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CinefestOZ Film Festival

Headquartered in Busselton, CinefestOZ extends to Margaret River and Bunbury for extension premieres, additional screenings and a unique Schools Program.

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CinéfestOZ, "Australia's Answer to Cannes Film Festival"

In the words of actor George Shevtsov, lead actor opposite Adrien Brody in competition film BACKTRACK (2015), “CinéfestOZ is my favorite film festival. I've been to Cannes and many festivals around the world but this is the best of all!” What makes CinéfestOZ so unique? It's a boutique festival tucked away in the gem wine region of Margaret River, Western Australia where some of Australia's most stunning beaches kiss the land of the nation's most luscious vineyards. What a location for a film festival, where beautiful beaches and fine wines abound and people of all backgrounds meet once a year to enjoy the fruits of the region and celebrate the universal art of film. Some have even deemed this festival, "Australia's answer the Cannes Film Festival."

In its 8th year, CinéfestOZ focused on a niche platform for Western Australian and Australian films and shorts with a French focus and an Australian-China co-production initiative.

Opening night of CinéfestOZ 2015 began on August 26th with a red carpet world premiere of film prize competition film NOW ADD HONEY, directed by Wayne Hope and starring Robyn Butler, Portia de Rossi, Lucy Fry, Hamish Blake, Lucy Durack, Phillippa Coulthard, Lucinda Armstrong Hall, Robbie Magasiva, Angus Sampson, Erik Thomson, Ben Lawson, Ash Ricardo and Faustina Agolley. The film is a comedic look at the life of a middle aged woman struggling with her new phase in life while hosting her perfect young desirable niece. The film screening was followed by a cocktail party gala at the Festival Marquee.

August 27th was a day full of special events spread around the region from Bunbury to Margaret River. "All About Audience" was a panel hosted by ScreenWest which took place at the Wise Winery in Margaret River. Industry professional guest speakers spoke from 10:30am-4:30pm on the impact of creation, production and marketing of films in times of rapidly changing modes of distribution. Later, an afternoon tea event was hosted in Bunbury by ScreenWest for a China Australia Film collaboration panel on co-production between Australia and China. Speakers were industry professionals from Australia and China.

At night, CinéfestOZ film prize competition film BACKTRACK (2015) held its world premiere. Directed by Michael Petroni, it features an all-star cast including Adrien Brody, Sam Neill, George Shevtsov, Robin McLeavy, Chloe Bayliss and Bruce Spence. Following the premiere was a gala at the Festival Marquee with an open bar hosted by sponsor Forester wines.

On August 28th, the day started with a tour of Forester winery in Margaret River. A devoted sponsor for CinéfestOZ, the winery opens its doors once a year to festival invites. Guests were welcomed to taste their specialty varietal whites- Chardonnay, Brut, Sauvignon Blanc- and reds- Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Shiraz. The owner brought visitors into the cellar for a wine tasting of Bordeaux reds including Malbec, Cab Franc and Petit Verdot.

After the Forester winery tour, festival guests were brought to a Director's Lunch at Aravina Estate. Every year this event sells out to locals and regional visitors seeking to wine and dine with VIP Australian directors and actors. Attendees heard film industry professionals such as David Wenham, Hugo Weaving and Sarah Snook speak about the latest trends in the film industry while dining on gastronomic dishes by head chef Ben Day and top notch wines produced at the estate.

After a full afternoon of wine tasting and eating specialty dishes, the day was topped off by two film prize screenings at the Orana Cinema- 1) Western Australian premiere of THE DAUGHTER (2015) directed by Simon Stone starring Geoffrey Rush, Ewen Leslie, Paul Schneider, Miranda Otto, Anna Torv with Odessa Young and Sam Neill about a man returning to his hometown to uncover a secret from the past, and 2) Western Australian premiere of the evening was PAWNO (2015) directed by Paul Ireland starring John Brumpton, Kerry Armstrong, Mark ColesSmith, Maeve Dermody, Damian Hill, Malcolm Kennard, Tony Rickards and Daniel Frederickson. Following the film screenings, a premiere gala took place at the Festival Marquee and continued at The Fire Station until the wee hours of morning.

