CinefestOZ Film Prize finalists announced! Is this the festival’s best lineup yet?

Ali’s Wedding, Australia Day, MIFF@CinefestOZ film Jungle and Three Summers have been selected as the four Film Prize Finalists at this year’s CinefestOZ and will each go into the running to win Australia’s greatest film prize.

2017 marks the 10th anniversary of the CinefestOZ Film Festival and the fourth year in which the significant sum of $100,000 is awarded to the producer of an Australian feature film. The prize was established to reward excellence in Australian filmmaking and is awarded by a five-member industry Jury, that this year will be chaired by internationally acclaimed director, producer and screenwriter, Scott Hicks.

On the high calibre of finalists at this year’s festival, CinefestOZ Festival Chair Helen Shervington commented on the difficult task ahead for the jury.

“We are delighted with the variety and number of entries in this year’s film prize and the finalists are representative of the strength and quality of the Australian film industry today.

It is rewarding to see the Australian film industry recognising and embracing the platform CinefestOZ offers for showcasing their work and we are looking forward to connecting Australian films with Australian audiences at the festival.”

As a festival, CinefestOZ is committed to bringing the Australian film industry together in the spectacular location of South West, Western Australia and providing a supportive environment for local filmmakers to share their stories.

Directed by Jeffrey Walker, and produced for Matchbox Pictures by Sheila Jayadev and Helen Panckhurst, finalist Ali’s Wedding is an entertaining and moving comedy, based on the almost unbelievable true story of Osamah Sami. Written by Sami and Andrew Knight (Hacksaw Ridge, The Water Diviner), Sami stars alongside Don Hany (Offspring), playing himself in this affectionate and sure-fire crowd pleaser about family, duty and love in multi-cultural Australia. The award-winning screenplay attracted the talents of cinematographer Don McAlpine (The Dressmaker) and composer Nigel Westlake (Babe).

A Hoodlum Production for Foxtel, Australia Day is directed by Kriv Stenders (Red Dog), written by Stephen M. Irwin and stars beloved Australian actor Bryan Brown and local Busselton export Sean Keenan (Drift). Through the lives of three Australians, the film takes a look at contemporary issues of racial tension and national identity that simmer beneath the surface of modern Australia.

A Hoodlum Production for Foxtel, Australia Day is directed by Kriv Stenders (Red Dog), written by Stephen M. Irwin and stars beloved Australian actor Bryan Brown and local Busselton export Sean Keenan (Drift). Through the lives of three Australians, the film takes a look at contemporary issues of racial tension and national identity that simmer beneath the surface of modern Australia.

Three time BAFTA and double Olivier Award winning WA writer and director Ben Elton returns to CinefestOZ for his second consecutive year bringing us Western Australian production, Three Summers which was filmed just outside of Pinjarra. An ensemble romantic comedy, the film stars Australian favourites Magda Szubanski, Michael Caton, and Western Australian Kelton Pell.

All four finalists will celebrate their WA premieres at this year’s CinefestOZ.

Western Australian Minister for Culture and the Arts, the Honourable David Templeman MLA congratulated the four Film Prize finalists.

“This year’s finalists are a showcase of strong Directors, many with ties to WA. The benchmark is set higher and higher each year and I’m thrilled audiences from near and far will get to enjoy such quality work as well as participate in the numerous community and industry events in the CinefestOZ program.”

CinefestOZ is supported by the State Government through Tourism WA’s Regional Events Program. Rio Tinto is a proud Premium Partner of CinefestOZ. The festival acknowledges its strong partnership with Screenwest, Lotterywest and Screen Australia.

The full CinefestOZ film and event program and ticket sales go live on 28 July 2017.
Early Bird tickets and festival passes will be available from today on the CinefestOZ website: http://www.cinefestoz.com

Ali’s Wedding
Director: Jeffrey Walker
Written by: Andrew Knight, Osamah Sami
Producers: Sheila Jayadev, Helen Panckhurst
Cast: Osamah Sami, Don Hany, Helana Sawires, Frances Duca
After a reckless lie sets off a catastrophic chain of events, Ali, the son of a Muslim cleric, finds himself caught between his duty to family and following his heart.

Australia Day
Director: Kriv Stenders
Written by: Stephen M. Irwin
Producers: Nathan Mayfield, Leigh McGrath, Tracey Robertson, Edward Herbert
Cast: Bryan Brown, Shari Sebbens, Sean Keenan, Daniel Webber, Elias Anton, Jenny Wu, Matthew Le Nevez, Miah Madden
On Australia’s most controversial holiday, the lives of three Australians from diverse cultural backgrounds will collide, illuminating the racial tension that simmers beneath the surface of modern Australia.

Jungle
Director: Greg McLean
Written by: Yossi Ghinsberg (book), Justin Monjo (Screenplay)
Producers: Dana Lustig, Gary Hamilton, Mike Gabrawy, Todd Fellman, Greg McLean
Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Alex Russell, Joel Jackson, Thomas Kretschmann
Four travellers set off into the Amazon rainforest, what begins as a dream adventure quickly turns to nightmare. Yossi is separated from his group and battles to survive.

Three Summers
Writer and Director: Ben Elton
Producers: Michael Wrenn, Sue Taylor
Cast: Michael Caton, Magda Szubanski, Deborah Mailman, Jacqueline McKenzie, Robert Sheehan, Rebecca Breeds, Sean Keenan, Kelton Pell
Ben Elton brings his trademark satirical wit to this comedy set over three years at a fictional folk-music festival. Two young musicians fall in love against a wider collection of tales dealing frankly but humorously with a microcosm of contemporary discussion points, including Indigenous, immigration and refugee issues

Early bird tickets can be purchased for this year’s CinefestOZ here. See you there.

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