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Austin Film Critics Association Announces 2012 Awards
Blogs Lights, Camera, Austin
2012/12/18 11:00 by Robert Sims

Note: Lights Camera Austin host Robert Sims serves as vice president of the Austin Film Critics Association.

December 18, 2012 (Austin, TX) – The Austin Film Critics Association announced its 2012 awards today, naming Zero Dark Thirty as Best Film. The drama about the search for Osama bin Laden also led the group's Top Ten list. AFCA named director Kathryn Bigelow's previous film, The Hurt Locker, Best Film in 2009.

The Master took home three AFCA awards this year. Paul Thomas Anderson was named Best Director, Joaquin Phoenix won Best Actor, and Mihai Malaimare, Jr. was honored with Best Cinematography. Anderson previously won the AFCA Best Director award in 2007 for There Will Be Blood.

The magical-realism film Beasts of the Southern Wild also won multiple awards. Best First Film went to director Benh Zeitlin, and young star Quvenzhané Wallis was awarded the Robert R. "Bobby" McCurdy Memorial Breakthrough Artist Award.

AFCA also decided to recognize actor and Austin native Matthew McConaughey with a Special Honorary Award, in light of his strong performances this year in four films: Bernie, Killer Joe, Magic Mike, and The Paperboy.

The dark comedy Bernie, directed by Austin filmmaker Richard Linklater, was named Best Austin Film. Linklater won Best Austin Film twice before: for Me and Orson Welles in 2009, and for A Scanner Darkly in 2006.

Looper, the time-travel drama written and directed by Rian Johnson, was named Best Original Screenplay, while Chris Terrio's script for Argo took home Best Adapted Screenplay.

Jennifer Lawrence was named Best Actress for Silver Linings Playbook. Best Supporting Actor went to Christoph Waltz for his role in Quentin Tarantino's action/Western Django Unchained. Waltz previously won the award in 2009 for Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds. Anne Hathaway won Best Supporting Actress for her role in the musical Les Misérables. She won the AFCA Best Actress award in 2008 for Rachel Getting Married.

AFCA members chose Holy Motors, from French filmmaker Leos Carax, as Best Foreign Language Film. Best Animated Film went to Disney's Wreck-It Ralph, and the suspenseful The Imposter was named Best Documentary.

The full list of winners, plus the AFCA Top Ten Films of 2012 list, is detailed below. You can also find details at the AFCA website,

The Austin Film Critics Association is a group dedicated to supporting the best in film, whether at the international, national, or local level. AFCA members contribute to publications and outlets as diverse as Ain't It Cool News, the Austin American-Statesman, the Austin Chronicle, DVDActive,, Film School Rejects, KOOP Radio, MSN Movies,, ScreenCrush, Slackerwood, Smells Like Screen Spirit,, Twitch, and YNN Austin, among others.

Best Film: Zero Dark Thirty (Kathryn Bigelow)

Best Director: Paul Thomas Anderson, The Master

Best Actor: Joaquin Phoenix, The Master

Best Actress: Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook

Best Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained

Best Supporting Actress: Anne Hathaway, Les Misérables

Best Original Screenplay: Rian Johnson, Looper

Best Adapted Screenplay: Chris Terrio, Argo

Best Cinematography: Mihai Malaimare, Jr., The Master

Best Score: Reinhold Heil, Johnny Klimek, and Tom Tykwer, Cloud Atlas

Best Foreign Language Film: Holy Motors (Leos Carax)

Best Documentary: The Imposter (Bart Layton)

Best Animated Film: Wreck-It Ralph (Rich Moore)

Best First Film: Beasts of the Southern Wild (Benh Zeitlin)

Best Austin Film: Bernie (Richard Linklater)

Robert R. "Bobby" McCurdy Memorial Breakthrough Artist Award:

Quvenzhané Wallis, Beasts of the Southern Wild

Special Honorary Award: Matthew McConaughey, for his exceptional work in four films this year (Bernie, Killer Joe, Magic Mike, and The Paperboy)

AFCA 2012 Top Ten Films:

1. Zero Dark Thirty

2. Argo

3. Moonrise Kingdom

4. Django Unchained

5. Cloud Atlas

6. Holy Motors

7. Beasts of the Southern Wild

8. The Master

9. Silver Linings Playbook

10. Looper


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