/News 13.11.18



Annette Kellerman Award presented with VOGUE Australia at the 7th Annual Australians in Film Awards held on 24 October at Paramount Pictures Studios in Hollywood.

Gadsby received the award (named after the Australian professional swimmer who became one of cinema’s first stars in the early 20th century) after being recognised as a trailblazing Australian woman working in the screen industry for her ground-breaking special, Nanette. The Netflix show has sparked international discussion through its frank discussion of topics including homophobia, sexism, sexual assault and mental health – and for calling out how Monica Lewinsky, rather than Bill Clinton, was made a punchline from the well reported 1998 scandal.

Hannah Gadsby and Monica Lewinsky (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for Australians in Film)


Monica Lewinsky presented the award to Gadsby and said, “Many of the Aussies here tonight have known of the brilliant and beloved Hannah Gadsby for over a decade, but here in the States, she burst onto the scene and became part of the public discourse in only the last six months. Because of Hannah and Nanette, it has been empowering for people around the world to see that reclaiming your narrative, fighting back, and calling out sexism and homophobia can actually contribute to your success rather than hurt your professional career. For me, there was special meaning in the show. Hannah reminded people that I personally had been, in the past and sometimes still in present day, a punchline. And that moment for me was very healing…her show was surprisingly the only comedy show that I had bawled my eyes out in and given my history, that was pretty shocking!”

She continued,

I know based on the response to the show that it’s not just me but people everywhere who’ve recognised their own pain and struggle in her words and then felt, as they watched her, that change and hope is possible for them too. As Hannah so eloquently says, there is nothing stronger than a great woman who has rebuilt herself.

On receiving the award, Gadsby commented, “This is an honour so thank you to Vogue, Create NSW and Australians in Film. The show came from a deeply painful place and I did not expect it to do much. I expected the show to peel me off into the margins by telling my truth so brutally, but I have been so overwhelmed by how positively the show has been received and how connected I am to the world in a way that I never knew how honestly disconnected I was. It is a great honour to be welcomed into Australians in Film, I am sure I will fit right in and I am currently working on a film version of Nanette. Damon [Herriman] is playing Nanette, I am hoping Cate Blanchett will play me.”

Producer, writer and director Simon Kinberg (Deadpool, The Martian, Logan) presented Sydney’s Academy Award® winning film editor Lee Smith (Dunkirk, Inception) with the Fox Studios International Award, honouring his achievements internationally. Smith is currently editing Dark Phoenix, directed by Kinberg, and has served as editor for all of Christopher Nolan’s feature films since Batman Begins (2005).

LOS ANGELES, CA – OCTOBER 24: Lee Smith accepts the Fox Studios Australia International Award onstage during the 7th Annual Australians in Film Awards Gala at Paramount Studios on October 24, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for Australians in Film)

The evening also saw Sydney-born actors Keiynan Lonsdale (The Flash and Love, Simon) and Eliza Scanlen (Sharp Objects and upcoming Little Women opposite Emma Watson, Saoirse Ronan and Meryl Streep) receive Screen Australia Breakthrough Awards, recognising their major international presence over the past year. Both actors follow previous recipients including Margot Robbie, Chris Hemsworth, Elizabeth Debicki and Joel Edgerton.

Keiynan Lonsdale (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for Australians in Film)

Australians in Film proudly acknowledges the wonderful support of the Title Sponsors of the 2018 AiF Awards: Ausfilm, Fox Studios Australia, Qantas, Paramount Studios, Screen Australia and Village Roadshow Entertainment Group.