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Tim Minchin to Receive Qantas Australians in Film's Orry-Kelly Award

Tim Minchin to Receive  Qantas Australians in Film's Orry-Kelly Award

Actresses Katherine Langford (13 Reasons Why, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda); Danielle Macdonald (Patti Cake$, Dumplin'); director Alethea Jones (Fun Mom Dinner); screenwriter, cinematographer and director, Warwick Thornton (Sweet Country); and musician, actor, comedian, writer and director, Tim Minchin (Matilda) will be honored at this year's Australians in Film Awards on Wednesday, October 18 at Neuehouse Hollywood, hosted by actor Patrick Brammall.

The multi-talented Tim Minchin will be honored with the Qantas Orry-Kelly Award which celebrates an Australian who has contributed to the national identity of Australia with their body of work and has created opportunities and inspiration for other Australians internationally. Previous honorees include film executive Greg Basser, producer Bruna Papandrea, directors Baz Luhrmann and John Polson, and film-making collective, Blue Tongue Films. Minchin composed music and lyrics for MATILDA and GROUNDHOG DAY.

Actresses Katherine Langford and Danielle Macdonald, director Alethea Jones, and screenwriter, cinematographer and director, Warwick Thornton (Sweet Country) will receive the Screen Australia Breakthrough Award which recognizes Australian screen talent who have had major international presence over the past year. Previous Breakthrough Award honorees include Margot Robbie, Chris Hemsworth, Elizabeth Debicki, Joel Edgerton, James Wan and Mia Wasikowska.

Previously announced 2017 Australians in Film Awards honorees include: director Kate Dennis, who will be honored with the Create NSW Annette Kellerman Award with Vogue Australia; screenwriter Luke Davies, who will be honored with the FOX Studios Australia International Award; and Disney executives Mary Ann Hughes and Paul Steinke, who will be honored with the Ausfilm International Award.

"Australians in Film has built a strong community of creatives in Los Angeles," commented Kate Marks, President of Australians in Film. "We are immensely proud of this year`s group of honorees, congratulate them on their successes and look forward to their future work both in Australia and the US."

Katherine Langford garnered global recognition and critical acclaim as 'Hannah Baker' in Netflix series 13 Reasons Why which became a worldwide phenomenon. The series is currently in production on its second season. Next, Langford will STAR in Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda alongside Jennifer Garner, Nick Robinson and Alexandra Shipp, distributed by 20th Century Fox, the film will be released in March 2018.

Langford said, "I feel very honored to be recognised by Australians in Film and receive the Screen Australia Breakthrough Award for 2017. Growing up, acting felt - at times, like an intangible thing. I feel very grateful to have had the opportunity to perform, and hope to continue doing GOOD WORK with great filmmakers."

Danielle Macdonald currently stars in the critically acclaimed Patti Cake$ which debuted at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. Macdonald began her career in the United States at 18 years of age in her first short film role The Thief, directed by Rachel Weisz, starring Joel Edgerton and Rosemarie Dewitt. Macdonald made her feature film debut in The East, alongside Ellen Page, Britt Marling and Alexander Skarsgard. She will next be seen starring opposite Jennifer Aniston in Dumplin', based on the New York Times best-selling novel. She will follow this with a lead role in the Untitled Babe Walker project and then is set to STAR in Skin with Jamie Bell in 2018.

Macdonald said, "I'm incredibly honored to be one of the Screen Australia Breakthrough Award recipients at this year's Australian in Film Awards. I joined AiF when I first moved to LA and it was instrumental in helping me find my footing out here. It's such a great community of talented artists who support each other and I'm so grateful to be a part of it."

Director Alethea Jones made her first feature film premiere at Sundance with Fun Mom Dinner, starring Toni Collette, Molly Shannon, Bridget Everett and Adam Scott. Soon after, she was nominated for a DGA award for her work on Amazon series Gortimer Gibbon's Life on Normal Street. Most recently, she directed an episode of American Woman starring Alicia Silverstone and Mena Suvari and also co-wrote the pilot and series bible of Cleopatra in Space for Dreamworks Animated Television. Her next project is directing her first studio film, The BARBIE Movie starring Anne Hathaway for Sony. Jones won Tropfest in 2012 with her short film, Lemonade Stand.

"Working in this industry with so many excellent collaborators is a joy, but being so far from my beautiful Australian family and friends is really tough, so to be recognized by AiF in this way is incredibly special," said Alethea Jones. "It connects me to my home and encourages me to persist, and for that I am truly grateful and honored to receive this award."

Warwick Thornton is the first indigenous Australian creative to receive the Screen Australia Breakthrough Award. Thornton most recently won the Platform Prize at the Toronto International Film Festival, just days after he was awarded the Special Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival for his acclaimed western drama, Sweet Country, starring Sam Neill and Bryan Brown. Thornton previously won the Caméra d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival for his debut feature Sampson and Delilah, which he wrote and directed.

"It's such an honor and so nice to know there's a whole lotta love from the other side of the Pacific," said Warwick Thornton.

Musician, actor, comedian, writer and director Tim Minchin composed two Olivier Award-winning musicals, Matilda (with Dennis Kelly) and Groundhog Day (with Danny Rubin), both directed by Matthew Warchus. Minchin has toured in the US, the UK and Australia, performing solo, with bands and symphony orchestras. In 2012, he recorded with the prestigious Heritage Orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall. His acting credits include, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead at the Sydney Theatre Company, Jesus Christ Superstar Arena Tour of Australia and the UK, CALIFORNICATION (Season 6) and ABC's award-winning Secret River. He will STAR as Friar Tuck in the upcoming film, Robin Hood Origins.

"It is a huge thrill to be acknowledged by Australians in Film. When my family and I moved to LA from London, the organization played a big role in helping us connect to the brilliant community of Aussies living and working here," commented Minchin. "In a town as brutal as Hollywood, these connections have been vital to our survival. To now be honored by AiF for my various (and often not particularly conventional) efforts is just incredibly lovely."

The AiF Awards and Benefit Dinner is aimed at supporting the organization's mission to usher Australian filmmakers into the international market and to provide educational and career development programs including successful creative work sharing space, Charlie's in Hollywood.

Australians in Film proudly acknowledge the wonderful support of its Title Sponsors of the 2017 AiF Awards: Ausfilm, Qantas, Village Roadshow, FOX Studios Australia and Screen Australia.

Photo Credit: Walter McBride / WM Photos

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