"Mad Max: Fury Road" took home the best-film and best-director prizes at the 2015 Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) Awards on Wednesday. The feminist action flick received four other prizes, including those for visual effects and cinematography.
Jocelyn Moorehouse’s "The Dressmaker" nabbed a Best Actress win for Kate Winslet, who was nominated alongside her supporting co-stars Judy Davis and Hugo Weaving. The sartorially minded dramedy also won for best costume design and nabbed the inaugural AACTA People’s Choice award.
But the happiest winner of the night might well have been Cate Blanchett, who was bestowed a lifetime-achievement award. Blanchett used her time on the podium to advocate for women’s recognition. "So often in any industry, the film industry is no exception, female achievement, because we just get on and do stuff, we get swept under the carpet," the actress said. "I think it’s fantastic that AACTA are coming into the 21st century and so it’s a particular pleasure for me to receive this."
Director Gillian Armstrong handed Blanchett her statuette, and the actress thanked the pioneering filmmaker for casting her in 1997’s "Oscar and Lucinda."
"Gill admitted to say she had to fight very, very hard back then to have an Australian play an Australian character, and it seems like a no-brainer, but it is a testament to directors like Gill, who went back and said, ‘I want an Australian to play this role,’ and it’s not a quota, but it needs to be fought for," said Blanchett.