CinefestOZ Film Festival has unveiled its 2019 program, lifting the lid on an epic line-up of Australian features, short films, documentaries, industry workshops and more than 150 related events.
Now in its 12th year, CinefestOZ has cemented its reputation as Australia’s premier destination film festival and from 28 August to 1 September will once again offer audiences the chance to explore a diverse program at some of the finest venues and spaces across the stunning South West region. This year’s festival continues CinefestOZ’s proud tradition of showcasing the best of Australian film, boasting more than 150 film screening events, including 15 world, 11 Australian and 53 WA premieres – a 10% increase on the 2018 festival.
CinefestOZ CEO Malinda Nixon said the quality and diversity of the 2019 program underlined the enormous growth the festival had experienced in its 12 years and promised audiences another memorable five days in the South West. “Anyone who picks up a program for this year’s CinefestOZ is going to be blown away by what’s on offer,” Nixon said. “We have an absolutely incredible selection of features, short films, documentaries, industry workshops and special events and audiences really will be spoilt for choice.
Leading the program will be the Film Prize finalists GO! MIFF@CinefestOZ film H is for Happiness, Hearts and Bones, Judy & Punch and MIFF@CinefestOZ drama Measure for Measure competing for the coveted CinefestOZ $100,000 Film Prize. Filmmakers and attending talent from all Film Prize finalist films will walk the red carpet at Orana Cinemas ahead of each premiere and the following day will attend special In Conversation events, which allow audiences a deeper insight into the filmmaking teams’ creative process.
Award-winning Australian director Rachel Ward has accepted the role of Film Prize Jury Chair for the 2019 Festival. She will take part in the Film Prize Jury In Conversation, a popular festival experience where the esteemed Jury members talk about their filmic lives and experiences over lunch, and also introduce a special screening of her film Palm Beach, starring Bryan Brown, Greta Scacchi, Sam Neill and Richard. E. Grant.
Joining Ward and her husband Brown as guests of the festival will be some of the nation’s most well-known and loved film and television personalities including WA actress Sophia Forrest, Marta Dusseldorp, Kelton Pell, Emma Booth, Megan Hajjar Smart, Angus McLaren, Myles Pollard, Roz Hammond, Alex Williams, Daisy Axon, Eddie Baroo, Zara Zoe, Travis Jeffery, William Lodder, Anastasia Bampos, Darius Amarfio-Jefferson and Cooper Van Grootel.
Set against the backdrop of Western Australia’s iconic South West region, the CinefestOZ 2019 program is for film lovers, filmmakers and stars who are drawn to Busselton, Bunbury and Margaret River to share in five days of immersive film experiences at the region’s cinemas, wineries, boutique breweries, small bars and galleries.
In addition to the stellar line up of features vying for the Film Prize, 2019 program highlights include world premieres of a diverse range of films and documentaries including The Naked Wanderer, a locally-shot film about a broken-hearted man who treks the WA coastline mostly naked for charity in a bid to win back his ex-girlfriend; the West Australian feature documentary, Whale Super Highway, in Australia’s first mobile 180-degree Dome cinema; Wild Butterfly, a heartbreaking and gripping real-life drama and the very twisted horror anthology Dark Whispers Vol 1.
Other festival highlights include the WA premiere of Standing Up for Sunny, which tells the story of an isolated guy with cerebral palsy who is railroaded into helping an unassertive comedienne and finds love and acceptance through stand-up comedy and Ride Like a Girl, the directorial debut from actor Rachel Griffiths which tells the incredible true story of Michelle Payne, the first female jockey to win the Melbourne Cup. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with special guests Sophia Forrest and Zara Zoe, who star in the film.
Over the years, as a direct result of the program and festival networking opportunities, seven films have been made in the South West region and at least another seven are currently in development or pre-production.
The 2019 Industry Program has been curated to discuss the rapid changes in the screen industry and how to stay ahead of the game and this year will be spearheaded by industry heavyweight Glenn Gainor, Head of Physical Production for Screen Gems and President of Innovation Studios for Sony Entertainment & Technology. Among his credits are The Wedding Ringer, The Perfect Guy and No Good Deed. He is also a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, British Academy of Film and Television Arts and Directors Guild of America, among others.
Gainor will deliver a keynote speech on Embracing Technology as an Empowerment Tool, and also present the world premiere of Taste, the film fronting the global launch of Sony’s new Xperia smartphone technology, Cinema Pro, “powered by CineAlta” which offers cinema-quality images from a pocket-sized camera. Taste is the story of a chef who uses advanced technology to source the sub-molecular essence of the food we eat without harming the environment.
CinefestOZ is supported by the State Government through Tourism WA’s Regional Events Program. 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. For further information on the program or buying tickets click here.