August is traditionally a time when a lot of West Aussies fly up north to escape the winter (or pre-Covid head off on an overseas holiday) – but CinefestOZ Film Festival provides a very compelling offering for film, food and wine lovers to journey down south for a cultural feast.
The event will take place in Busselton, Margaret River and Bunbury later this month (August 25-29) with an epic program of 270 film and event options, 17 World Premieres, 4 Australian Premieres and 34 WA Premieres – firmly cementing CinefestOZ as Australia’s premiere destination film festival.
Now in its 14th year, the festival continues to deliver a diverse range of Australian films across feature, documentary, shorts and experiential releases to entice audiences to the cinema. Over the five-day program, guests are invited to enjoy ‘In Conversation’ dining experiences hosted by film-makers, glittering red carpet events rubbing shoulders with Australia’s brightest stars and immersive film experiences – all whilst enjoying the wonders of the Margaret River region we know and love.
The event also offers the richest film prize in Australia ($100,000) to an Australian feature film or documentary, which means it attracts a high calibre of entrants and A-List stars attached to the films. The four finalists up for the honour this year are Here Out West, Nitram MIFF@CinefestOZ, River and The Drover’s Wife The Legend of Molly Johnson with the winner chosen by an esteemed panel of judges and announced at the Gala event on Saturday 28 August.
With so much on offer, here’s some of our top 5 film picks to check out:
1. Girl Like You, an emotive and powerful documentary from WA producer Cody Greenwood, celebrates its World Premiere at CinefestOZ. Directed by Frances Elliott and Samantha Marlow, the film follows the six-year journey of Lauren and Lewis, as they navigate Lewis’ medical transition to change genders, moving pronouns from He to She, and becoming Elle. The premiere will host a red-carpet arrival and insightful filmmaker Q&A after the screening.
2. Star Dreaming, a stunning creation from WA writer, director Perun Bonser alongside Prospero Productions, will host its World Premiere and screen every day throughout the festival. A magical odyssey through time and space, two children explore the mysteries of the Universe from the world’s oldest living culture and its largest radio telescope. This is an incredible immersive experience not to be missed.
3. Big Deal celebrates its Premiere at CinefestOZ. Written by and starring comedian Christiaan Van Vuuren, with direction by Craig Reucassel, this documentary serves as a wake-up call on the frightening extent to which money has infiltrated politics.
4. Under the Volcano charts the incredible rise and fall of AIR Studios Montserrat, the recording studio at the centre of the pop universe in the 1980s, and features interviews from some of the most influential recording artists at the time. The film’s WA Premiere will include a Q&A with filmmakers in the newly refurbished Margaret River HEART.
5. Facing Monsters is a stunning surf documentary screening Opening Night at Margaret River HEART as a World Premiere. In addition, the film will have an In Conversation lunch event with filmmakers and talent sharing their experiences of capturing enigmatic free surfer Kerby Brown in action.
Visit www.cinefestoz.com to find out more and to book tickets.