Rebel Wilson in Pitch Perfect. Photo: Steven Siewert Rebel Wilson is an air steward in Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie. Photo: Fox Searchlight
Comedian and actress Rebel Wilson and director James Wan have been named among the Australian trailblazers in Los Angeles who will be honoured for their professional achievements.
They join a stellar lineup which includes Sir Ridley Scott, film executive Greg Basser, Suicide Squad star Jai Courtney and Top of the Lake director Garth Davis.
The Australians in Film Awards are announced annually, acknowledging individual achievement in the film and television fields; the awards are given either to Australians, or individuals who have contributed to the Australian film and television industries.
Wilson, who starred in the films Bridesmaids and Pitch Perfect, will be the recipient of the inaugural Annette Kellermann Award, which honours trailblazing Australian women in Hollywood.
The award is named after the professional swimmer turned vaudeville and film star Annette Kellermann, who worked in the US film industry at the beginning of the 20th century.
In 1916, Kellerman was the first actress to appear nude in a film, Fox Film Corporation’s A Daughter of the Gods.
“Annette Kellermann was Australia’s first leading lady to make an international name for herself in Hollywood,” Australians in Film president Kate Marks said.
“Rebel Wilson is a unique star, a one-off trailblazer who has made her own influential mark in Hollywood and represents what this award is about.”
There are two recipients of the International Award, director James Wan, whose credits include the Saw franchise and the new MacGyver television series, and Sir Ridley Scott, who has just completed filming of Alien: Covenant in Sydney.
The International Award is given for contribution to international cinema.
This year there will also be two recipients of the Breakthrough Award, which acknowledges rising Australian talent in Hollywood; they are actor Jai Courtney and filmmaker Garth Davis.
Previous Breakthrough Award winners include Margot Robbie, Chris and Liam Hemsworth, Elizabeth Debicki, Jacki Weaver, Joel Edgerton and Ryan Kwanten.
The night’s major award, the Orry-Kelly Award, will this year go to Village Roadshow Entertainment Group chief executive Greg Basser.
The Orry-Kelly Award is named for the pioneering Hollywood costume designer Orry Kelly, who was born in Kiama.
During his career Kelly won three Oscars for his work on An American in Paris, Cole Porter’s Les Girls and Some Like It Hot, and was nominated for a fourth, for Gypsy.
Marks praised Basser for his work in building Village Roadshow into a major force in global cinema,
“It is now one of the world’s leading independent film producers and financiers, [and] Greg’s passion for this business and the industry is inspiring,” she said.
The awards will be handed out at a gala hosted by musician, actor, comedian and director Tim Minchin in Los Angeles on October 19.