David Wenham named CinéfestOZ Film Prize Jury Chair

David Wenham and Nicholas Bakopoulos-Cooke in Robert Connolly's Paper Planes.

David Wenham and Nicholas Bakopoulos-Cooke in Robert Connolly’s Paper Planes.

David Wenham will attend the CinéfestOZ film festival (26-30 August) as Jury Chair for Australia’s biggest film prize, the CinéfestOZ Film Prize.

The CinéfestOZ Film Prize encourages excellence in Australian filmmaking by providing a $100,000 award to an Australian feature film or feature-length documentary. David Wenham’s role as Chair is to head the five-person jury that will select the winning film, to be announced on 29 August at CinéfestOZ.

David Wenham is an Australian actor with a formidable acting career, including major roles in film such as Lord of the Rings, Moulin Rouge, Van Helsing, Public Enemies and Australia. He is also known for his role in the critically acclaimed cable mini-series Top of the Lake, television mini-series Better Man and Australian box office hit Paper Planes. In 2013 he directed one of the interconnected stories from The Turning. He has just finished shooting Australian film Goldstone, due to be released next year.

“In our second year of offering the CinéfestOZ Film Prize, having David Wenham play a central role in this exciting film event assists CinéfestOZ in providing an outstanding showcase dedicated to Australian film. His experience and profile will help shine an international spotlight on this film prize and the vibrant Australian film industry it supports,” said Helen Shervington, CinéfestOZ Film Program Director.

David Wenham said he was honoured to be asked to chair the Jury at CinéfestOZ.

“The CinéfestOZ Film Prize is a game changer for Australian film. It is genuinely helping the Australian film industry and promoting this nation’s culture of excellence in film. Funding is a critical aspect of the film industry and a large cash prize allows the filmmaker to make real headway into a new project, or to promote the winning film on its release.

“I’m delighted to be attending the festival as the Jury Chair and I am looking forward to seeing the films on offer.  I am also looking forward to returning to the South West of Western Australia. It is a geographically spectacular region with extraordinary beaches, warm hospitality and outstanding wineries. It is a difficult place to leave,” Wenham said.

Feature films selected as finalists in the CinéfestOZ Film Prize will screen during CinéfestOZ film festival from 26-30 August 2015, along with an exciting program of short films, documentaries, industry workshops and related events throughout the South West of Western Australia.

In 2014, the inaugural CinéfestOZ Film Prize was won by the family friendly, Robert Connolly-directed film, Paper Planes, which has enjoyed massive success at the Australian box office since its 15 January 2015 cinema release.  The film has gone on to screen at the Toronto and Berlin International Film Festivals and will be released by distribution companies Lionsgate in the UK and in North America by Eone.

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 full CinéfestOZ film and event program and ticket sales go live 31 July 2015.

Early bird ticket sales available from 13 July at cinefestoz.com


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