The ABC series The Newsreader was the leader in the TV categories in the 2021 AACTA Awards, winning a total of five awards.
The six-part series, set in a TV newsroom in the year 1986, won the AACTA Award for Best Drama Series, plus individual acting awards for Anna Torv and William McInnes. The series also won awards for Best Direction in Drama or Comedy and Best Production Design in Television.
ABC also collected awards for Bluey, Hard Quiz, Fisk (two awards), Love On The Spectrum (two awards), Old People’s Home For 4 Year Olds, Fires (two awards) and Total Control (Rachel Griffiths).
SBS mini-series New Gold Mountain won two awards, and the broadcaster’s coverage of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras 2021 won Best Entertainment Program.
Network Ten (MasterChef Australia), Foxtel (Mr Inbetween, Grand Designs Australia) and Netflix (Hannah Gadsby – Douglas and Clickbait) also collected awards.
In the Audience Choice categories there were wins for Gardening Australia (including an award for host Costa Georgiadis), Wentworth and Lego Masters.
The late actor David Gulpilil Ridjimiraril Dalaithngu AM was given the awards’ highest honour, the Longford Lyell Award, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the Australian screen industry. In tribute to the actor, his image was projected onto the exterior of the Sydney Opera House.
The 2021 AACTA Awards presented by Foxtel Group was held on Wednesday 8 December and broadcast on Network Ten. The presentation is also available to view on Fox Arena on Foxtel, Binge and AACTA TV.
- AACTA Award for Best Children’s Program: Bluey – Charlie Aspinwall, Joe Brumm, Daley Pearson, Sam Moor – Ludo Studio (ABC)
- AACTA Award for Best Cinematography in Television: Fires (Episode 2: Everything’s Gone) – Bonnie Elliott
- AACTA Award for Best Comedy Entertainment Program: Hard Quiz – Kevin Whyte, Chris Walker, Tom Gleeson, John Tabbagh – Thinkative Television & ABC (ABC)
- AACTA Award for Best Comedy Performer: Kitty Flanagan – Fisk
- AACTA Award for Best Costume Design in Television: New Gold Mountain (Episode 1: Propriety) – Cappi Ireland
- AACTA Award for Best Direction in Drama or Comedy: The Newsreader (Episode 1: Three, Two, One…) – Emma Freeman
- AACTA Award for Best Direction in Non-Fiction Television: Love on the Spectrum (Episode 4) – Cian O’Clery
- AACTA Award for Best Documentary or Factual Program: Old People’s Home For 4 Year Olds – Debbie Cuell, Bethan Arwel-Lewis – Endemol Shine Australia (ABC)
- AACTA Award Best Drama Series: The Newsreader – Joanna Werner, Michael Lucas – Werner Film Productions (ABC)
- AACTA Award for Best Editing in Television: Clickbait (Episode 1: Five Million Hits) – Rodrigo Balart
- AACTA Award for Best Entertainment Program: Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras 2021 – Paul Clarke, Stephanie Werrett, Josh Martin – Blink TV (SBS)
- AACTA Award for Best Factual Entertainment Program: Love on the Spectrum – Jenni Wilks, Karina Holden, Cian O’Clery – Northern Pictures (ABC)
- AACTA Award for Best Lead Actor in a Drama Presented by Foxtel: Scott Ryan – Mr Inbetween
- AACTA Award for Best Lead Actress in a Drama Presented by Foxtel: Anna Torv – The Newsreader
- AACTA Award for Best Lifestyle Program: Grand Designs Australia – Michael O’Neill, Brooke Bayvel – Fremantle (Foxtel)
- AACTA Award for Best Miniseries or Telefeature: Fires – Tony Ayres, Andrea Denholm, Liz Watts, Belinda Chayko, Elisa Argenzio – Tony Ayres Production (ABC)
- AACTA Award for Best Narrative Comedy Series: Fisk – Vincent Sheehan – Porchlight Films (ABC)
- AACTA Award for Best Production Design in Television: The Newsreader (Episode 1: Three, Two, One…) – Melinda Doring
- AACTA Award for Best Reality Program: MasterChef Australia – Marty Benson, Adam Fergusson, Eoin Maher – Endemol Shine Australia (Network Ten)
- AACTA Award for Best Original Score in Television: New Gold Mountain (Episode 1: Propriety) – Caitlin Yeo
- AACTA Award for Best Screenplay in Television: Mr Inbetween (Episode 6: Ray Who?) – Scott Ryan
- AACTA Award for Best Sound in Television: Fires (Episode 2: Everything’s Gone) – Emma Bortignon, Paul Pirola, Roger Van Wensveen, Brendan Croxon
- AACTA Award for Best Stand-Up Special: Hannah Gadsby – Douglas – Hannah Gadsby, Kevin Whyte, Kathleen McCarthy, John Irwin – Irwin Entertainment & Token Events (Netflix)
- AACTA Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama: William McInnes – The Newsreader
- AACTA Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama: Rachel Griffiths – Total Control
AUDIENCE CHOICE AWARDS
- Favourite Actor: Eric Bana
- Favourite Competition Reality Show: LEGO® Masters Australia
- Favourite Digital Comedy Creator: Sooshi Mango
- Favourite Entertainment Show: Gardening Australia
- Favourite Film: The Dry
- Favourite Television Drama: Wentworth
- Favourite Television Host: Costa Georgiadis – Gardening Australia – ABC