December 19, 2016:    Mel Gibson’s Hacksaw Ridge was the biggest winner at the 2016 Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards.

The war epic about the heroics of Adventist conscientious objector Desmond T. Doss was nominated for 13 AACTAs and ulitmately won in 9 categories, including best film and best director for controversial Hollywood veteran Gibson.

The film’s stars Andrew Garfield and Hugo Weaving won best actor and best supporting actor awards, respectively and Andrew Knight and Robert Schenkkan were victorious in the best original screenplay category.

Gibson,who moved to Australia as a boy with his family and spent many years studying and working in the country, gave an emotional acceptance speech according to the Hollywood Reporter.

“I’m really honored and choked up, I can’t even talk. I’d like to thank Australia for making this film. All the way up and down it’s a homegrown film,” Gibson said of the feature that had been filmed in Australia.

Hacksaw Ridge was released in the United States on November 4. It tells the story of Doss, an Adventist World War II army medic who was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for saving the lives of 75 men as a conscientious objector in the Battle of Okinawa.