Russel Crowe set to host two AACTA award ceremonies

MUMBAI: Russell Crowe will host two of the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts? upcoming trio of awards ceremonies that will commence with the AACTA International awards. The event will be held in Los Angeles on 26 January, which also happens to be Australia Day.

Taking the AACTA?s awards season forward will be a luncheon party on 28 January where the craft award and the prestigious Raymond Longford Award for lifetime achievement will be given. The star will then fly to Sydney to host the main awards ceremony on 30 January.

Following the withdrawal of local actor Hugh Sheridan who cited a scheduling conflict Crowe is stepping in to the host the events. The actor will join Geoffrey Rush (AACTA president) and Cate Blanchett (Australian Film Institute-AACTA Ambassador) in the lineup of AACTA awards presenters.

Leading the nominations for the second annual AACTA Awards is indigenous hit musical The Sapphires, which was named on Wednesday as the top-grossing Australian film at the box office in 2012, taking AUS$14.5 million ($15.3 million) in its home territory.

The Sapphires is up for a total of 12 awards, including best film, where it is vying for the top prize against Jonathan Teplitzsky?s Burning Man, Cate Shortland?s Lore and Kieran D?Arcy-Smith?s Wish You Were Here.

AACTA CEO Damian Trewhella said that Crowe has shown his commitment to the Australian Academy since its launch 18 months ago.

"Russell Crowe is a formidable talent whose work has been recognized through peer assessed awards the world over, including through the Oscars, BAFTAs and AFI Awards," Trewhella said.

"That Russell is hosting two events for the Australian Academy in L.A. and Sydney within the space of a week attests to both his support of the Australian screen industry, and his leadership with AACTA as we promote a voice for the Australian industry in the U.S," he added.

Crowe will be reunited with his Les Miserables co-star Hugh Jackman who is up for best actor at the AACTA International Awards.

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