JIRGA wins the 2018 CinefestOZ $100,000 Film Prize!

JIRGA wins the 2018 CinefestOZ $100,000 Film Prize!

Still recovering from the last 5 days at CinefestOZ Saturday night the Film prize was awarded to JIRGA with Producer John Maynard and Director Benjamin Gilmour in attendance.


Made under extraordinary, and extremely dangerous, conditions, Jirga tells the emotional story of a former Australian soldier who travels to Afghanistan to seek forgiveness.

Three years after an Australian army helicopter raid on a small village led to the killing of an unarmed man, former Australian soldier Mike (Sam Smith) returns to Afghanistan to find the victim’s family. Doggedly, he sets off on a perilous journey over a terrain where both the Taliban and ISIS are active. Mike is determined to make amends and so puts his life in the hands of the Jirga – the village justice system.

Starring – Sam Smith, Sher Alam Miskeen Ustad, Amir Shah Talash, Baheer Safi, Arzo Weda, Inan Khan

The film jury comprised of Jury Chair Sigrid Thornton, Animal Logic CEO Zareh Nalbandian, actress Tasma Walton, Producer Tania Chambers OAM and actor Michael Caton, who attended the four film finalist screenings of Ladies in Black, The Merger, Jirga and 1%. 

Previous winners of the CinefestOZ Film Prize include Ali’s Wedding, Girl, Asleep, Putuparri and the Rainmakers and Paper Planes.

JIRGA is opening in Australia Cinemas via a limited release on September 27. Our full CinefestOZ wrap up plus our interviews with three members of the film jury is coming very soon!

AccessReel is the Western Australian movie-lovers website.