CinefestOZ, Australia’s premier destination film festival, was delighted to make two special announcements at Saturday’s Gala Night presentations. GIRL ASLEEP was announced the winner of the CinefestOZ $100,000 Film Prize and the 2016 Screen Legend was awarded to Gillian Armstrong.
Girl Asleep, directed by Rosemary Myers, written by Matthew Whittet and produced by Jo Dyer, has been named the winner of the 2016 CinefestOZ $100,000 Film Prize, Australia’s greatest film prize. Upon accepting the award, Dyer said “It’s been a wonderful ride from Berlin to Busselton,but this has been the most fun yet.” Starring Bethany Whitmore, Harrison Feldman, Matthew Whittet and Amber McMahon, Girl Asleep is a journey into the absurdities of the teenage mind.
The film was selected from fellow finalists JASPER JONES, SPIN OUT and TYE DEATH AND LIFE OF OTTO BLOOM. The prize is awarded each year to an Australian feature film or feature-length documentary. Presenting the prize, Premier and Tourism Minister Colin Barnett announced the West Australian Government had secured a new two-year deal to continue sponsoring the event. “CinefestOZ is a great example of a home-grown West Australian event that has gone from strength to strength with State Government support,” Mr Barnett said. “Last year it attracted more than $2.73 million into the region which is important for the local economy.
Gillian Armstrong was recognised for her outstanding achievements as an Australian director, and named the CinefestOZ 2016 Screen Legend. “Thank you very, very much, it’s been a privilege and an honour and a great many things. Never before have I been called a legend. I’ve found the thing that I love to do.” Armstrong is one of Australia’s most successful and respected filmmakers. Her feature film Directorial debut, My Brilliant Career, adapted from the breakthrough Miles Franklin feminist novel, was a huge success both here and abroad, launching the careers of iconic Australian actors Judy Davis and Sam Neill. Armstrong is also a highly lauded producer, her most recent documentary was nominated for a 2015 AACTA and winning the ATOM award for best Arts documentary for Women He’s Undressed, the true life story of Australian costume designer and three time Oscar winner Orry-Kelly.
Previous recipients of the CinefestOZ Screen Legend include Hugo Weaving, Jack Thompson,Bryan Brown, David Wenham and filmmaker Fred Schepisi.