/News 29.08.16


Western Australia’s premier film festival CinefestOZ, has kicked off in the state’s South West. In its ninth year, the five-day festival will feature 82 film screenings (including 15 Australian premieres), a series of ‘in conversation’ events with some of the country’s best filmmakers and acting talent, an IndigifestOZ day, Screen Legend honour and a short film competition. It also pays homage to the region’s history with a selection of French films.

The festival is also home to Australia’s richest film prize, with $100,000 awarded to an Australian feature film or feature-length documentary – The Death and Life of Otto Bloom,Girl Asleep, Spin Out, and WA film Jasper Jones are this year’s contenders.

The prize is judged by a jury, chaired by acclaimed Australian filmmaker Gillian Armstrong, joined by producer Sue Taylor (The Tree, Looking for Grace), cinematographer Garry Phillips, (House of Hancock, The Railway Man, Candy), actor and director Damian Walshe-Howling (Janet King, Mystery Road, Underbelly) and actress Emma Booth (Hounds of Love,Gods of Egypt, Jack Irish).

Some of the guests at the 2016 CinefestOZ

Last year’s winner, Putuparri and the Rainmakers, has since gone on to screen at film festivals in Tahiti and Toronto, made its television debut and was recently nominated by the Film Critics Circle of Australia for Best Documentary.

An industry seminar is also taking place, hosted by Screenwest and Screen Australia, with support from Film Finances Australia. The sold-out event, ‘Touchstones for Screen Practitioners’, will be moderated by Sandy George, and will examine the nature of the film and television production environment and how some of the country’s leading practitioners operate in it. Speakers include Stephen Basil-Jones, (Sony Pictures Australia), Fiona Cameron and Nerida Moore (Screen Australia), Amanda Higgs (Matchbox), Seph McKenna (Roadshow Films),Vincent Sheehan (Porchlight Films), Paul Wiegard (Madman Entertainment), Leanne Saunders (NZ Film Commission), Anni Browning (Film Finances Australasia) and Antony Ginnane (IFM World Releasing Inc.).

CinefestOZ is supported by the State Government through Tourism WA’s Regional Events Program, which is funded by Royalties for Regions. Rio Tinto is a proud Premium Partner of CinefestOZ. The festival acknowledges its strong partnership with Screenwest, Western Australia’s screen funding and development agency.