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CinéfestOZ announces finalists for $100,000 Film Prize

CinéfestOZ has announced the six finalists in contention for its inaugural $100,000 Film Prize.

Felony, Son of a Gun, The Reckoning, The Waler: Australia’s Great War Horse and [email protected] films My Mistress and Paper Planes have all been shortlisted for Australia’s richest film prize, to be announced at the festival on Saturday, 23rd August.

The Film Prize is awarded to the producer of an Australian feature film or feature-length documentary and is the only cash film prize focussed on Australian feature films.

CinéfestOZ received more than 20 submissions for the prize, which is voted on by a  jury of five esteemed members of the film industry headed by director Bruce Beresford.

The Waler: Australia’s Great War Horse will have its world premiere at CinéfestOZ while the festival will also host the Australian premieres of Son of a Gun and The Reckoning. CinéfestOZ will also screen for the first time in Western Australia Felony, My Mistress and Paper Planes.

“When we introduced this prize we anticipated a strong response but the calibre of films has far exceeded our expectations,” said vice chairman of CinéfestOZ Helen Shervington.

“These are not just great Australian films; they are worthy of recognition internationally and it is a great honour to present them at our festival.”

The Film Prize was established to encourage excellence in Australian filmmaking, support the nation’s vibrant film industry and attract new audiences to Australian film.

It underlines CinéfestOZ’s commitment to the Australian film industry by creating, attracting and supporting filmmakers and opportunities within the industry.

The prize also builds on the success of CinéfestOZ, which in 2013 presented two world premieres of Australian feature films and 10 WA premieres of Australian films and attracted more than 15,000 attendances.

“CinéfestOZ continues to go from strength to strength and this year we have really upped the ante with the introduction of the Film Prize,” Ms Shervington said.

“The calibre of films in the running for the prize reflects how significant it is in the Australian film landscape.”

CineféstOZ is supported by the State Government through Tourism WA’s Regional Events Program, which is funded by Royalties for Regions. The festival acknowledges its strong partnership with ScreenWest, Western Australia’s screen funding and development agency.

For more information visit cinefestoz.com/cinefestoz-film-prize-2014

Finalists for the 2014 CinéfestOZ Film Prize

Felony

Director: Matthew Saville – Producer: Rosemary Blight, Joel Edgerton & Michael Benaroya

Synopsis: Three detectives become embroiled in a tense struggle after a tragic accident that leaves a child in critical condition. One is guilty of a crime, one will try to cover it up, and the other attempts to expose it. How far will these men go to disguise and unravel the truth?

My Mistress

[email protected] A presentation of the Melbourne International Film Festival MIFF Premiere Fund at CinefestOZ

Director: Stephen Lance – Producers: Leanne Tonkes and Steve Kearney

Synopsis: What starts as a beautiful and strangely innocent affair between a vulnerable teenage romantic and a French S&M mistress, soon becomes more dangerous in this unconventional love story.

Paper Planes

[email protected] A presentation of the Melbourne International Film Festival MIFF Premiere Fund at CinefestOZ

Director: Robert Connolly – Producers: Robert Connolly, Maggie Miles and Liz Kearney

Synopsis: Paper Planes is an imaginative children’s film about a young Australian boy’s passion for flight and his challenge to compete in the World Paper Plane Championships in Japan. (Proudly funded by ScreenWest)

Son of a Gun

Director: Julius Avery – Producer: Timothy White & Janelle Landers

Synopsis: Locked up, JR finds himself under the protection of Australia’s public enemy number one, Brendan Lynch … but protection comes at a price. Lynch’s crew have plans for their young protégé, and very soon the debt is called in.

The Reckoning 

Director: John V Soto – Producer: Deidre Kitcher

Synopsis: After his partner is murdered, a detective must track down two teenage runaways whose video footage contains the identity of the killer.(Proudly funded by ScreenWest)

The Waler: Australia’s Great War Horse

Director: Russell Vines – Producer: Marian Bartsch

Synopsis: Over 135,000 war horses left Australia for the Great War. Most were walers, a special kind of horse that can withstand great heat, travel great distances and perform great feats in battle. The walers served their Light Horsemen in the ‘Desert War’ across inhospitable terrain in the Middle East. Where they came from, why they were so successful, where they served, and what became of those that survived? None came home. This is their extraordinary story. (Proudly funded by ScreenWest, Australian Broadcasting Corporation and Screen Australia with the assistance of the Department of Veteran’s Affairs. Commissioned as part of the ANZAC Centenary Commemorations.)