On August 29th the day started at The Deck Marina at Port Geographe for a VIP breakfast with filmmakers and festival guests. The food included all types of coffees, organic juices, homemade pastries, eggs with salmon and fresh succulent oysters. The gourmet breakfast was followed by a screening of the final film prize competition film, PUTUPARRI AND TH RAINMAKERS (2015), a presentation of the Melbourne International Film Festival MIFF Premiere Fund at CinéfestOZ and Film Prize Jury Screening, directed by Nicole Ma starring Tom Lawford and Sylvestor Rangie set against the backdrop of the Kimberly region of Australia’s northwest about one indigenous man’s struggle to fulfill his destiny. Director Nicole Ma and stars of the film Tom Lawford and Sylvester Rangie appeared on the red carpet for photo opts.

After the screening, festival guests were brought to Willy Bay Resort in Margaret River for a Jury lunch where jury members David Wenham, Wayne Blair, Sarah Snook, Liz Kearney and Annie Murtagh-Monks spoke about their successful film careers and their reaction to the five films in competition at this year's festival. Lunch was an array of specialty dishes by award winning chef Tony Howell and locals wines were served.

Later, guests and festival attendees gathered inside the Marquee tent for drinks before being escorted to the Orana Cinema for the awards ceremony. A Screen Legend award was given to special guest Hugo Weaving for his exceptional career as an actor in film and theater. The CinéfestOZ Film Prize was awarded to the filmmakers of PUTUPARRI AND THE RAINMAKERS (2015); jury chair David Wenham awarded the $100,000 prize to the filmmakers. Following the awards ceremony, a full gala night took place inside the Festival Marquee with fresh oysters, specialty tapas and Forester wines served to the entertainment of live music. All attendees celebrated the end of a successful CinéfestOZ 2015.


Written by Vanessa McMahon

CinefestOZ 2015
Busselton Jetty
Wise winery, Margaret River, WA. CinefestOZ 2015
Wise winery, Margaret River, WA.
CinefestOZ 2015 Special Guests
CinefestOZ 2015 Guests at The Deck Marina at Port Geographe 
CinefestOZ 2015
Red carpet walk for PUTUPARRI AND THE RAINMAKERS crew CinefestOZ 2015
Closing Night @ CinefestOZ 2015
Closing night gala @ CinefestOZ 2015

-"ABOUT CinéfestOZ The 8th annual CinéfestOZ will showcase extraordinary Australian and French films over five days from 26 to 30 August 2015. CinéfestOZ is the product of an enormous community effort to celebrate great film and the best of the Australian and French film industry.

The festival is set to attract a diverse audience of film lovers and filmmakers from across Australia, through feature film premieres and a highly anticipated film selection, as well as the second annual $100,000 Film Prize awarded to an outstanding Australian film.

CinéfestOZ has also enjoyed a long-standing relationship with France ever since Jerome Paillard, executive director Marche du Film at the Cannes Film Festival, opened the second festival in 2009. Since then, the links between the South West of Western Australia and seaside towns such as St Tropez and Cannes have come into full focus. Add to the mix the great food and wine on offer in the South West region and CinéfestOZ is the must-attend event of the year for film followers, filmmakers, film lovers and those who appreciate the beauty of this corner of Western Australia.

The festival will host a record 68 events at venues across the South West from Bunbury to Augusta, including gala film evenings, winery lunches, short film side bar screenings, family film events, script workshops and free community screenings. A total of 82 Australian and French feature films, documentaries and short films will screen, including four world premieres and 17 Western Australian premieres, which will be attended by some of Australia’s best actors, directors and producers. The festival is also a platform for short filmmakers, many of which will premiere their films at this year’s CinéfestOZ. CinéfestOZ is supported by the State Government through Tourism WA’s Regional Events Program, which is funded by Royalties for Regions. Rio Tinto is a proud Premium Partner of CinéfestOZ. The festival acknowledges its strong partnership with ScreenWest, Western Australia’s screen funding and development agency. The best way to experience CinéfestOZ is through Festival Platinum Passes, Gold Passes and Weekend Gold passes available via the CinéfestOZ website. Subscribe to the CinéfestOZ newsletter to learn more"


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