Karla Hart has said ‘yes’ to the role of Albany Ambassador, agreeing to represent the Great Southern as an acclaimed filmmaker. 

A proud Noongar woman , Karla was raised on Goreng country in the Great Southern taking her determination in telling First Nations stories to our screens. Hart has a wide range of experience in the industry producing Yokayi Footy once more this season in collaboration with the AFL. In 2021 being recognised as Aboriginal West Australian of the Year for her ties to country and the arts. Her project Virtual Whadjuk came to CinefestOZ in 2021 and will make a comeback this year for our festival’s Kinjarling Koort event . Karla will also feature at the In Conversation Lunch

“It is an honour for me to be an ambassador this year given I am a Goreng woman from the Great Southern with strong connection to Albany and knowing so many of my friends and family call Minang boodja home,” she said. 

Hart’s film Tooly will be screening on our Albany festival’s closing night on Saturday 30th April at Albany Entertainment Centre. This piece follows a young girl who struggles to connect with her culture, learning of Tooly: a symbol of impending death in the family. 

Joel Jackson is another Great Southern voice proudly joining Karla as Ambassador for CinefestOZ Albany, “That Albany is my hometown makes this festival even better and to be an ambassador is a humble honour that I hope to carry for many years to come.”

A close friend of our festival, the Albany born star has been a valued film guest at CinefestOZ. Jackson currently stars in Miss Fisher’s Modern Murder Mysteries and has previously adorned our screens with CinefestOZ Film Prize Winner H is For Happiness, CinefestOZ Film Prize Finalist Jungle and WA series Mystery Road. 

Joel’s passion and recognition of the festival and the Great Southern celebration of the arts inspires the community and international film industry. “CinefestOZ has long been a part of the cultural fabric of Western Australia. A celebration of everything that makes the Western Australian film industry so unbelievably unique. For Albany to be opening their City to the expansive energy of CinefestOZ and supporting the festival in so many capacities will ensure the next generation of Western Australian storytellers are inspired into action and heralds a celebration of Aussie storytelling in the heart of one of Australia’s most historical locations.” Joel is keen to continue educating young filmmakers, actors and musicians on his storytelling journey. 

Jackson features in I Met A Girl, which will make its Australian festival red carpet premiere at CinefestOZ Albany on Friday the 29th of April at Orana Cinemas Albany. 

Our CinefestOZ Chair, Margaret Buswell is proud of the appointment of Karla and Joel officially to the festival family. 

“Karla and Joel have been long standing friends of our festival who understand CinefestOZ’s community focus and represent the successes of Western Australians in the international film industry. We’re proud to officially welcome them as our CinefestOZ Albany Ambassadors.” 

The Kinjarling Koort event will take place on Saturday 30th of April. This special aspect of our festival will celebrate the Menang Noongar custodians and Great Southern creatives. It will feature screenings such as Edward and Isabella and a Robert Castiglione film set, a performance from the Albany Shantymen and cultural activities. CinefestOZ is thankful for Kurruh Mia’s assistance in organising the Noongar elements of the activities and the participation of local group, Creative Albany. 

Our Albany Event Co-ordinator, Annette Davis spoke about the impact the festival wishes to make on Great Southern filmmakers. 

“It really is about Albany as the heart. One of CinefestOZ Albany’s longer term aims, in the lead up to Albany’s Bicentenary, is to encourage local people to tell local stories through film. We hope that Kinjarling Koort and another event, the Industry Program, will help inspire and foster more local film-makers.” 

We thank Major Partner City of Albany, Partners Screenwest , Lotterywest, Regional Arts and Rio Tinto.

CinefestOZ Albany respectfully acknowledges the Menang Noongar people as the traditional custodians of this land we live and work on and pays respect to Elders past, present and future.