And The Australian Academy Award Goes To…

In an attempt to rid themselves of any association with bands who use guyliner, the AFIs (Australian Film Institute) will henceforth be known as the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts.

As outlined at a coming out party in Sydney last night, the name change comes with a rejuvenated awards ceremony slated to place at the Opera House in January (staggered to coincide with the international awards season) and a policy overhaul which will use recognized principles from both the Academy Awards and BAFTAs. One such tenet might be “use star power wherever possible” with Oscar winner Geoffrey Rush named as the inaugural AACTA President and tasked with unveiling an abstract new gong designed by sculptor Ron Gomboc.

“I am honoured to represent our industry as president of the newly-formed Australian Academy,” Rush said. “Over half a century ago the AFI was founded and since that time our film and television industries have developed beyond our wildest imaginings. Through the timely creation of AACTA we have a unique opportunity to galvanise the craft and talent this country endlessly produces.”

Take my strong hand: Australian Academy Award as designed by sculptor Ron Gomboc.

All we need now is an Australian Joan Rivers.

The inaugural AACTA Awards will take place in January 2012 at the Sydney Opera House.