Ivan Sen’s Limbo dominates Film Critics Circle of Australia awards

Outback noir Limbo took home six out of nine awards, with Shayda and Rachel's Farm also acknowledged.

Last night in Sydney, the Film Critics Circle of Australia (FCCA) announced the winners of its annual awards for Australian films (features and documentaries) released in 2023

Established in 1989, the FCCA is the national body of professional Australian film critics and a member of the International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI) since 1992. The annual FCCA Awards recognise the creative inputs of the Australian film industry and are supported by different areas of the film industry and culture sector, but are voted on exclusively by film critic members.

The night was hosted by comedian Rodney Marks, and featured guest presenters Tina Bursill, Belinda Giblin and Lasarus Ratuere.

Ivan Sen’s outback noir, Limbo, produced by Bunya, dominated the awards, taking home six out of nine total awards, including Best Film. Sen took to the stage to accept Best Film, Best Director and Best Cinematography, and noted how pleased he was that the term ‘film’ was still in use.

Simon Baker won the award for Best Actor for his role in Limbo, though was unable to attend as he was representing the film at the Australian International Screen Forum. He accepting by pre-recorded message, praising the ‘great artistry of Ivan Sen’.

Also winning for their performances in Limbo were Rob Collins (Best Supporting Actor) and Natasha Wanganeen (Best Supporting Actress). Wanganeen accepted the award ‘on behalf of all the missing and murdered Aboriginal women in Australia.’

Read: Ivan Sen on sitting in silence with new feature Limbo

Zar Amir Ebrahimi won Best Actress for Shayda, with the film also winning Best Screenplay for Noora Niasari.

Rachel Ward took home Best Documentary Feature for Rachel’s Farm, which she directed and starred in. Producer Bettina Dalton was on hand to accept the award and thanked Karen Johnson for her editing.

Nominees and winners

Best film

  • Limbo – winner!
  • The New Boy
  • Of An Age
  • The Royal Hotel
  • Shayda

Best director

  • Rolf de Heer – The Survival of Kindness
  • Noora Niasari – Shayda
  • Ivan Sen – Limbo – winner!
  • Warwick Thornton – The New Boy

Read: Shayda is a powerful debut from Iranian-Australian writer/director Noora Niasari

Best actor

  • Elias Anton – Of An Age
  • Simon Baker – Limbo – winner!
  • Thom Green – Of An Age
  • Aswan Reid – The New Boy

Read: Of An Age film is a tender and romantic Melburnian treat

Best actor in a supporting role

  • Wayne Blair – The New Boy
  • Rob Collins – Limbo – winner!
  • Nicholas Hope – Limbo
  • Hugo Weaving – The Royal Hotel

Read: Rachel’s Farm review: lovely but a little whiffy

Best actress

  • Cate Blanchett – The New Boy
  • Zahra Amir Ebrahimi – Shayda – winner!
  • Mwajemi Hussein – The Survival of Kindness
  • Sophie Wilde – Talk To Me

Read: The New Boy review: an enchanting and intriguing film

Best actress in a supporting role

  • Deborah Mailman – The New Boy
  • Leah Purcell – Shayda
  • Natasha Wanganeen – Limbo – winner!
  • Ursula Yovich – The Royal Hotel

Read: The Royal Hotel Review: a dead-set Australian classic

Best screenplay

  • The Royal Hotel – Kitty Green and Oscar Redding
  • Shayda – Noora Niasari – winner!
  • Limbo – Ivan Sen
  • The New Boy – Warwick Thornton

Best cinematography

  • Blueback – Andrew Commis, Rick Rifici (underwater cinematography)
  • The Survival of Kindness – Maxx Corkindale
  • Limbo – Ivan Sen – winner!
  • The New Boy – Warwick Thornton

Best documentary feature

  • The Carnival
  • The Giants
  • Rachel’s Farm – winner!
  • Shackleton: The Greatest Story of Survival

Rochelle Siemienowicz is the ArtsHub Group's Education and Career Editor. She is a journalist for Screenhub and is a writer, film critic and cultural commentator with a PhD in Australian cinema. She was the co-host of Australia's longest-running film podcast 'Hell is for Hyphenates' and has written a memoir, Fallen, published by Affirm Press. Her second book, Double Happiness, a novel, will be published by Midnight Sun in 2024. Instagram: @Rochelle_Rochelle Twitter: @Milan2Pinsk