Attracting more than 26000 local, national and international attendees CinefestOZ– held recently in Western Australia’s South West ( 23-28 August) – was a celebration of new Australian films and filmmakers, community spirit and critical First Nations storytelling.

Richard Roxburgh, recipient of this year’s CinefestOZ Screen Legend Award and Chair of the $100,000 Film Prize Jury said that, “the Festival brought home the importance of the Indigenous voice in what we do.”

“Finally, extraordinary Indigenous voices and stories are being heard, and CinefestOZ is helping to manifest this in a profound way through their diverse programming.” 

Throughout the program of feature and short film screenings, In Conversation food and drink events, award ceremonies, free community days and the highly regarded schools and industry programs – there was an emphasis on championing First Nations stories including Our Law World Premiere and the WA Premieres of Gravel Road and We Are Still Here, Deadly Indigenous Shorts and IndigifestOZ at the two free Community Days.

CEO Ramu Productions & CinefestOZ Indigenous Film Manager Jodie Bell said, “CinefestOZ is all about bringing people together – from all different backgrounds – to share their stories on film and in person.”

“Growing our First Nations content as part of the program is really important in terms of developing new talent and sharing our culture with the wider community, and this year we were really proud to have it as an integral part of the whole program – from Jub Clerc’s debut feature film Sweet As, a [email protected] Film Prize Finalist,  to the documentary, short film, community and industry programs.”

The two-day Industry program included over 38 film industry professionals, both international and national. Highlights included dedicated First Nations sessions led by international keynote speaker Adam Piron (Kiowa/Mohawk), Director of Indigenous Programming at the  Sundance Institute, supported by the US Consul Perth; In Conversation with award-winning screenwriter/showrunner/director Tony Ayres (The Slap), as the national keynote speaker supported by Business Events Perth; and, Directors Spotlight with Daina Reid (The Handmaid’s Tale). 

Other headline speakers and panelists include actor/director Richard RoxburghAlison Hurbert-Burns – Executive Director, BINGE; Matt Deaner – CEO Screen Producers Australia; Mark MorriseyDianna La Grassa & Tracey Corbin- Matchett– Bus Stop Films; and, Sandy George

Our Chair Margaret Buswell praised festival goers, local and visiting filmmakers, sponsors, local businesses and community in the South West, our patrons and ambassadors, the hundreds of CinefestOZ volunteers, and dedicated staff for making the 15th festival the most diverse, entertaining and friendliest yet.

“Feedback from everyone involved with the Festival has been overwhelmingly positive,” Ms Buswell said.

 “At a time when many people in WA and Australia are heading overseas for work or holidays, we’re delighted that the Festival’s reputation held strong and we were able to secure high industry and public attendance and interaction – particularly at the red carpet film premieres, In Conversation dining events, after-parties and IndigifestOZ Community Days. 

“We’re also delighted to announced the dates of CinefestOZ 2023 and look forward to seeing familiar and new faces from Tuesday 29 August – Sunday 3 September in WA’s beautiful South West.”

About CinefestOZ 2022
We celebrated our 15th year and Program with a whopping 270 events held at 35 locations over six days in Augusta, Bunbury, Busselton and Margaret River. Winner of the $100,000 Film Prize was ‘Of An Age’ by writer/director Goran Stolevski. Returning to CinefestOZ this year was Patrons Emma Booth,Myles Pollard and Koorda Kelton Pell; ambassadors Sophia Forrest, Alex Williams and Joel Jackson and actor Tasma Walton and media personality Rove McManus.

About CinefestOZ 
CinefestOz in the South West region of Western Australia is a celebration of Australian filmmaking that includes premieres and events in the region’s cinemas, wineries, small bars and galleries. The festival offers a lucrative film prize of $100,000 – the largest for an Australian film in the country – and has cultivated a reputation as both an industry event and film festival destination. The event has since grown with CinefestOZ Albany returning for its second year this April. The most recent addition is CinefestOZ Broome to be held in November – WA’s Indigenous festival held in conjunction with Goolarri Media, a wholly owned and run Indigenous media organisation. 

Key Dates:
CinefestOZ Broome – 3- 6 November 2022
CinefestOZ Film Festival 2023 – 29 August – 3 September 2023

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.

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