'Thank you, Albury': Gem of a night for Sapphires

GALLERY: Click or flick across the above for behind-the-scenes photos of The Sapphires being filmed on our own backdoor.

STARS SHINE: Red carpet photos from the AACTA awards

IT WAS a triumphant night for the Cummeragunja Songbirds.

The comic musical The Sapphires, about an Aboriginal girl group that rises from an outback mission to Vietnam War entertainer, has swept the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards.

Wayne Blair’s feelgood hit won best film, best direction and four more awards in Sydney.

With Russell Crowe hosting and fellow Oscar winners Cate Blanchett, Nicole Kidman and Geoffrey Rush in the audience, Deborah Mailman won the best lead actress award and Jessica Mauboy supporting actress.

About 100 extras from in and around Albury-Wodonga appeared in scenes shot at Corowa, on a Culcairn farm and at a Morven church, as well as in Henty.

During his acceptance speech, Blair thanked Albury for its hospitality during filming.

Meanwhile, Albury-raised Richard Roxburgh was named best lead actor in a television drama for season two of Rake.

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