Famed director Baz Luhrmann was honoured in his native Australia on Wednesday night (18Nov09) - he was presented with the coveted Living Legend prize at the country's Inside Film (IF) Awards.
The Moulin Rouge! moviemaker was also handed the trophy for Box Office Achievement for his 2008 epic Australia, a homage to his home country.
Lurhmann used the opportunity to pay tribute to the ever-expanding Australian film industry, telling the crowd, "This is an industry to be proud of, it's incredibly exciting. We have it, let's not blow it. I think it's an extraordinarily exciting time to be an Australian filmmaker."
Australian love story Samson & Delilah was the big winner at the ceremony, held at Sydney's Luna Park, scooping six awards, including Best Film and Best Actor/Actress honours for its stars - newcomers Rowan MCNamara and Marissa Gibson.
Balibo, starring Anthony Lapaglia, scored seven nominations but only took two prizes, for best sound and editing.