Indigenous stories awarded at AACTAs

Bryan Brown, Hamilton Morris, Natassia Gorey-Furber and Sam Neill in Warwick Thornton's Sweet Country. Photo: Transmission Films
Bryan Brown, Hamilton Morris, Natassia Gorey-Furber and Sam Neill in Warwick Thornton's Sweet Country. Photo: Transmission Films

Indigenous Australian stories told through local film and television productions are being duly recognised at the 60th AACTA and AFI Awards in Sydney.

Warwick Thornton won the Best Direction award for his film Sweet Country, starring Hamilton Morris who also took out the Best Lead Actor Award.

"I've made two films in my life and they've been ten years apart," Thornton said during his acceptance speech.

His other award-winning film Samson and Delilah followed two fourteen-year-old Aboriginal children in an isolated community in Australia.

Television series Mystery Road took out three awards including best drama series and best supporting actor Deborah Mailman.

Earlier, Nicole Kidman and Simon Baker won the trophies for best supporting actress and actor.

For his directorial debut Baker adapted the classic Tim Winton novel Breath saying it was a story he knew well.

"I personally really understood the story growing up in similar circumstances on the coast, I had a lot of mentors while i was trying to understand who I was and what kind of man I wanted to be," Baker told AAP.

Baker acknowledged that Breath was his first Australian film.

"This is my first Australian film as an actor", he said.

In accepting her award for Boy Erased, Kidman praised the industry she said "nurtured her" and one she's remained in for many years.

"I've been working since I was 14 and now I'm 51 years old and I'm still around," Kidman said during her acceptance speech.

Tributes poured in for Bryan Brown who was honoured for his outstanding contribution to Australian cinema with the Longford Lyell Award.

Via video message Sigourney Weaver spoke about their time on-set filming Gorillas In The Mist while Cocktail co-star Tom Cruise sent a personal message praising the veteran actor as a "national treasure" while ex-wife Kidman watched on.

Australian Associated Press