Record year for CinéfestOZ

A record number of events, attendance and box office growth all contributed to CinefestOZ celebrating its ninth anniversary with its most successful festival to date.

CinefestOZ’s box office grew by 15 per cent compared to 2015 and the festival attracted more than 25,500 attendees, 12 per cent more than last year.

The 2016 festival hosted 68 events across Bunbury, Busselton, Dunsborough, Margaret River, Augusta and surrounds. Events included community screenings, short film Side Bars  and star studded Red Carpet premieres.

CinefestOZ generated a regional return on investment of 6.9 to the dollar to the South West Region and enticed an increased number of international, interstate and Perth travellers to the festival when compared to previous years. In 2016, 52.5% of all ticket sales were visitors to the region.

Fourteen Australian feature films premiered at CinefestOZ along with numerous short films and community screenings. More than 80 films were screen over the five-days.

The $100,000 CinefestOZ Film Prize, Australia’s greatest and richest film prize, was hotly contested by four finalists, with Girl Asleep, which tells of the journey into the absurdities of the teenage mind, winning over other stellar finalists The Death and Life of Otto Bloom (MIFF @CinefestOZ), Jasper Jones and Spin Out. Girl Asleep has gone on to release in cinemas nationally from September 8 to critical acclaim.

The CinefestOZ film festival encourages excellence in Australian filmmaking and has continued to play a significant part in the growth of the film industry in Australia. With solid year-on-year annual growth in audience numbers, films and events, coupled with Australia’s richest film prize up for grabs, CinefestOZ has firmed up its reputation as a ‘must do’ for independent Australian filmmakers.

One of Australia’s most successful and respected filmmakers Gillian Armstrong was the Jury Chair of the Film Prize Jury and was honoured with the prestigious Screen Legend award, presented at the festival’s Gala Night, Saturday, 27 August in Busselton. A true screen legend, Armstrong was congratulated particularly for her body of work directing Australian films and her dedication to the Australian film industry.

Other jury members included Sue Taylor (The Tree, Looking for Grace), Garry Phillips (House of Hancock, The Railway Man, Candy) and Damian Walshe-Howling (Janet King, Mystery Road, Underbelly).

Some of the biggest names in Australian film also attended including Matilda Brown (The Death and Life of Otto Bloom, Offspring), Ben Elton (The Young Ones, Alfresco), Tim Ferguson (Spin Out, Carry a Big Stick), Lincoln Lewis (Spin Out, Home and Away), Xavier Samuel (Spin Out, The Death and Life of Otto Bloom) and Myles Pollard (McLeod’s Daughters, Packed to the Rafters).

However, the driving force of the festival were the 300 CinefestOZ Movie Crew volunteers who worked tirelessly to guide, feed, water, drive and take care of festival audiences and guests. CinefestOZ congratulates each and every person who makes this festival uniquely ‘South West’ and a wonderful experience.

The next generation of filmmakers was also recognised through the exciting Cinesnaps short film competition. A short film produced by students Scott Mills, Callum McAlpine, Isobel Chapple and Melanie Ziersch from Cape Naturaliste College Busselton won the Cinesnaps Short Film Competition. Wish I Was There tells the story of two teenagers bored of their tiresome lives, who are transported to Europe via a window to live their dreams. They encounter a vividly beautiful world that they could never have imagined. More than 4,000 young film enthusiasts participated in the Cinesnaps schools program proudly sponsored by Schools Partner Rio Tinto and Associate Partner ATCO Gas Australia.

IndigifestOZ burst onto the CinefestOZ program of events with a terrific array of activities showcasing Indigenous culture and film. IndigifestOZ celebrates and builds awareness of Australian culture through Aboriginal film, art, music and food, and by recognising artists creating important work.

CinefestOZ is supported by the State Government through Tourism WA’s Regional Events Program, which is made possible by Royalties for Regions. Rio Tinto is a proud Premium Partner of CinefestOZ. The festival acknowledges its strong partnership with Screenwest, Western Australia’s screen funding and development agency.

CinefestOZ returns 23rd – 27th August 2017 for its 10th anniversary, with the festival already planning another superb lineup of film and festivities.

PRESS RELEASE: http://www.cinefestoz.com

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