Internationally award-winning Australian filmmaker Nadia Tass will Chair the Jury for the 2021 CinefestOZ, Australia’s premier destination film festival.

The respected director, producer and actress will lead the Jury to vote on the $100,000AUD CinefestOZ Film Prize, recognising excellence in the craft of filmmaking from an Australian feature film or feature-length documentary. This year’s finalists in-competition for the award include Here Out West, Nitram MIFF@CinefestOZ, River and The Drover’s Wife The Legend of Molly Johnson.

Tass is honoured to be attending CinefestOZ, as both Jury Chair and as a featured filmmaker, with her documentary Oleg: The Oleg Vidov Story holding its Australian Premiere as a part of the Official Selection program.

“There is something so exciting, so vibrant and so pure about CinefestOZ. Many other festivals would love to be in their position,” she said.

“I never wanted or needed to be part of the establishment; my films reflect a fierce independence and a strong voice that is intrinsic to my core values. I bring those values with me as Chair of the Jury – I value excellence, originality, diversity and collaboration; I love how young filmmakers push the boundaries and how the more experienced film makers find new ways to express new ideas. I’m looking forward to a wonderful ride.”

CinefestOZ Chair Helen Shervington said the festival is grateful for Nadia’s support and involvement in CinefestOZ over the years, and is excited to officially host her as Jury Chair.

“To have Nadia featured in our festival this year as Jury Chair is an incredible honour that we’re immensely proud to announce. Her reputation within the industry, both in Australian and Internationally, is one of high esteem. To have her knowledge, confidence and creative insights on board to Chair our Jury – in what is a very competitive year for our Film Prize – is invaluable,” she said.

“We’ve seen over the years how supportive Nadia is of our festival and how she continues to engage with the South West community when she attends CinefestOZ, as a filmmaker but also as a cinema-goer supporting the arts in WA.”

“We look forward to welcoming Nadia in her Jury Chair appointment and celebrating her Australian Premiere for Oleg: The Oleg Vidov Story.”

Nadia Tass is one of Australia’s most innovative directors of both stage and screen. Recently awarded the Screen Leader Award for Outstanding Leadership, Achievement and Services to the Screen Industry, she rose to prominence internationally with the Australian classics Malcolmand The Big Steal. Subsequent films including Pure Luck, Mr Reliable, Amy and Matching Jackhave been lauded by audiences and awarded over 70 international awards at film festivals around the world.

Nadia has directed films and high-end television in the US for Universal Studios, Disney, Warner Bros, CBS, and ABC as well as the UK’s BBC. She has been honoured with retrospectives of her work in Moscow, Cape Town, Johannesburg, Hawaii, New Delhi and the American Cinematheque in Los Angeles.

Her latest directorial project, Oleg: The Oleg Vidov Story, explores the story of one of the Soviet Union’s most celebrated actors, Oleg Vidov, who was blacklisted, threatened with death, and forced to defect to the West. Narrated by Brian Cox (Succession) and featuring Costa Ronin (Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood) as the voice of Oleg, the documentary explores one man’s desperate struggle for freedom.

Alongside her latest release, Tass’ iconic film Malcom will play as a free community screening film during the festival. Available online for all of Australia and physically for those in the South West, the cult Melbourne comedy this year celebrates 35 years since it’s original debut.

The full film program for this year’s CinefestOZ has officially launched 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 the 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 Screenwestand City of Busselton and Community Partner Rio Tinto. The festival acknowledges its strong support from Lotterywest and Screen Australia.