Today we announce the release of our 2023 Program of films and events, which includes World and Australian Film Premieres and the awarding of Australia’s richest Film Prize.

Celebrating our 16th year – the six-day festival will be held from 29 August – 3 September in Western Australia’s South West and will provide festival-goers with the opportunity to see some of Australia’s best new films first, and connect with filmmakers and visiting talent at the region’s cinemas, wineries, restaurants, boutique breweries, small bars and galleries in Augusta, Bunbury, Busselton, Dunsborough and Margaret River.

“Unique Australian stories are at the heart of the CinefestOZ Film Festival and we hope you will love this year’s film selections, which celebrate the diversity of our country and its people, and the film events where festivalgoers can meet filmmakers, enjoy fantastic food, wine and music and most importantly have fun and be entertained,” said CinefestOZ Chair Margaret Buswell.

“In addition to the four outstanding films that are up for the $100,000 Film Prize – Bromley: Beyond the Dark; Monolith; and MIFF@CinefestOZ films Shayda and The Rooster – there are plenty more highlights including the World Premiere of thriller Bring Him To Me starring Sam Neill and Rachel Griffiths; the Australian Premiere of Ben  Kingsley’s new sci-fi comedy Jules, produced by Debbie Liebling of South Park fame; and, a not-to-be missed music event with special guests celebrating EGO – the story around Michael Gudinski’s creation of Mushroom Records.

“We’ll also announce our special filmmaker and talent guests over the coming weeks, including the five person Film Prize Jury who have the challenging task of determining the winner of the 2023 CinefestOZ Film Prize.”

Film Prize Screenings, After Parties and In Conversation Events
Ahead of each Film Prize premiere screening at Orana Cinemas Busselton, filmmakers and attending talent will walk the red carpet, followed by an after-party at a South West hotspot.  Each Film Prize film is also paired with a unique In Conversation dining experience, which takes place the following day and is where the filmmakers share with guests how they brought their projects to life, while enjoying sensational food at some of the South West’s best restaurants.
Shayda MIFF@CinefestOZ Film
Wed 30 Aug: Screening + after party (Shelter Brewing Co)
Thu 31 Aug:  In Conversation lunch at Rustico@Hay Shed Hill
Bromley: Light After Dark
Thu 31 Aug:  Screening + after party (The Goose Beach Bar & Kitchen)
Fri 1 Sep:      In Conversation lunch at The Studio Bistro
Fri 1 Sep:       Screening + after party (Hally’s)
Sat 2 Sep:      In Conversation breakfast at Shelter Brewing Co
The Rooster MIFF@CinefestOZ film
Fri 1 Sep:       Screening + after party (Hally’s)
Sat 2 Sep:      In Conversation lunch at Yarri Bar & Restaurant

A special In Conversation Jury Lunch with all the members of the Film Prize Jury will be held at Aravina Estate on Saturday 27 August.

Film Awards Celebration – Saturday 2 September Sabina River Farm Busselton 7PM
Combining red carpet action, the cream of Australia’s filmmaking talent, the awarding of the high-profile Screen Legend and coveted $100,000 CinefestOZ Film Prize and a legendary cocktail party with food, drink and entertainment until midnight.

Film Themes

Music Lovers – Ego: The Michael Gudinksi StoryJohn Farnham: Finding the Voice; The Angels: Kickin’ Down the Door; Three Chords and the Truth; This is Going to Be Big.

First Nations – The New BoyKeeping Hope, which shines a light on Indigenous youth suicide in the Kimberley co-produced by CinefestOZ ambassador Mark Coles Smith; Kindred;The Carnival; The Dark Emu Story; plus, Deadly Shorts (short film set).

Real Stories – Rachel’s Farm, with director and actress Rachel Ward; Disconnect Me (World Premiere); Australia’s Open; Watanda, My Countryman.

With a Twist – new immersive and fun film screening and experiences: Priscilla – Queen of the Desert 30th Celebration; A Savage Christmas (World Premiere); Blind Date with a Frenchie; Greatest Surf Movie in the Universe.

Short Film Program
In addition to the Film Prize, many more films will also be in competition in the Short Films section of the festival. There are four short films sets including Deadly Indigenous; Fantastic Friday (comedy), Homegrown WA, and Rollercoaster (drama), and then the best of the best at the Short Film Awards 31 August.

Industry Program
Two days of inspiring talks, unique workshops and fantastic networking opportunities. Program of speakers to be announced.

Cinesnaps (Schools Program)
CinefestOZ works with primary and secondary students in regional WA throughout the year and during Festival to develop our next generation of filmmakers. This includes holding free events during the Festival’s Community Days featuring IndigifestOZ as well as the Cinesnaps Short Film Competition and Awards (Thursday 31 August)

FREE Community Events featuring IndigifestOZ
A range of free film screenings, talks, performances, markets and events celebrating our First National people and saying thank you to the diverse communities of Augusta, Bunbury, Busselton and Margaret River.

Download the official CinefestOZ app to search session times, book tickets and build your calendar of events during the festival.

CinefestOZ would like to acknowledge the traditional owners of the land we live and work on, and pay our respect to the Elders past, present and future.

CinefestOZ thanks Premium Partners – City of Busselton, Lotterywest, Rio Tinto and Screenwest.