips the land again, he comes for an answer, but Sybylla explains why she cannot. Summary by Paul Byrnes.

Anna Senior received a nomination for Best Costume Design for My Brilliant Career at the 1980 Academy Awards.

Breaker Morant: ‘This is what comes of Empire building’
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4461
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Morant (Edward Woodward) and Handcock (Bryan Brown) march to their executions. Their lawyer, Major Thomas (Jack Thompson) lingers in their makeshift cell – which looks to be a stable – to consider the epitaph that Morant has requested: 'And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household’, taken from Matthew 10:36.

Summary by Paul Byrnes

Jonathan Hardy, David Stevens, Bruce Beresford were nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay (Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium) at the 1980 Academy Awards.

Oscar and Lucinda: ‘A glass church’
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Lucinda (Cate Blanchett) shows Oscar (Ralph Fiennes) a scale replica of a house made from glass and steel. Oscar proposes the structure be built and transported to Reverend Hasset in Bellingen. This clip also features narration by Geoffrey Rush.

Summary by Richard Kuipers

Janet Patterson received a nomination for Best Costume Design for Oscar and Lucinda at the 1997 Academy Awards.

Animal Kingdom: Family conference
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797300
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A family conference in a deserted café about what to do in the wake of the murder of two cops in which the brothers have been involved. Family matriarch Smurf (Jacki Weaver) reminds her criminal sons Craig (Sullivan Stapleton), Pope (Ben Mendelsohn) and Darren (Luke Ford) that the police know they are associates of Baz, who was recently shot dead by rogue detectives. (The implication is that the cops know they have a revenge motive that may link them to the murder of the two police officers.) She advises Craig to hand himself over for police questioning, otherwise they’ll suspect him even more. Pope notices that J is still being questioned by detectives. The ominous implication is that J could be doing a deal with the police and drastic action may be necessary. Summary by Lynden Barber.

Jacki Weaver was nominated for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Animal Kingdom at the 2010 Academy Awards.

The Mysterious Geographic Explorations of Jasper Morello: One degree
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656100
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As Jasper Morello (Joel Edgerton) reflects on the navigational error which resulted in a man’s death and may have cost Jasper his career, his wife Amelia (Jude Beaumont) hands him the letter assigning him to his next voyage.

Summary by Dr Marian Quigley.

Filmmakers Julia Lucas and Anthony Lucas in formal evening wear on the Academy Awards red carpet, 2006.
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Anthony Lucas and Julia Lucas at the 2005 Oscars
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The Mysterious Geographic Explorations of Jasper Morello was nominated for Best Short Film (Animated) at the 2005 Academy Awards. Anthony Lucas (producer-director) and Julia Lucas (producer) walk the red carpet outside the Academy Awards ceremony on 5 March 2006.

Harvie Krumpet: 'God is better than football'
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636719
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As Harvie’s Alzheimer’s disease worsens, his nursing home is visited by a church group, entertaining him with the song 'God is better than football, God is better than beer’. Harvie sees in his imagination the residents of the home animated into a choreographic sequence, inspired by Busby Berkeley’s 1930s Hollywood musicals.

Summary by Antoinette Starkiewicz.

Adam Elliot won the Best Short Film (Animated) Oscar for Harvie Krumpet at the 2003 Academy Awards.

Birthday Boy: Manuk’s magnetic bolt
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721216
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Manuk (voiced by Joshua Ahn), in anticipation of the coming train, places a steel bolt on the train track and waits for the results. A tank-hauling train passes by, and on examining the now flattened bolt, Manuk sees it has become magnetised.

Summary by Antoinette Starkiewicz.

Birthday Boy was nominated for Best Short Film (Animated) at the 2004 Academy Awards.

The Year of Living Dangerously: ‘Why can’t you give yourself?’
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52573
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British embassy staffer Jill Bryant (Sigourney Weaver) tells her new lover Guy Hamilton (Mel Gibson) that a Chinese ship is en route with arms for the Indonesian Communists. She wants him to leave before the country explodes in violence but Hamilton wants to stay, and use her information to confirm a major story. When Billy (Linda Hunt) learns about his betrayal of trust, he is disgusted. Hamilton sets out to confirm the story independently, in order to hide what everyone will guess – that she gave him the information. Summary by Paul Byrnes.

Linda Hunt won the 1983 Best Supporting Actress Oscar for portraying Billy Kwan, and became the first actress to win an Oscar for playing a man.

Babe: Christmas barbarians
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NFSA ID
278933
Courtesy:
Universal Studios Licensing
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Year

Mrs Hoggett (Magda Szubanski) has just measured Babe, because she’s planning on roast pork for Christmas lunch. The old ewe Maa (Miriam Flynn) is disgusted at the thought of someone eating a pig, but Babe is none the wiser. He sings a happy Christmas carol. Mr Hoggett (James Cromwell) has second thoughts about killing the pig. Summary by Paul Byrnes.

Babe was nominated for seven Oscars - including Best Picture and Director - in 1995. It won the award for Visual Effects (Scott E Anderson, Charles Gibson, Neal Scanlan, John Cox).

