American actress Kate Walsh will be part of this year’s CinefestOZ Industry Program along with WA and Australian film industry leaders and innovators.

CinefestOZ has responded to demand from the Australian film industry and, with support from the South West Development Commission, is proud to be presenting the Industry Program from 27-28 August.

Download the full Industry Program here

Purchase your In Person or Online Industry Cinepass here

This year, the Industry Program will reach a global audience with the addition of an online component and will address contemporary issues in today’s challenging environment.

Special guest Walsh, who is currently based in Perth while she rides out the COVID-19 pandemic, will join local and national film industry representatives and discuss her career and perspective on Hollywood in the current climate and new opportunities arising in WA.

With more than two decades of experience, Walsh is best known for her role as Dr. Addison Montgomery in the hit drama Grey’s Anatomy and subsequent spin-off Private Practice. She recently revived her popular character, The Handler, in the second season of Netflix’s highly acclaimed original series The Umbrella Academy. Walsh previously starred in another Netflix hit, 13 Reasons Why, and is set to appear on the big screen later this year in the action movie, Honest Thief, opposite Liam Neeson, and in the indie drama, Sometime Other Than Now.

During her session, Walsh will talk about her experience in the industry along with her championing of a world-class production hub and attracting productions for the State. She will also be on the judging panel for the CinefestOZ Short Film Prize.

“I feel really fortunate to be involved in CinefestOZ, to connect with fellow story tellers in the film and TV space, and to further explore the bustling entertainment industry that exists here,” said Walsh. “I probably wouldn’t have been able to be a part of the festival if I hadn’t been quarantining in Perth for the past few months, so it’s been surprisingly serendipitous during what’s truly been a crazy time in the world. My goal continues to be bringing a proper studio to Western Australia that will attract international productions, which can then bolster the economy and job market. It’s of the utmost importance to me, especially now, to fully champion the film and TV industry, and all those creatives involved.”

CinefestOZ CEO Malinda Nixon said the Festival had extended an invitation to Walsh upon learning she was in Perth as part of its aim to enhance the global perspective of the Industry Program.

“We are very fortunate to have Kate in town for CinefestOZ this year,” Nixon said. “Kate has been championing WA and the Australian film industry during her stay in Perth and will provide a fresh, new perspective to the Industry Program. Having Kate on the judging panel at the CinefestOZ Short Film Awards will offer a welcome international viewpoint. We are also thrilled to have representation from many sectors of the filmmaking business, including marketing and distribution.”

The CinefestOZ Industry Program encourages attendees to take part with peers in conversations important to the Australian film industry. This can be done live in Busselton with the added bonus of industry networking, or online across Australia and internationally via live sessions. In a festival first, online sessions are accessible by visiting the CinefestOZ website and purchasing a pass.

Industry Program highlights

  • Kate Walsh on Hollywood and opportunities in WA
  • Screen Australia – Update from CEO Graeme Mason
  • WIFTWA networking session
  • Our Voices on Screen – CinefestOZ’s leading voices Jodie Bell and Jub Clerc join Dot West, and Screen Australia’s Head of Indigenous Department Penny Smallacombe will discuss the importance of Indigenous key creatives taking the helm of telling “our stories, our way”
  • Film Attraction and Locations in Western Australia – Creative & Industries Manager of the South West Development Commission Mat Lewis and representatives from the Pilbara & Great Southern will discuss our stunning WA landscapes and how filmmakers can capitalise on them
  • Discover what has changed in International Distribution & Sales – Screenwest Head of Screen Investment and Strategic Projects Matthew Horrocks, Co-Founder of Madman Entertainment Paul Weigard, Managing Director of Universal Pictures International Australasia Mike Baard and Roadshow Films CEO Joel Pearlman will look at the Australian distribution model in the current climate, what it means from an international perspective and pitching projects to distributors
  • The Streaming Revolution – Chief Content Officer for Stan Entertainment Nick Forward and Screen Producers Australia CEO Matt Deaner will chat about upcoming opportunities, changes to the Australian landscape and what the streaming revolution means for Australian films and producers
  • Producing Covid – Julia Redwood (Outback Truckers, Outback Opal Hunters, Star Dreaming) hosts a panel session providing insights into managing through COVID and producing new content, with producers Jamie Hilton (GO!, Standing up for Sunny, Breath), Steve Jaggi (Swimming for Gold, Back of the Net, Rip Tide) and Anne Robinson (The Merger, Backyard Ashes)
  • Director’s Spotlight – Featuring WA writer/director Zak Hilditch (Rattlesnake, 1922, These Final Hours, Transmission), hosted by director/producer Sam Lara, WA representative of the Australian Directors’ Guild
  • Book to Screen Adaptations – Screenwest’s Drama Development Manager Barbara Connell will talk about what it takes to, not only find the right book for a screen adaptation, but how to do it and do it well along with director John Sheedy and screenwriter Lisa Hoppe (H is for Happiness)

South West Development Commission chief executive officer Mellisa Teede said the State Government agency was pleased to support the CinefestOZ Industry Program.

“These are unprecedented times for events and CinefestOZ is always a highlight of the South West events calendar, attracting visitors and giving locals an opportunity to see a wide range of fantastic films,” Ms Teede said. “We are getting behind this important CinefestOZ program to ensure it goes ahead as part of our continued efforts to support jobs and business through growing the film industry in the region.

“CinefestOZ’s Industry Program will support local industry development and also expose other professionals to the benefits of the region as a filming location for productions.  Already the South West boasts Jasper Jones, Drift and GO! among its credits – and we want to add more productions to this list.”

CinefestOZ Film Festival runs from 25 to 30 August in the South West. The festival may look and feel a little different in 2020 but will continue to champion Australian stories and film through a modified program of live and online screenings and special events, curated for these unprecedented times.

Full program and tickets online at

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