Jasper Jones, Spin Out, Girl Asleep and The Death and Life of Otto Bloom have been announced as the four finalists vying for Australia’s richest film prize at CinéfestOZ.
Now into its third year, the highly coveted $100,000 film prize was established with the aim of pursuing excellence in Australian filmmaking. It is awarded to the producer of an Australian feature film or feature-length documentary and is the only cash film prize focused solely on Australian feature film.
Last year’s winner was Putuparri and the Rainmakers. The documentary, about an Aboriginal man living in Fitzroy Crossing in Western Australia who maps out his ancestors’ spiritual connection to the land and his family’s continuing custodianship of it, has since gone on to screen at Film Festivals in Tahiti and Toronto, has made its television debut and recently been nominated by the Film Critics Circle of Australia for Best Documentary.
The finalists to be judged at the Festival by a 5-member jury, headed this year by award-winning Australian feature film and documentary director Gillian Armstrong.
CinéfestOZ Festival Chair Helen Shervington remarked that the calibre of entries this year made choosing finalists a difficult task.
“Year on year, the number and quality of entries for the $100,000 film prize increases, making it more and more challenging to narrow it down to just a handful of finalists. It’s actually wonderful to see – Australian film making continues to thrive and film makers are increasingly embracing the platform offered by CinéfestOZ to showcase their works to appreciative audiences,” said Ms Shervington.
The quality of this year’s finalists is reflective of CinéfestOZ’s commitment to the Australian film industry to provide local filmmakers with a supportive screening environment and give audiences the opportunity to view some of the incredible stories being created here at home.
“Australian movies and Australian talent have proven themselves among the best in the world,” said Ms Shervington. “CinéfestOZ is our chance to get together and celebrate our best.”
Finalist Jasper Jones has an extra special affinity with the South-West, having been shot in Pemberton and adapted from the book penned by Dwellingup local Craig Silvey, who drew on his own experiences growing up in a rural town.
Spin Out, which had its first script reading with Director Tim Ferguson at CinefestOZ back in 2013, has come full circle and it’s only fitting it makes it’s WA debut to eager audiences back at the festival.
Fresh from winning the Grand Jury Prize and Futurewave Youth Jury Award for Best Feature Film at the Seattle International Film Festival, Girl Asleep will be sure to delight family film-goers.
Rounding out the final four is the The Death and Life of Otto Bloom, which chronicles the life and great love of Otto Bloom, an extraordinary man who experiences time in reverse. It stars mother and daughter duo Rachel Ward, Matilda Brown as well as Twilight alumni Xavier Samuel.
Girl Asleep and The Death and Life of Otto Bloom will make their WA Premieres at the Festival, whilst Jasper Jones and Spin Out will be debuting to the World.
Western Australian Culture and the Arts Minister John Day congratulated the four Film Prize finalists.
“The four films vying for the CinefestOZ Film Prize showcase the creativity and diversity of storytelling in Australian films,” said Minister Day.
“I congratulate the filmmakers on being selected as finalists, and we look forward to welcoming them to Western Australia.
“CinefestOZ forms an important part of the State’s diverse events calendar which is why it is proudly supported by the State Government through Tourism WA, Royalties for Regions and Screenwest.”
“The State’s support of CinéfestOZ enables it to offer Australia’s richest film prize. This helps the festival attract high-calibre Australian films and valuable national and international publicity for the State, making it important for both the film and tourism industries.”
The full CinéfestOZ film and event program will be revealed July 29. Early bird tickets will be available from 11 July. Tickets on sale at the CinefestOZ website: http://www.cinefestoz.com
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.
Directed by Rosemary Meyers
Written by Matthew Whittet
Starring Bethany Whitmore, Harrison Feldman, Matthew Whittet and Eamon Farren
The world is closing in on Greta Driscoll. On the cusp of turning fifteen she can’t bear to leave her childhood, it contains all the things that give her comfort in this incomprehensible new world.
Directed by Rachel Perkins
Written by Shaun Grant
Starring Levi Miller, Angourie Rice, Toni Collette, Hugo Weaving, Dan Wyllie, Myles Pollard and Aaron McGrath
Based on the best-selling novel, Jasper Jones is the story of Charlie Bucktin, a young bookish boy living in a small town. One night, local mixed-race outcast Jasper Jones appears at Charlie’s window and the pair embark on a journey to solve a mystery that will consume the entire community.
Directed by Tim Ferguson and Marc Gracie
Written by Edwina Exton and Tim Ferguson
Starring Xavier Samuel, Morgan Griffin, Travis Jeffrey, Melissa Bergland, Lincoln Lewis and Brooke McClymont
Billy and Lucy have grown up together in a small, close-knit country town, where they form one of the town’s most formidable Ute driving teams.
When Billy takes one risky car stunt too far, Lucy declares she is moving to the city – sending Billy into a spin. Amid the mayhem of the town’s annual “Bachelors and Spinsters” party, Billy only has one night to wake up to his true feelings for his best friend – or lose her forever. Spin Out is a fresh, feel-good comedy romance for the young and the young at heart.
The Death and Life of Otto Bloom
Written and Directed by Cris Jones
Starring Xavier Samuel, Rachel Ward, Matilda Brown, Terry Camilleri and Amber Clayton
The Death and Life of Otto Bloom chronicles the life and great love of an extraordinary man who experiences time in reverse – wandering blindly into the past, while remembering the future.
The Film charts Bloom’s rise from scientific oddity to international superstar as he searches for love and meaning in this strange, backwards world.
Over the years, he has a string of romances while challenging our preconceived notions about life, death and the nature of time. When the world proves to be not yet ready for Bloom’s radical ideas, his fall from grace is as swift as it is tragic.
But for Bloom, the end is only the beginning…