Naomi Watts, Ruby Rose feted in LA

Naomi Watts has won a gong at the the 8th Annual Australians in Film Awards Gala in Los Angeles.
Naomi Watts has won a gong at the the 8th Annual Australians in Film Awards Gala in Los Angeles.

Naomi Watts pondered out loud whether she was an Aussie, Brit or American while Vin Diesel revealed how Ruby Rose helped fill a hole in his heart.

There were laughs and tears during a night of celebration as Australia's acting and filmmaking elite were feted in Los Angeles on Wednesday at the 8th Annual Australians in Film Awards Gala.

Other award winners and VIPs at the event included Isla Fisher, Sarah Snook, Rachel Perkins, Jason Clarke and Phillip Noyce.

Two-time Oscar nominee Watts, who received the Orry-Kelly Award, joked about her Australian-UK-US identity crisis.

The 51-year-old was born in England, moved to Australia when she was 14 and at the age of 24 moved to the US.

When she is asked about her nationality Watts says she has a hard time coming up with an answer.

"You're probably thinking 'What is she doing here (at the Australians in Film Awards)?'," she joked to the audience.

"How did she get this award?

"Maybe Cate (Blanchett) and Nicole (Kidman) weren't available, I guess."

Adding to her confusion, the Australian government did not approve Watts' application for a passport.

"I have applied for a passport more than once and been denied," Watts said to laughter.

"Can we just work this out?"

Diesel, who starred alongside Rose in the 2017 action film xXx: The Return of Xander Cage, presented Rose with the Create NSW Annette Kellerman Award.

Diesel said Rose helped him in the aftermath of the death of his good friend and Fast and Furious co-star Paul Walker.

"Never in a million years could I have imagined that the hole in my heart would be filled by this actress," Diesel said.

Screen Australia Breakthrough Awards were presented to Succession star Snook, Hotel Mumbai director Anthony Maras and Stranger Things actor Dacre Montgomery.

Noyce presented director Perkins with the inaugural Animal Logic Entertainment Illuminate Award.

AiF also launched the "Great Mate" initiative designed to encourage successful Australian filmmakers and creatives to support the next generation of Australians hoping to make it big in Hollywood.

The initiative was founded by Nicole Kidman, Monica Saunders-Weinberg and Rich Weinberg.

Australian Associated Press