Sian Davies and Stef Smith Lead Nominations for 2022 the Australian Directors’ Guild Awards


The Australian Directors’ Guild has today announced the nominees for the 2022 ADG Awards.
It’s a breakthrough year at the Awards 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.


Best Direction in Commercial Content
James ChappellThe Voice – 2022 Promo
Jasmin TarasinBianca Spender- Online Brand Film
Matisse RubyTabula Rasa
Matisse RubyBeethoven and Bridgetower
Stef SmithBaroque In Bloom – Australian Brandenburg Orchestra
Tak NakanoThe Rookies 2021 Episode 5 – The Art of Suffering
Best Direction in an Interactive or Immersive Project
Ben Joseph AndrewsGondwana
Michela LedwidgeA Clever Label
Stef SmithMoving Portrait Series
Best Direction in a TV or SVOD Mini-Series Episode
Ana KokkinosFires Episode 2 – Everything’s Gone
Corrie ChenNew Gold Mountain Episode 2 – Righteousness
Kim MordauntFires Episode 3 – Stay or Leave
Michael RymerFires Episode 6 – A Summer Lost
Best Direction in a TV or SVOD Drama Series Episode
Emma FreemanThe Newsreader Episode 1 Three, Two, One…
Arnie CustoHome And Away Episode 7621
Arnie CustoHome And Away Episode 7745
Daina ReidShining Girls Series 1, Episode 3 – Overnight
Fadia AbboudFive Bedrooms Series 2, Episode 6 – Twenty-Seven Weeks
Kevin CarlinWentworth Series 8, Episode 20 – Legacy
Sian DaviesThe Twelve, Episode 8
Wayne BlairTotal Control Season 2, Episode 4
Best Direction in a TV or SVOD Documentary Series Episode or Documentary One-Off
Chris ThorburnThe Family Court Murders Episode 3 – Outwitted
Dena CurtisBack To Nature Episode 8 – Red Earth Heart
Ella WrightStage Changers
Nick RobinsonPuff: Wonders of the Reef
Rhian Skirving & John HarveyOff Country
Best Direction in a TV or SVOD Comedy Series Episode
Darren AshtonSpreadsheet Episode 2 – Whose Dick is This?
Jeffrey WalkerYoung Rock Season 2 – Let the People Decide
Matthew MooreThe Great Season 2, Episode 6 – A Simple Jape
Shaun WilsonFrayed Series 2, Episode 2
Sian DaviesSpreadsheet Episode 5 – Banjos and Dirty Duck
Best Direction in a Student Film 
Becki BouchierSnapshot
David Robinson-SmithMud Crab
Domini MarshallGo with Grace
Emma JacksonWalk Run Strive
Grace TanLucky Peach
James Menelaus RushTadpoles
Lilli Corrias-SmithBefore We’re Gone
Ruby ChallengerMumLife
Best Direction in a Short Film 
Brietta HagueBaltasar
George-Alex NagleMate
John SheedyTarneit
Jordan GiustiReptile
Madeleine GottliebYou and Me, Before and After
Nash EdgertonShark
Toby MorrisIshmael
William DuanTuī Ná
Best Direction in a Music Video 
Aimee-Lee Xu Hsien CurranPinkish Blu – Old Blue
Riley BlakewayThom Pringle – INVINCIBL3
Taylor FergusonBoy & Bear – State of Flight
W.A.M. BleakleyDidirri – Begin Again
W.A.M. BleakleyConfidence Man – Feels Like A Different Thing
Best Direction in a Feature Film (Budget under $1M)
Aaron WilsonLittle Tornadoes
Craig BorehamLonesome
Genna Chanelle HayesAKONI
Martin WilsonPieces
Best Direction in a Mobile-First Online Series Episode
Hannah McElhinneyTransAthletica Episode 9 – Performance Testing
Imogen McCluskeyLove Bug Season 2, Episode 11
Kyle PortburyHunted
Thomas PollardAFLW x AAMI Episode 4 Best Clanger Ever
Best Direction in a Debut Feature Film
Danny CohenAnonymous Club
Del Kathryn BartonBlaze
JJ WinloveJune Again
Leah PurcellThe Drover’s Wife: The Legend of Molly Johson
Philippa BatemanWash My Soul In The River’s Flow
Renée WebsterHow to Please a Woman
Best Direction in a Feature Film (Budget $1M or over)
Cate ShortlandBlack Widow
Christine LubyThe Curious Case of Dolphin Bay
Claire McCarthyThe Colour Room
Justin KurzelNitram
Leah PurcellThe Drover’s Wife The Legend of Molly Johnson
Sophie HydeGood Luck To You, Leo Grande
Thomas M WrightThe Stranger
Best Direction in a Documentary Short Subject
Emma JacksonWalk Run Strive
Kathryn MillardThe Bystander Story
Lauren Rose BeckPrepping Australia Series 1, Episode 1 – The End of Days
Madeleine MytkowskiBetty and Bushy
Naomi BallWho I Am
Olivia Martin-McGuireFreedom Swimmer
Best Direction in a Documentary Feature
Alec Morgan and Tiriki OnusAblaze
Ben LawrenceIthaka
Daniella OrtegaCarbon – The Unauthorised Biography
Jennifer Peedom & Joseph NizetiRiver
John Hughes & Tom ZubryckiSenses of Cinema
Penelope McDonaldAudrey Napanangka
Rogue RubinLion Spy
Tosca LoobyStrong Female Lead
Best Direction in Animation 
Sarah HarperMonkie Kid – Season 3
Ian BrownAlien TV – Season 2
Tom Noakes, Will Goodfellow & Greg Sharp.Fight Dirty – Salvatore Ganacci
Best Direction in a Commercial Advertisement
Tom NoakesMattress FIRM – Spiral in the Diner
Hailey BartholomewRoyal Brisbane Women’s Hospital Foundation – Incredible Gift
Michael SpicciaHyundai Tucson – Tomorrow Wants Its Car Back
Shannon MurphyTena – #LastLonelyMenopause
Tim BullockGulf Western Oil – Lone Rider
Tom CampbellBoys Do Cry – Gotcha4Life
Best Direction in an Online Series Episode
Liam FitzgibbonHot Department: Dark Web Episode 4 – Sad Women
Aaron McCannHug the Sun Episode 4 – The Dark World
Laura Clelland & Gabriel WillieLong Black
Monica ZanettiIggy & Ace Episode 4
Sam RogersDiscontent Series 1, Episode 1 – Sandra Part 1
Stef SmithIt’s Fine, I’m Fine – Series 1, Episode 1 – Have You Had A Cry Today?
The Esben Storm Award for Best Direction in a Children’s TV or SVOD Drama Series Episode
Sian DaviesSurviving Summer Episode 7 – For Laynah
Erin WhiteThe PM’s Daughter Series 1, Episode 9 – A Date with Destiny
Isaac ElliottMaveriX Season 1, Episode 5
Isaac ElliottMaveriX Season 1, Episode 3
Julie KalceffFirst Day Season 2, Episode 1
Julietta BoscoloThe PM’s Daughter Series 1, Episode 2 – It’s Complicated
Richard JefferyBluey Season 3, Episode 26 – Fairytale
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