Earlier this year the Australian Film Institute rebranded itself as the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts shortened to the ingeniously self-aware acronym AACTA. The name change brought with it a policy overhaul in line with major international bodies the Academy Awards and BAFTAs, and the role of inaugural AACTA President was bestowed to a winner of both those Awards, national living treasure Geoffrey Rush!

*APPLAUSE*

Today AACTA announced the nominees for the first ever Samsung AACTA Awards which will be held in January 2012 – a locally-streamlined version of The Oscars or Golden Globes that recognises excellence in film and television. And so without further adieu… the nominees are…

FEATURE FILM NOMINEES
Best Film
The Eye Of The Storm (Antony Waddington, Gregory Read, Fred Schepisi)
The Hunter (Vincent Sheehan)
Mad Bastards (David Jowsey, Alan Pigram, Stephen Pigram, Brendan Fletcher)
Oranges And Sunshine (Camilla Bray, Emile Sherman, Iain Canning)
Red Dog (Nelson Woss, Julie Ryan)
Snowtown (Anna McLeish, Sarah Shaw)

Best Direction
The Eye Of The Storm (Fred Schepisi)
The Hunter (Daniel Nettheim)
Red Dog (Kriv Stenders)
Snowtown (Justin Kurzel)

Best Original Screenplay
Griff The Invisible (Leon Ford)
The Loved Ones (Sean Byrne)
Mad Bastards (Brendan Fletcher, Dean Daley-Jones, Greg Tait, John Watson)
Red Hill (Patrick Hughes)

Best Adapted Screenplay
The Eye Of The Storm (Judy Morris)
The Hunter (Alice Addison)
Red Dog (Daniel Taplitz)
Snowtown (Shaun Grant)

Best Lead Actor
Willem Dafoe (The Hunter)
Daniel Henshall (Snowtown)
Geoffrey Rush (The Eye Of The Storm)
David Wenham (Oranges And Sunshine)

Best Lead Actress
Judy Davis (The Eye Of The Storm)
Frances O’Connor (The Hunter)
Charlotte Rampling (The Eye Of The Storm)
Emily Watson (Oranges And Sunshine)

Best Supporting Actor
John Gaden (The Eye Of The Storm)
Sam Neill (The Hunter)
Robert Rabiah (Face To Face)
Hugo Weaving (Oranges And Sunshine)

Best Supporting Actress
Morgana Davies (The Hunter)
Louise Harris (Snowtown)
Helen Morse (The Eye Of The Storm)
Alexandra Schepisi (The Eye Of The Storm)

TELEVISION
Best Television Comedy Series
At Home With Julia (Rick Kalowski, Greg Quail, Carol Hughes. ABC1)
Laid (Liz Watts. ABC1)
twentysomething (Nicole Minchin. ABC2)

Best Light Entertainment Television Series
The Gruen Transfer, Series 4 (Andrew Denton, Anita Jacoby, Jon Casimir. ABC1)
Hungry Beast, Series 3 (Andrew Denton, Anita Jacoby, Andy Nehl, Jon Casimir. ABC1)
Judith Lucy’s Spiritual Journey (Todd Abbott. ABC1)
Junior MasterChef, Series 1 (Tara McWilliams. Network Ten)
RocKwiz (Brian Nankervis, Ken Connor, Peter Bain-Hogg, Joe Connor. SBS)

Best Television Drama Series
East West 101, Season 3 (The Heroes’ Journey. Steve Knapman, Kris Wyld. SBS)
Offspring, Season 2 (John Edwards, Imogen Banks. Network Ten)
Rake (Ian Collie, Peter Duncan, Richard Roxburgh. ABC1)
Spirited, Season 2 (Claudia Karvan, Jacquelin Perske. FOXTEL – W)

Best Telefeature, Mini Series or Short Run Series
Cloudstreet (Greg Haddrick, Brenda Pam. FOXTEL – Showcase)
Paper Giants: The Birth Of Cleo (John Edwards, Karen Radzyner. ABC1)
Sisters Of War (Andrew Wiseman. ABC1)
The Slap (Tony Ayres, Helen Bowden, Michael McMahon. ABC1)

Best Screenplay In Television
Cloudstreet – Part 3 (Tim Winton, Ellen Fontana. FOXTEL – Showcase)
Laid – Episode 3 (Kirsty Fisher. ABC1)
The Slap – Episode 1 ‘Hector’ (Kris Mrksa. ABC1) – Read our recap here!
The Slap – Episode 3 ‘Harry’ (Brendan Cowell. ABC1) – Read our recap here!

Best Lead Actor In A Television Series
Rob Carlton (Paper Giants: The Birth Of Cleo. ABC1)
Alex Dimitriades (The Slap. ABC1)
Don Hany (East West 101, Season 3 – The Heroes’ Journey. SBS)
Jonathan LaPaglia (The Slap. ABC1)

Best Lead Actress In A Television Drama
Essie Davis (Cloudstreet. FOXTEL – Showcase)
Kerry Fox (Cloudstreet. FOXTEL – Showcase)
Asher Keddie (Paper Giants: The Birth Of Cleo. ABC1)
Sarah Snook (Sisters Of War. ABC1)

Best Performance In A Television Comedy
Alison Bell (Laid. ABC1)
Jess Harris (twentysomething. ABC2)
Chris Lilley (Angry Boys. ABC1)
Celia Pacquola (Laid. ABC1)

DOCUMENTARY
Best Feature Length Documentary
Life In Movement (Sophie Hyde, Bryan Mason)
Mrs Carey’s Concert (Bob Connolly, Helen Panckhurst, Sophie Raymond. ABC1)
Shut Up Little Man! An Audio Misadventure (Sophie Hyde, Matthew Bate)
The Tall Man (Darren Dale. SBS)

Best Documentary Series
Immigration Nation, The Secret History Of Us (Jacob Hickey, Alex West, Lucy Maclaren. SBS)
Outback Fight Club (Paul Scott, Isabel Perez. SBS)
Outback Kids (Mike Bluett, Mark Hamlyn, Marc Radomsky. ABC1)
SAS – The Search for Warriors (Julia Redwood, Ed Punchard. SBS)

For the full list of nominees head to: aacta.org