Kidman, Winslet and Cumberbatch win big at the AACTA Awards

Nicole Kidman, Kate Winslet and Benedict Cumberbatch are among the winners of this year's AACTA International Awards.
Nicole Kidman, in a still from the film Being the Ricardos.

The Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) has announced the winners for the 11th AACTA International Awards, honouring the world’s best achievements in screen excellence.

The Power of the Dog, the western psychological drama written, produced, and directed by AACTA Award-winner Jane Campion, achieved three wins, including Best Film, Best Lead Actor in Film for Benedict Cumberbatch, and Best Supporting Actor in Film for Australian actor Kodi Smit-Mcphee.

On receiving the award, Cumberbatch said: ‘I am so humbled and grateful to receive your Best Actor Award … To get this from your industry, and what an industry, you are world leaders, and your exports are iconic, and trailblazing, and inspirational, and have been to me throughout my career.’

Kate Winslet won the AACTA International Award for Best Lead Actress in a Series for her portrayal of Mare Sheehan in Mare of Easttown. Winslet previously won an AACTA Award for Best Lead Actress in a Film for the Australian film The Dressmaker in 2015.

She said: ‘I have always felt so supported by AACTA, I feel sometimes a bit like an honorary Australian because you have acknowledged me before now and it always means a huge amount to be included – to be brought into your film and television community in this way means a lot. I have such admiration for the skill of actors and filmmakers in Australia, so thank you.’

Nicole Kidman won her 7th AACTA (formerly AFI) Award for her compelling portrayal of Lucille Ball in Being the Ricardos. Fellow Australian Murray Bartlett took home the award for Best Lead Actor in a Series for his dynamic performance of Armond in 2021’s hit show The White Lotus, which also won Best Comedy Series, with global sensation Succession winning Best Drama Series.

Kidman said: ‘This is an enormous honour to accept this award … It means so much to have this acknowledged by my Australian film peers … Thank you AACTA. Thank you Australia. I’m completely chuffed.’

Belfast and Dune were also recognised, with Judi Dench honoured for Best Supporting Actress in Film for Belfast, and Denis Villeneuve picking up the award for Best Direction in Film for Dune.

The AACTA Awards are a continuum of the Australian Film Institute (AFI) Awards, which were first presented 63 years ago in 1958. Past AFI Award recipients include Nicole Kidman (AACTA Vice President), Russell Crowe (AACTA President), Eric Bana, Toni Collette, Dr. George Miller (AACTA Patron) and Cate Blanchett (AACTA Ambassador).

A full list of this year’s nominees and winners is available on the AACTA website.

Paul Dalgarno writes novels: A Country of Eternal Light (2023) and Poly (2020); memoir: And You May Find Yourself (2015); and creative non-fiction: Prudish Nation (2023). He was formerly Deputy Editor of The Conversation and joined ScreenHub as Managing Editor in 2022. Twitter: @pauldalgarno. Insta: @narrativefriction