CinefestOZ has revealed its 2018 program and continues its proud tradition of showcasing the best of Australian film.

It is time to immerse yourselves in film and destination experiences where audiences are invited to explore a diverse program of quality film from Wednesday August 22 to Sunday August 26. Venues and spaces spread across Western Australia’s iconic South West region will host audiences and VIP guests alike, offering something for everyone with over 150 screening and event options.

From a total of 117 film screenings, the Festival will present 11 World and 18 Australian Premieres, showcasing some of the incredible home-grown cinematic tales which have been brought to life over the past 12 months. This represents over an 80% increase on 2017, indicative of the festival’s growth. A blend of documentaries, feature films and short films will encourage audiences to ditch the downloads and come together to share a unique viewing experience.

Now in its 11th year, CinefestOZ has cemented its reputation as one the nation’s most prestigious film festivals. Offering Australia’s richest film prize and building solid year-on-year annual growth in audience numbers, films and events, the festival has become a ‘must-do’ for Australian film-makers and a ‘must attend’ for some of the nation’s most well-known film and television identities.

Award-winning Australian feature film, television and theatre actor Sigrid Thornton has accepted the role of Jury Chair for the 2018 Festival. Joining her will be multiple award-winning actor and Festival Patron David Wenham, acclaimed actress and Logie Winner Tasma Walton, much loved writer, actor and singer Lucy Durack, arguably the small screen’s most recognisable talents and Logie Winner John Howard, one of Australia’s finest indigenous actors Kelton Pell and AACTA Award winning WA actress Emma Booth.

Film Prize Finalist films are 1%, Jirga, Ladies in Black and The Merger. Only one film will take out the coveted $100,000 film prize. Pair the premiere screening and partner with the corresponding In Conversation event to get a deeper insight into the filmmaking teams’ creative process.

In addition to the incredible films vying for the film prize, program highlights include the World Premieres of an eclectic and diverse mix including Lift, a seven part series written by much-loved Australian actress Lucy Durack, Roll With It, a documentary following the Australian Men’s Wheelchair Basketball team, the Rollers, on their two year journey to the 2014 World Championships held in South Korea and the mystery thriller Reaching Distance, starring WAAPA Graduate Sophia Forrest, Morgan Griffin (San Andreas, Unbroken, Spin Out) and Matt Day (Wolf Creek, A Place to Call Home and Love Child).

In 2018, CinefestOZ has expanded its French chapter to include French Canadian content through a partnership with Montreal-based Ciné Tapis Rouge. This organisation is dedicated to the diffusion of independent cinema through international film exchange. Ciné Tapis Rouge showcases Quebecan cinema on the international scene and gives Quebecan audiences opportunity to discover new cinema. CinefestOZ will host three Australian Premieres of French Quebecan films: Bagages, Les Rois Mongols and Tadoussac.

Underpinning the incredible range of entertainment options for audiences is WA’s most significant industry program with high profile national and international panelists. The Industry Program looks to drive new thinking, ideas and opportunities. As a direct result of the program and festival networking opportunities, seven films have been made in the South West Region in the past five years and at least a further seven are in development or pre-production at the present time.

Industry guests include head of Animal Logic’s Zareh Nalbandian, who manages, develops and produces large-scale screen projects and has collaborated with iconic directors, producers and artists on some of the most successful feature films of our time. Joining Zareh is Alex Young, Senior Vice President of Feature Films at Mandeville where he oversees the feature development slate and Paul Tom, a filmmaker specialising in animation and documentary films. He is also a professional editor, a designer of museum exhibition videos and a trainer in cultural mediation projects in various communities whose short films have been selected in some forty festivals around the world.

Festival CEO Malinda Nixon said that CinefestOZ is a proud to present such a unique and diverse program to audiences from across the country.

“The program this year is a diverse and crowd-pleasing one,” Ms Nixon said. “There is an abundance of choice ensuring that everyone attending the festival will find something just for them. It’s wonderful to see the stories and diversity that our film-making community are sharing and bringing to life and for CinefestOZ to provide a platform for audiences to experience this first hand for the first time in Australia and in some cases, the world.”

CinefestOZ’s events span from the heart of Busselton to event and screening spaces within and around the South West region. An eclectic variety of wineries, craft breweries, theatres, libraries and galleries are also joining the Festival fun, hosting a variety of events over the five-day Festival.

In the celebratory spirit, CinefestOZ will be offering a variety of community events and screenings for all to enjoy, including the IndigifestOZ Day, Cinesnaps Grand Finale and Free Community Screenings, with many filmmakers coming along for interactive audience discussion.

Western Australia’s South West region is a treasure trove of culinary delights, so why not attend one of the many Side Bar events, all housed in some of the region’s most popular wineries, craft breweries, galleries or restaurants and pair your cinematic and culinary passions together.

With such beautiful surrounds, audiences with insatiable film appetites and filmmakers and artists descending upon our doorstep from all over the country, it’s no wonder that CinefestOZ is Australia’s premiere destination film festival.

CinefestOZ kicks off on August 22 with an incredible program of free and ticketed events guaranteed to keep everyone entertained. The full program and tickets can be found at from July 27. Get in quick as some events and screenings will sell out fast.

CinefestOZ is supported by the State Government through Tourism WA’s Regional Events Program. Rio Tinto is a proud Premium Partner of CinefestOZ. The festival acknowledges its strong partnership with Screenwest; Western Australia’s screen funding and development agency.

Program Highlights

Gala Night – Screen Legend and CinefestOZ Film Prize AwardsThis iconic event announces the Screen Legend and reveals the winner of the CinefestOZ Film Prize. Film lovers and filmmakers mingle, enjoying a glass of something delicious, mouth-watering canapés and revel in the Festival festivities.

Film Prize Premiere Screenings and In Conversation Events – The 4 Film Prize Finalists will have their WA premiere screenings throughout the Festival, allowing audiences to sit in with the esteemed Film Prize Jury. Pair these screenings with an In Conversation Event, where audiences can delve deep into the minds of Australia’s best filmmakers and acting talent.

Side Bar Events – CinefestOZ hosts engaging Side Bar events, showcasing Australian feature and short films, featuring an incredible array of film mixed in with interactive filmmaker conversation.

Cinesnaps Grand Finale on Thursday, August 23 – A youth friendly cinema-style seated red carpet event showcasing the best from the Cinesnaps Short Film Competition – an annual project which encourages young (15-18 yrs) aspiring South West filmmakers to create original short works based on the 2016 theme ‘The Window’.

IndigifestOZ Day on Friday, August 24 – IndigifestOZ celebrates and builds awareness of Australian culture through Aboriginal film, art, music and food, and by recognising artists creating important work.

CinefestOZ Film Prize Jury Lunch on Saturday, August 25 – One of the Festivals’ premium daytime events, these lunches give attendees the opportunity to enjoy a sumptuous meal, premium wines and stunning views whilst gaining insights into the Australian film industry from esteemed film industry guests.

BOOK TICKETS via this website.

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