Director Wayne Blair always hoped Australia would embrace The Sapphires, but he never expected the film to dominate the 2nd annual Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) Awards as clearly as it did.
The feel-good musical took home six prizes on Wednesday night, bringing its total to 11 following Monday's earlier awards presentation.
Backstage, Blair said he never thought a result like this would be possible, 'not in my wildest dreams'.
'It just came out of the blue. Out of the 12 nominations I thought we might win you know, one or two, that'd be lovely, that'd be vindication of something,' he told AAP.
'But winning a few more is good, very positive...
'It says a lot of things, it's positive but as I said, we've a long way to go (for indigenous Australians).'
The Sapphires took home best film, best director, best lead actress for Deborah Mailman, best lead actor for Chris O'Dowd, best supporting actress for Jessica Mauboy and best adapted screenplay on top of the five technical awards it had already won on Monday.
Mailman said 'emotional' was the first word that came to mind to describe the success, followed closely by 'extraordinary'.
When asked if she could have predicted how it would do, she said, 'we were on the banks of the Murray River in Albury Wodonga, we didn't think that far ahead'.
'Every film that you make is a roll of the dice,' she said.
Another indigenous production, the TV series Redfern Now, took home another two awards, with The Sapphires actress Shari Sebbens saying it was a night for indigenous artists.
'I think this night is our night as indigenous Australians. We've won so many awards tonight and it's just out of this world,' she told media backstage.
Co-star and the fourth Sapphire Miranda Tapsell couldn't make the ceremony as she was performing onstage at the Sydney Theatre Company, but the three remaining women took to the stage to accept Chris O'Dowd's award.
They read aloud from a letter, which said, among words of thanks, 'P.S. I hope the girls look alright, they promised they'd make an effort'.
Also keeping the audience entertained was host Russell Crowe, who shared anecdotes about his early days knowing Nicole Kidman.
He said he first met Kidman at a party in Darlinghurst, which was so jam-packed with people it was ridiculous.
'At a certain time of the night I found myself back to back with Nicole Kidman. I mean really tightly back to back,' he said.
'After about an hour of that she turned around to me and said, well seeing we've been so intimately connected for the last hour maybe we should have a conversation' and I looked at that face, that radiant beauty and you probably won't believe this ladies and gentlemen but I couldn't speak.'
When Kidman got on stage she said she wasn't sure about the speechless part of the story, 'but you did actually drink champagne out of my shoe that night'.
Kidman went on to present the award for best supporting actress to Mauboy, who said she felt undeserving of the prize because she had been in the industry for 'like a second'.
'Oh my goodness, accepting the award from Nicole Kidman, it's unexplainable,' Mauboy told AAP backstage.
'I felt a little bit numb, an Oscar-winning, an incredible role model here in Australia... it was exciting... it is a bit of a blur.'
The night wasn't without a few mishaps. Megan Gale appeared late, leaving her co-presenter Dan Wylie alone on stage to present the award for best young actor to Lore's Saskia Rosendahl.
Other famous faces on the night included AACTA president Geoffrey Rush, Hugo Weaving, Cate Blanchett, and Hansel Gretel: Witch Hunters actors Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton.
Renner and Arterton joked about Aussies taking over Los Angeles, saying, 'you can't throw a bottle outside a window in Hollywood without hitting an Australian!'
The dramatic films also shone, with Wish You Were Here taking home the best original screenplay AACTA award for husband and wife team, writer/director Kieran Darcy-Smith and writer/actress Felicity Price.
Price read out a letter from Darcy-Smith who couldn't make the ceremony, while her co-star Antony Starr also won for best supporting actor.