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Nominees Announced for 2022 Australian Director’s Guild Awards

The Australian Director’s Guild has announced the nominees for the ADG Awards with 2022 emerging as a breakthrough year for women directors in Australia.

Receiving three nominations is Sian Davies, recognised for her work across drama, comedy and children’s programs. Sian has been nominated for Best Direction in a TV or SVOD Drama Series Episode for The Twelve Best Direction in a TV or SVOD Comedy Series Episode for Spreadsheet and Best Direction in a Children’s TV or SVOD Drama Series Episode for Surviving Summer.

Stef Smith has also received three nominations in three different categories. She has been nominated for Best Direction of Commercial Content for Baroque In Bloom – Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, for Best Direction in an Online Series Episode for It’s Fine, I’m Fine, and for Best Direction in an Interactive or Immersive Project for Moving Portrait Series.

For the first time ever, women dominate the major feature film categories with five out of the seven directors nominated for Best Direction in a Feature Film (Budget $1M or over) being women and four of the six nominees in the Best Direction in a Debut Feature Film category also being women.

Nominated for Best Direction in a Feature Film (Budget $1M or over) are Cate Shortland (Black Widow), Christine Luby (The Curious Case of Dolphin Bay), Claire McCarthy (The Colour Room), Justin Kurzel (Nitram), Leah Purcell (The Drover’s Wife The Legend of Molly Johnson), Sophie Hyde (Good Luck To You, Leo Grande) and Thomas M Wright (The Stranger).

Leah Purcell has received two feature film nominations. She is also nominated in the Best Direction in a Debut Feature Film category alongside Danny Cohen (Anonymous Club), Del Kathryn Barton (Blaze), JJ Winlove (June Again), Philippa Bateman (Wash My Soul In The River’s Flow) and Renée Webster (How to Please a Woman).

Three directors have received two nominations each. They are Arnie Custo for his work on two episodes of Home and Away; Matisse Ruby, who has received two nominations, both in the Best Direction in Commercial Content category, for Tabula Rasa and for Beethoven and Bridgetower, and W.A.M. Bleakley who has received two nominations in the Best Direction in a Music Video category for Didirri – Begin Again and Confidence Man – Feels Like A Different Thing.

Joining Arnie Custo and Sian Davies as nominees in the Best Direction in a TV or SVOD Drama Series Episode category are Emma Freeman for The Newsreader , Daina Reid for Shining Girls, Fadia Abboud for Five Bedrooms Series 2, Kevin Carlin for Wentworth Series 8 and Wayne Blair for Total Control Season 2.

In a year of powerful documentaries, there are eight nominees In the Best Direction in a Documentary Feature category. They are Alec Morgan and Tiriki Oius for Ablaze, Ben Lawrence for Ithaka, Danielle Ortega Carbon – The Unauthorised Biography, Jennifer Peedom and Joseph Nizeti for River, John Hughes and Tom Zubrycki for Senses of Cinema, Penelope McDonald for Audrey Napanangka, Rogue Rubin for Lion Spy and Tosca Looby for Strong Female Lead.

Three directors of the series Fires received nominations in the Best Direction in a TV or SVOD Mini-Series Episode category. They are Ana Kokkinos, Kim Mordaunt and Michael Rymer. Corrie Chen rounds out the nominations in this category for her work on New Gold Mountain.

Also to be announced at the ADG Awards ceremony will be the recipient of the ‘JC’ John Clabburn Award. At its 2021 Annual Awards, the ADG honoured 1st AD ‘JC’ John Clabburn who passed away under tragic circumstances earlier that year with his award presented posthumously to his family during last year’s ceremony. The ADG continues to recognise significant contributions in support of Australian directors and the craft of directing with the ADG Board bestowing the ‘JC’ John Clabburn annually. It is awarded to 1st AD’s or any screen practitioner in the Director’s Department that ADG Members feel have consistently embodied JC’s spirit of collaboration and passionate support for the craft of directing over their careers.

ADG Executive Director Alaric McAusland said: ’We’ve had record numbers of entries across numerous categories this year, this demonstrates increasing industry engagement in our awards as well as acknowledgement of their prestige and their importance in recognising a director’s craft. Because of this, we’ve taken the decision this year to extend our nominee lists across our TV & SVOD Drama Series, Student and Short film categories. The significantly increased numbers and quality across our short film categories this year is particularly thrilling to see and a strong indication of the terrific emerging storytelling talent we have here in Australia’

The Awards will be held on December 8 from 3pm at the Actors Centre Australia in Sydney.

Tickets to the ADG Awards are available at

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