About the ATOM Awards

Since 1982, the ATOM Awards have been celebrating the best of Australian and New Zealand screen content from the education sector and screen industry professionals.

They are the second-longest-running film and media awards in Australia, behind the AFI/AACTA Awards. This year, the ATOM Awards celebrate their fortieth anniversary.

The 2022 Collarts ATOM Awards feature more than thirty categories covering everything from feature-length films and television programs to animation, short fiction, educational resources, web series and ebooks.

Welcome to the 2022 Collarts ATOM Awards – recognising film and media excellence in education and industry for forty years.

Click here to download a poster to promote the awards at your school or workplace.

About ATOM

Australian Teachers of Media Inc. (ATOM) is an independent, not-for-profit, professional association that has been promoting the study of media and screen literacy for nearly sixty years. Our goal is to empower students, teachers, parents, and film enthusiasts to analyse and better understand the screen products we enjoy.

To achieve this, ATOM publishes two critically acclaimed magazines, Metro and Screen Education. Screen Education focuses on educational articles that support primary and secondary teachers who use screen-based materials in classrooms. The articles provide the background information and the questions for critical class discussion, creating a valuable resource for teachers, parents, and students alike. Metro covers screen production from Australia and the Asia-Pacific region, and publishes longer articles more suited to screen industry professionals, film enthusiasts, and senior secondary and tertiary film and media educators and students.

ATOM is deeply involved in supporting teachers to create better, more engaging lesson plans for the younger generation. We produce in-depth study guides and make them available to download from The Education Shop (free for the first eighteen months). ATOM Study Guides help teachers prepare units of work for their classes on contemporary issues that are relevant to the curriculum. The guides usually cover at least three curriculum areas, depending on the film or program being covered. ATOM has now produced over 1500 study guides, covering all subject areas across all year levels in primary and secondary education.

ATOM also runs state, national and international conferences for media and education professionals, and organises screenings of feature films and documentaries for teachers and lecturers throughout Australia via online bookings. Educators can sign up to ATOM’s email lists here.

ATOM runs the ATOM Awards – open to all screen content producers in Australia and New Zealand – with dozens of categories, including many specifically for primary, secondary and tertiary students. The ATOM Awards have been a staple in the Australian screen industry since 1982.

Notable finalists and winners include:

  • Adam Elliot, for Uncle – a finalist for Best Animation in the 1998 ATOM Awards – and Brother, winner of the 2000 ATOM Award for Best Animation. Elliot has gone on to become one of Australia’s best animators, winning the 2004 Academy Award for Best Short Animation.
  • Rachel Griffiths, for her directorial debut short film Tulip, finalist at the 1999 ATOM Awards for Best Short Fiction (Open). Tulip also won the OCIC award at the Melbourne International Film Festival, and Griffiths has gone on to win a trove of awards, including a Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild Awards and AFI Awards.
  • Darlene Johnson, for The Redfern Story, winner of the 2015 ATOM Award for Best Documentary – Social & Political Issues. Johnson’s film Gulpilil – One Red Blood was also a finalist in the 2003 ATOM Awards. The latter was also nominated for a Logie and an Australian Film Critics Circle Award, and Johnson has gone on to win several international awards.
  • Andrew Lancaster, who received a Special Award to Further Filmmaking Skills at the 1995 ATOM Awards for his short film Universal Appliance Co. Lancaster is now a successful filmmaker with many directing and composing credits under his belt, including feature films, music videos and television commercials.
  • Anthony Lucas, for The Mysterious Geographic Explorations of Jasper Morello, winner of the 2005 ATOM Award for Best Animation. Lucas was later nominated for the 2006 Academy Award for Best Short Film, Animated.
  • Lachlan Pendragon, for An Ostrich Told Me the World Is Fake and I Think I Believe It, winner of the 2022 ATOM Award for Best Animation. Lachlan was later nominated for the 2023 Academy Award for Best Animated Short.

ATOM also runs three creative media competitions: the ATOM Photo Comp, the 1-Minute Film Competition, and Front Page – a student newspaper competition.

Entering ATOM’s competitions will engage students in activities that fit with school curricula, and encourage teambuilding and confidence as students work together producing content. Finalists will have the opportunity to connect with likeminded people – students and professional content creators alike – to learn more about educational and industry opportunities, and may have their work viewed and discussed through the annual National Screenings Tour.