George Miller's reboot of the iconic Mad Max franchise, Mad Max: Fury Road, was named best film at the 5th annual AACTA International Awards in Los Angeles. The film also took out the best director award.
The double win would appear to accelerate Mad Max's position in the Oscar race, though the final lap of the film industry's highest honour has become tougher to predict in recent weeks.
Following The Revenant's win at the Golden Globes, that film's chances seemed to surge, until the Producer's Guild of America last week named The Big Short best film at its annual gongs. In the crowded awards season, the Producer's Guild Awards are seen as the strongest indicator of Oscar's best film. Historically, the PGA has the best track record of predicting best film.
The AACTA International Awards are bestowed by the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts.
The double win for Mad Max: Fury Road follows wins for the film at the Australian AACTA Awards, held in Sydney last month; at that event Mad Max: Fury Road won eight awards, including best film and best direction.
Cate Blanchett won best actress for her role in Carol. Photo: Mark Metcalfe
Aussies shine at AACTA Awards
George Miller has won the directing and best-picture awards for Mad Max: Fury Road at Australia's version of the Oscars in Hollywood.
Leonardo Di Caprio was named best lead actor at the AACTA International Awards, for his performance in The Revenant. Australian actress Cate Blanchett was named best lead actress for her performance in Carol.
Carol won two awards at the US awards; the second was best supporting actress for Rooney Mara.
Bridge of Spies star Mark Rylance was named best supporting actor. The award for best screenplay went to Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer for Spotlight.
"This year marks the first time we've seen an Australian film, Mad Max: Fury Road, win at our domestic awards in Sydney and then again at our international awards in LA," AACTA chief executive Damian Trewhella said.
The AACTA International Awards were hosted by Rachel Griffiths, and Daniel MacPherson opened the show. The presenters included director Phillip Noyce and actors Miranda Otto, Jonathan LaPaglia, Radha Mitchell, Luke Bracey and Anna Torv.
The VIP guest list included Warner boss Jeff Schlesinger, Foxtel's director of television Brian Walsh, and Australian actors Tim Campbell, Nic Bishop, Joel Edgerton, Sean James Murphy and Jack Thompson.
The AACTA Awards were held at LA's historic Avalon, a venue which traces its history back to the birth of Hollywood. Opened in 1927, it was then known as The Hollywood Playhouse. Under various names it served as the stage for some of Hollywood's most famous names, including Ginger Rogers, Liberace, Joan Crawford, Bette Davis, Cyd Charisse and Louis Armstrong.
The telecast of the 5th annual AACTA International Awards will air on Sunday, January 31, at 7.30pm on the Foxtel Arts channel, and at 9.30pm on the Arena channel.
It will also be available on demand via the streaming platform Presto until February 29.
List of winners
AACTA International Award for Best Film
Mad Max: Fury Road
AACTA International Award for Best Direction
George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road
AACTA International Award for Best Screenplay
Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer, Spotlight
AACTA International Award for Best Lead Actor
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant
AACTA International Award for Best Lead Actress
Cate Blanchett, Carol
AACTA International Award for Best Supporting Actor
Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies
AACTA International Award for Best Supporting Actress
Rooney Mara, Carol