Shine: 'The food of love'
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296225
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Year

David Helfgott (Geoffrey Rush) has returned to Perth a broken man, after his collapse on stage at the Royal College of Music. He has been in and out of mental institutions and half-way houses until he meets Sylvia (Sonia Todd), restaurant owner at the restaurant where he now plays piano for the surprised customers. Sylvia introduces David to Gillian (Lynn Redgrave), an astrologer. Her first sighting of him is memorable. Summary by Paul Byrnes.

Geoffrey Rush won Best Actor for Shine at the 1996 Academy Awards.

Shine 20th anniversary with Geoffrey Rush, David Helfgott
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Highlights from the 20th anniversary celebration of Shine at the NFSA in August 2016, featuring Geoffrey Rush, pianists David Helfgott and Rhodri Clarke, director Scott Hicks, producer Jan Scott, and writer Jan Sardi.

Shine was nominated for seven Academy Awards in 1996, including Best Picture and Director. Geoffrey Rush won the award for Best Actor.

The Sundowners: No place for a woman
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NFSA ID
7647
Courtesy:
Warner Bros Entertainment Inc.
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Year

Ida (Deborah Kerr) has persuaded her husband to inquire about a job shearing sheep. In the contractor’s office, Paddy (Robert Mitchum) tries his best to avoid getting hired but Quinlan (Chips Rafferty) takes him on. He also has jobs for Sean (Michael Anderson Junior) and Mr Venneker (Peter Ustinov), their new stockman, but Quinlan draws the line at hiring a woman cook. Bluey Brown (John Meillon) has to remind Quinlan that the men choose the cook. They call a hasty union meeting and decide to give Ida an audition. Mrs Firth (Glynis Johns) hosts the test meal at her hotel, using her finest china. Summary by Paul Byrnes.

The Sundowners was nominated for five Oscars at the 1960 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Director (Fred Zinnemann), Actress (Deborah Kerr), Supporting Actress (Glynis Johns) and Adapted Screenplay (Isobel Lennart).

School in the Mail-Box
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NFSA ID
4032
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Nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary (Short Subject) in 1947, this film looks at how Australians tackled the tyranny of distance to educate the children of the outback by correspondence. These students, living far from any school, are taught from a city school where there are no pupils, only teachers.

In the days before satellites, the internet or even photocopying machines, School in the Mail-box shows the extraordinary organisation and planning that was involved in delivering lessons to children by plane, train, buggy, even camel and then returned to the school for review. It also shows how the radio played a key role in the educational process, foreshadowing that other great Australian educative tool, the School of the Air. Both of these forms of distance education are available to remote Australian children today. 

Made by the National Film Board 1946. Directed by Stanley Hawes.

Frontline: Too Many Pictures
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2823
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Combat cameraman Neil Davis discusses one of the most memorable images of the Vietnam War, when the national police chief shot dead a Vietnamese suspect. Davis tells the full story of how the prisoner was suspected of killing the police chief’s friend, together with his wife and six children. Summary by Damien Parer.

Frontline was nominated for Best Documentary (Feature) at the 1980 Academy Awards.

First Contact: Gramophone
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Year

Michael Leahy’s photographs and footage show the highlanders surrounding and looking at a gramophone (with a 1930s recording of ‘Looking on the Bright Side of Life’ playing on the soundtrack). In an interview, later on in the film, one of the highlanders recounts the experience and tells how they thought the gramophone was a box full of ghosts. Summary by Pat Fiske.

First Contact was nominated for Best Documentary Feature at the 1983 Academy Awards.

Happy Feet: 'It just ain't penguin'
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
777895
Year:
Year

After a long winter, Memphis (voiced by Hugh Jackman) prays for the return of the sun. As the thaw begins, the Emperor penguin eggs hatch all over the colony – except for Memphis’s egg. Newborn penguin Gloria (voiced as a baby by Alyssa Shafer) helps the egg to hatch, and Mumble (voiced as a baby by EG Daily) makes his entrance dancing, to his father’s dismay. Summary by Paul Byrnes.

George Miller won the Best Animated Feature Film Oscar for Happy Feet in 2006.

Bright Star: The very well-stitched Miss Brawne
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
777674
Year:
Year

Fanny Brawne (Abbie Cornish) and her mother (Kerry Fox) visit Mr and Mrs Dilke (Gerard Monaco, Claudie Blakley). Fanny is frosty toward Charles Brown (Paul Schneider), a poet who rents one half of the Dilke house. Fanny brings a cup of tea to John Keats (Ben Whishaw), a poet sharing Mr Brown’s lodgings. Summary by Richard Kuipers.

Janet Patterson received a nomination for Best Costume Design at the 2009 Academy Awards.

Crocodile Dundee: 'Mind over matter'
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
272855
Courtesy:
Rimfire Films Pty Limited
Year:
Year

En route to crocodile country, reporter Sue Charlton (Linda Kozlowski) asks Mick Dundee (Paul Hogan) about his age and background. Mick’s business partner Wally (John Meillon) tries to embroider the legend but Mick sets her straight, suggesting a rough childhood and an inability to sustain a marriage. Mick demonstrates his mental powers over a recalcitrant buffalo. Summary by Paul Byrnes

Crocodile Dundee received an Oscar nomination for Best Writing (Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen) in 1986 (screenplay by Paul Hogan, Ken Shadie, John Cornell; story by Paul Hogan).

WARNING: This clip contains coarse language