WA film RAMS will open CinefestOZ next month as Early Bird tickets go on sale today.

In just two short weeks, we’ll be releasing the full program of live and online screenings and events and feel very fortunate to be able to help local business while showcasing excellent Australian films. However there’s plenty to sink your teeth into with our Early Bird offering so make the most of your festival experience by grabbing a Festival Cinepass and start planning your CinefestOZ 2020 experience today.

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Browse the Early Bird program here

RAMS, directed by Jeremy Sims and starring Sam Neill, Miranda Richardson and CinefestOZ favourite Michael Caton, will screen at a special opening night event at Orana Cinemas in Busselton on 26 August.

The event will include an introduction from the film’s producer Aidan O’Bryan, who will share a few behind the scenes moments, followed by a celebratory after-party.

Tickets for the RAMS opening night event go on sale today, along with 10 other CinefestOZ events, as part of Early Bird ticket sales. A RAMS In Conversation filmmaker lunch is planned for Thursday 26 August, so keep watching for updates.

The full program for the festival, including a range of feature films, will be announced on 31 July.

RAMS is set in remote Western Australia and stars Neill and Caton as estranged brothers Colin and Les who are at war. Raising separate flocks of sheep descended from their family’s prized bloodline, the two men work side by side yet are worlds apart. When Les’s prize ram is diagnosed with a rare and lethal illness, authorities order a purge of every sheep in the valley. While Colin attempts to stealthily outwit the powers that be, Les opts for angry defiance. But can the warring brothers set aside their differences and have a chance to reunite their family, save their herd, and bring the community back together?

RAMS was filmed predominantly in the Great Southern town of Mt Barker, with plenty of local involvement and bemused woolly extras!

Producers Aidan O’Bryan and Janelle Landers said, “Working in the Great Southern was fantastic. The location is so stunning and the entire community of Mount Barker was so incredibly welcoming and helpful. It was a wonderful feeling to be able to bring some excitement to the town and to have so much local support for the film. It’s great to be heading back to regional WA again and to be bringing communities together to share the film.”

RAMS was made with the support from the Western Australian Regional Film Fund supported by Royalties for Regions, with production from Screenwest and Lotterywest, closely working with the Great Southern Development Commission.

Screenwest CEO Willie Rowe said “It’s terrific to have WA film RAMS open CinefestOZ and welcome audiences back into the cinema. RAMS is a testament to the importance of telling stories from a unique West Australian perspective and showcases our incredible regional landscapes, local crews and film friendly community of Mount Barker. We’re pleased to be able to support CinefestOZ with assistance from the State Government of WA and Lotterywest.”

Chair of CinefestOZ Helen Shervington said RAMS was the perfect film to open this year’s festival, which will look and feel a little different in 2020 but will continue to champion Australian stories and film through an exciting new program which will feature films, short films, the Cinesnaps schools program, IndigifestOZ and more.

“We are really excited to have Rams open the festival this year,” Shervington said.  “Having a West Australian film open CinefestOZ is always a delight as it creates a real buzz with local audiences. We look forward to seeing festival favourite Michael Caton back on the big screen and celebrating with those from the RAMS team who are able to join us in Busselton this year.”

Other events on sale today include the CinefestOZ Short Film Showcase, which will shine a spotlight on the depth of talent within Australia’s film family.

Audiences will be able to choose from four short film sets in the Showcase, which culminates in an awards celebration on 29 August at Margaret River HEART.

For the first time in the festivals 13-year history, CinefestOZ will include a Short Film competition with prizes up for grabs for Best Australian Short Film, Best Indigenous Short Film, Best WA Short Film, Best WA Female Short Filmmakers, Best Lead Actor, Best Director and Audience Choice.

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