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News February 12, 2024

Michael Gudinski, John Farnham Docos Win at 2024 AACTA Awards

Michael Gudinski, John Farnham Docos Win at 2024 AACTA Awards

Films focusing on the Australian music giants Michael Gudinski and John Farnham dominated the documentary category Saturday night (Feb. 10) at the 2024 AACTA Awards.

The record-setting John Farnham: Finding The Voice won for best documentary, while the AACTA Award for best sound in a documentary went to Ego: The Michael Gudinski Story and David Williams

John Farnham: Finding the Voice last May set the box-office benchmark for an Australian music documentary.

Directed by Poppy Stockell, and featuring commentary from Farnham’s late manager Glenn Wheatley, his late collaborator and friend Olivia Newton-John, international stars Celine Dion, Richard Marx, Robbie Williams and iconic Aussie singers Jimmy Barnes and Daryl Braithwaite, the release of Finding The Voice coincided with the pop superstar’s battle with cancer, for which he has since been given the all-clear.

It’s the first authorised Farnham biopic.

Sharing in the AACTA win is Mikael Borglund, Paul Clarke, Martin Fabinyi, and Olivia Hoopmann – Beyond Oz in association with Blink TV Production,

Meanwhile, Ego collected a second win at the AACTAs, which was split over two nights. Earlier, on Thursday (Feb. 8), Ego and Williams took out the best sound in a documentary category at the 2024 AACTA Industry Awards.

Directed by Paul Goldman (Such is Life: The Troubled Times of Ben Cousins), is a portrait of the late Mushroom Group founder, featuring input from the likes of Jimmy Barnes, Garbage, Dave Grohl, Kylie Minogue, Ed Sheeran, Bruce Springsteen and Sting.

Ego hit cinemas in 2023 to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Mushroom Group, the Melbourne-based independent music powerhouse.

The film was initially pitched with the working title Gudinski, and was announced to the public in March 2022 – a year after the entrepreneur’s death, aged 68 – when it was approved for funding by Screen Australia.

Ego – The Michael Gudinski Story Poster

Presented on the Gold Coast by the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA), the two-part awards gala forms part of the inaugural AACTA Festival, a four-day celebration of Australia’s screen industry, featuring upwards of 90 events.

Another music-led TV special that took the glory at HOTA (Home of the Arts) was SBS’s Grand Final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2023, a project helmed by Paul Clarke, Emily Griggs – Blink TV Production Pty Ltd (SBS). Eurovision won for best entertainment program.

A slew of screen composers won on the night. Caitlin Yeo and Damien Lane took home best original score in a documentary (The Dark Emu Story), Amanda Brown earned best original score in television (Deadloch), Robert Mackenzie nabbed best sound in television (The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart Episode 6), Cornel Wilczek grabbed best original score in film (Talk To Me) and Emma Bortignon and Nick Steele took out best sound in film (Talk To Me).

Hollywood A-lister Margo Robbie was on hand to collect the Trailblazer Award and the AACTA audience choice award for favourite actress, for Barbie. The pop culture phenomenon that is Barbie was also named winner of the AACTA audience choice award.

Simon Baker, Ron Howard and Cate Blanchett were among the famous faces in the room, while Rebel Wilson was on hosting duties.

The AACTAs aired Saturday night on Channel Ten, and a special “director’s cut” including all awards from the ceremony is now available on BINGE and Foxtel On-Demand and on AACTA TV. Clips from the show are uploaded to AACTA’s YouTube Channel.

Click here for the full list of winners.


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