We are proud to announce Of An Age MIFF@CinefestOZ as the winner of Australia’s richest annual $100,000 Film Prize, which recognises excellence in the craft of filmmaking from an Australian feature film or feature-length documentary.

Of An Age MIFF@CinefestOZ filmmakers were presented the prize by WA Deputy Premier and Tourism Minister Roger Cook at the prestigious Closing Night Gala in Busselton tonight following selection by a panel of industry experts.   

CinefestOZ Chair Margaret Buswell said, “the CinefestOZ Film Prize champions new and compelling Australian made films – and was introduced in 2014, supported by Tourism WA’s Regional Events Program.”

“Our Film Prize Jury, which comprises Chair Richard Roxburgh, Adam Piron, Emma Booth, Melissa Kelly, Meyne Wyatt and Tony Ayres – assessed each film from a perspective of excellence –  taking into account originality, the power of the story, the pace, structure, memorable characters, acting quality, cinematography and its alignment with the narrative, and the ability of the filmmaker to create a strong and cohesive experience in the cinema.” 

“After much deliberation over the four finalists, the Jury selected Of An Age.”

Jury Chair Richard Roxburgh spoke about the decision on behalf of the Jury saying, “we were deeply moved by this film, it haunted us, and it was an experience that touched us all on a personal level. 

“The director pushed formal boundaries, rooting their film in a very personal perspective, that balanced its specificity and crafted a world that made its story a universal one. After intense deliberation, we had to make an incredibly difficult decision after reflecting on all of the incredible films in the competition.“

Written and directed by Goran Stolevski and produced by Kristina Ceyton and Samantha Jennings, and starring Elias Anton, Thom Green and Hattie Hook – Of An Age is set in the Summer of 1999 when an unexpected and intense twenty-four-hour romance blossoms between a seventeen-year-old Serbian ballroom dancer and their best friend’s older brother. A decade later the pair meet for a bittersweet reunion.

Goran Stolevski said, “it’s been such a beautiful experience and receiving this award on top of just having been able to be part of the festival is just incredible.”

“We’re so grateful and absolutely thrilled, thank you to everyone at CinefestOZ. “

Deputy Premier and Tourism Minister Roger Cook congratulated the entire cast and crew and said “it is a fantastic outcome that demonstrates the top-quality Australian films this country produces.”

“The McGowan Government is a proud supporter of the WA screen industry and is committed to the construction of a screen production facility in Fremantle and of course the $16 million WA Regional Film Fund,” he said. 

“Both initiatives will support the local industry to continue to grow and flourish into the future.”

Richard Roxburgh was also recognised at the evening’s Gala for outstanding contribution to the Australian film industry and named the CinefestOZ 2021 Screen Legend, with the Hon David Templeman, Minister for Culture and the Arts, presenting the award. 

The Screen Legend is recognised for playing a valuable role in supporting excellence in Australian filmmaking, which CinefestOZ proudly showcases through a variety of film events and screenings across Western Australia’s South West region over the six-day festival.

Richard Roxburgh in accepting the award said “I am so honoured to receive this award and support this important festival that champions Australian films, stories and filmmakers.”

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.