School programs in Bunbury as part of the CinefestOZ Film Festival have been given a boost this month after a generous grant was handed out by Southern Ports.

Set to go towards the Cinesnaps and IndigifestOZ School Excursion activities in Bunbury as part of the 2021 five-day event, the welcomed funding will allow the Film Festival to grow its school operations throughout the greater Bunbury region.

CinefestOZ Bunbury events coordinator Sara Jane Bilston said she was thrilled to receive the funding which would allow this month’s school offerings to go ahead without a hitch.

“Our school excursion days are a lot of fun and expose students to possible career paths within the film industry by providing authentic and meaningful learning experiences based around film,” Ms Bilston said.

“Bunbury strongly incorporates the IndigifestOZ component into the school excursion day to ensure students throughout the South West don’t miss out on learning about Indigenous filmmaking and the benefits of having a variety of voices involved in storytelling,” she said.

CinefestOZ’s Cinesnaps program aims to draw a focus on students developing an appreciation for filmmaking and the role of film in Australian culture.

It operates to open up opportunities to grow future audiences for Australian film and to encourage the next generation of aspiring industry professionals.

“This year we are expecting a few  hundred students to be involved in the Bunbury School activities, as well as our other school events throughout the South West,” Ms Bilston said.

“The school’s program has grown and developed over the years with Bunbury expanding in 2018 to include film screenings, filmmaker Q&A’s, and a school excursion day,” she said.

Southern Ports Bunbury Regional Manager Lee Smith said he was pleased to support the work of CinefestOZ.

“CinefestOZ do great work in promoting culture and the arts throughout the region, and the schools program is an excellent initiative that encourages students to learn more about the film industry,” Mr Smith said.

Proudly supported by community partner Rio Tinto, the CinefestOZ School Program aims to enhance the skills of regional young people by targeting key aspects of the Australian curriculum.

CinefestOZ’s 2021 Full Film Program officially launched earlier this month with an exciting array of new and established filmmakers premiering their work. 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 this land we live and work on and pay our respect to the Elders past, present and future.