SYDNEY • Mel Gibson and his new movie Hacksaw Ridge swept the board at the Australian film awards in a return from the wilderness for the Oscar-winner.
He returned to his Australian roots to direct the World War II epic, his first film in a decade.
It has generated Oscars buzz and was recognised by the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts with nine gongs at its awards ceremony on Wednesday. They included Best Film and Director for Gibson, while the movie's lead and supporting actors, Andrew Garfield and Hugo Weaving, also won.
"All the way up and down it's a home-grown film," said an emotional Gibson, who shot it in New South Wales. "I'm really honoured and choked up, I can't even talk."
His family moved to Sydney from New York when he was 12. He was one of the most sought-after names in Hollywood before being ostracised by Tinseltown after an anti- Semitic tirade in 2006.
Crocodile Dundee star Paul Hogan received one of the highest honours, the Longford Lyell Award, for outstanding contribution to the Australian screen.