Richard Roxburgh's film adaptation of Raimond Gaita's critically-acclaimed memoir, Romulus, My Father, was crowned the best film of 2007 at an awards dinner at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre.
Bana took out the best lead actor award ahead of co-star Smit-McPhee, but the 11-year-old did not leave empty-handed, walking away with the young actor award.
When nominations were announced in late October, Smit-McPhee said he was looking forward to facing off against his famous co-star, but didn't think Bana would take it seriously.
“It's pretty exciting and … it is pretty funny,” Smit-McPhee said at the time.
“I think he'll say: 'real funny joke'.”
The film, which tells the story of new migrant Romulus and his wife Christina's struggle in the face of adversity to bring up their son, Raimond, in Australia, also won the award for best
support actor for Marton Csokas.
But the movie won only four awards from a total of 15 nominations after it failed to pick up any “craft” awards at the AFI Industry awards last night.
Home Song Stories wins gongs
The Home Song Stories tonight added another three awards to its impressive haul of five AFI Industry gongs.
Tony Ayres received the best direction award for his semi-autobiographical story about a Chinese nightclub singer who brings her two children to Australia in the 1970s, as well as best
Joan Chen picked up yet another award for her portrayal of Ayres' mother Rose, winning the best actress trophy less than a week after taking home the same award at the Turin International Film Festival in Italy.
Ms Chen says she was ready to retire from acting when she received the script for Australian film The Home Song Stories but was so inspired by the story she couldn't say no.
Hosted tonight by Academy Award-winning actor Geoffrey Rush, the Australian Film Institute (AFI) Awards celebrate excellence in Australian film and television production.
The award for best supporting actress was presented to acting newcomer Emma Booth, for her role in the sexy and poignant coming of age flick, Clubland.
Love My Way received the award for best television drama series for the third year in a row, while Claudia Karvan won best lead actress in a television drama for her starring role in the show.
Damages star Rose Byrne collected the international award for best actress, and Dominic Purcell won the male equivalent for his role as Lincoln Burrows in Prison Break.
Stephen Curry's turn as Graham Kennedy in The King earned him the award for best lead actor in a television drama.
Sally Regan and Anna Broinowski were recognised in the best documentary category for their real-life thriller, Forbidden Lie$, about con artist Norma Khouri.
Happy Feet director George Miller received the global achievement award.
The full list of the award winners:
* International Award for Best Actor – Dominic Purcell for Prison Break (Seven Network)
* International Award for Best Actress – Rose Byrne for Damages (Nine Network)
* Young Actor Award – Kodi Smit-McPhee for Romulus, My Father
* Byron Kennedy Award – Curtis Levy
* Raymond Longford Award – David Hannay
* Global Achievement Award – George Miller for Happy Feet
* Best Television Drama Series – Love My Way (Showtime)
* Best Telefeature or Mini Series – The King (TV1)
* Best Lead Actor in a Television Drama – Stephen Curry for The King (TV1)
* Best Lead Actress in a Television Drama – Claudia Karvan for Love My Way (Showtime)
* Best Documentary – Forbidden Lie$
* Best Short Animation – The Girl Who Swallowed Bees
* Best Short Fiction Film – Spike Up
* Best Film – Romulus, My Father
* Best Direction – Tony Ayres for The Home Song Stories
* Best Screenplay (Original or Adapted) – Tony Ayres for The Home Song Stories
* Best Lead Actor – Eric Bana for Romulus, My Father
* Best Lead Actress – Joan Chen for The Home Song Stories
* Best Supporting Actor – Marton Csokas for Romulus, My Father
* Best Supporting Actress – Emma Booth for Clubland