Set in the seaside centres of Busselton and the Margaret River wine region, CinefestOZ premieres feature films and events in the region’s cinemas and picturesque venues, making it a feast for the senses and an unforgettable six-day getaway.

CinefestOZ has consolidated its position as the premiere destination film festival in Australia with record numbers of high calibre film guests, a sensational line-up of new Australian films and unprecedented audience numbers in 2019.

In 2020, CinefestOZ begins formally on 26 August with a special screening of the highly anticipated West Australian film RAMS at Orana Cinemas, Busselton.  Directed by Jeremy Sims and starring Sam Neill, Miranda Richardson and CinefestOZ favourite Michael Caton, RAMS tells the story of a decades-long feud between two sheep farming brothers which comes to a head when disaster strikes their flocks.

The RAMS opening night event will include an introduction from one of the film’s producers, Aidan O’Bryan, followed by a celebratory after-party and a RAMS In Conversation event the following day.

Bookending the festival will be another highly anticipated West Australian drama, Dirt Music, which will screen on the final night of CinefestOZ on 29 August at Orana Cinemas, Busselton. Based on the critically acclaimed novel by iconic Australian writer Tim Winton and directed by Gregor Jordan, Dirt Music is a gritty, sexy drama about people whose hopes and dreams are lost, and the redemptive power of love. Set against the awe-inspiring backdrop of the Australian West, it stars Golden Globe and BAFTA Award nominee Kelly Macdonald, Garrett Hedlund and acclaimed Australian actor David Wenham, a Patron of CinefestOZ.

Between opening and closing nights, audiences will have the chance to watch a host of feature films, including Disclosure, Ellie and Abbie (and Ellie’s Dead Aunt), Moon Rock for Monday, Unsound, Paper Champions; family-friendly films including 100% Wolf, Combat Wombat, Swimming for Gold, The Legend of the Five; and a selection of stellar documentaries including Slim & I, Brock: Over the Top, Coffee Heroes, Looky Looky Here Comes Cooky, Our Law, Rosemary’s Way and Wild Things.

2020 also sees the introduction of the CinefestOZ Short Film Awards for excellence in Australian short filmmaking, supported by Screenwest. The CinefestOZ Short Film Showcase features sets which screen from 25 August and culminate in an awards celebration on 29 August at Margaret River HEART.

Awards will be presented for Best Short Film, Cinewest Best West Australian Short Film, Best Indigenous Film, Best WA Female Short Filmmakers (supported by WIFTWA), Best Director, Best Actor and Actress (supported by Annie MM Casting) and an Audience Choice award.

Audiences in Margaret River will also be able to enjoy four days of feature films and a retrospective from iconic film and television stills photographer David Dare Parker at the shire’s new hub of entertainment, arts and regional tourism, adding an exciting dimension to the region’s cultural scene.

Dare Parker will also host an online industry workshop for established and emerging practitioners to gain a better understanding of the role an on-set production stills photographer plays in the commercial success of a film and TV production.

Busselton’s historic Esplanade Hotel will also be a hub during CinefestOZ and play host to this year’s Industry Program, which will feature 10 sessions over two days.

The 2020 Industry Program will be the most relevant yet, with an opportunity for filmmakers to chat in person or online about the topics of the day, including the effect of COVID-19 on the industry. The program will feature national and international speakers and plenty of networking opportunities – be it in person or online – and has been adapted to allow industry representatives from interstate unable to attend the festival due to travel restrictions in place, to join in online from the comfort of their home office.

CinefestOZ thanks Premium Partners Screenwest and City of Busselton and Community Partner Rio Tinto. The festival acknowledges its strong support from Lotterywest and Screen Australia. 

We welcome you to stay in touch by subscribing to our Festival Newsletter, where you can keep track of exciting announcements in the lead up to the Festival Week 26-30 August 2020.

As a production of Geographe French Australian Festivals Incorporated, the CinefestOZ film festival is a not for profit event, produced by its Board of Directors.

CinefestOZ, along with other not-for-profits, receives funding from government, corporate and philanthropic as well as in-kind and volunteer support.

Rio Tinto has supported CinefestOZ and its wider community program for more than a decade, driven by mutual shared values and a genuine desire to improve lives in regional WA.

CinefestOZ has spoken with Rio Tinto to express our concerns over the impacts of the Juukan Gorge issue and we will work with Rio Tinto to help contribute to improved reconciliation and engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.

Rio has unreservedly apologised and acknowledged they need to listen and learn from this and repair their relationship with the Traditional Owners. They have committed to undertaking a review of their practices and processes and will fully cooperate with a parliamentary review into these matters.