Kodi Smit-McPhee folding paper to make it into decorative flowers in a scene from The Power of the Dog

Australian Films and the Oscars

Australian Films Nominated for Academy Awards

Nominated in nearly every category
 Stephen Groenewegen

Power and Fury

At the time of writing in 2022, Australian films have received Academy Award nominations in 8 of the last 9 decades and across every category except one – Original Song.

Our Australian Films at the Oscars curated collection features nominees from the 1940s to now, including recent Best Picture nominees The Power of the Dog (2021), Hacksaw Ridge (2016), Lion (2016) and Mad Max: Fury Road (2015).

At the 88th Academy Awards, Mad Max: Fury Road became the most-awarded Australian film at the Oscars to date, with 6 Oscars from 10 nominations.

At the 94th Oscars, The Power of the Dog (2021) overtook Fury Road as the most-nominated Australian film; the New Zealand-Australian co-production amassed 12 nominations.

This behind-the-scenes clip from the film features Oscar-winning director Jane Campion on location with Oscar-nominated actors Kirsten Dunst and Jesse Plemons, and then on set with Dunst and Australian actor and Oscar nominee Kodi Smit-McPhee:

Jane Campion on the set of The Power of the Dog (2021) with actors Jesse Plemons, Kirsten Dunst and Kodi Smit-McPhee. Electronic Press Kit (excerpt). Courtesy: See-Saw Films. NFSA title: 1662459

From Kokoda to Kidman

Australian films at the Oscars includes an interview with our first Oscar winner, Ken G Hall (for Kokoda Front Line!), on The Mike Walsh Show in 1978. He shows Mike his traditional bronze and gold-plated Oscar statuette (now held in the NFSA collection) as well as the substitute plaster Academy Award he originally received in 1943. During the Second World War, metal shortages prevented the Academy from casting their awards in bronze and gold.

In the collection you can also watch clips from Australian films nominated in nearly every category at the Oscars, from Best Picture (Moulin Rouge!, 2001) to Documentary Feature (Frontline, 1979), and from Best Actress (Evil Angels, 1988) to Animated Short (Harvie Krumpet, 2003).

Visit the Australian Films at the Oscars curated collection. You can also watch an extended interview with Oscar winner Nicole Kidman as part of our NFSA Presents: Inspired series and learn more about some of these films and performers at the Australians & Hollywood exhibition, now showing at the NFSA.

Main image: Kodi Smit-McPhee in The Power of the Dog (2021). Courtesy: See-Saw Films. NFSA title: 1662457

This article was originally published in 2019 and updated in 2022.