Jirga takes out the CinefestOZ 2018 Film Prize

John Maynard, Benjamin Gilmour and Sigrid Thornton.

Jirga, directed by Benjamin Gilmour and produced by John Maynard, has been named the winner of the 2018 CinefestOZ $100,000 Film Prize, Australia’s greatest film prize. 

Both Benjamin Gilmour and John Maynard were presented with the film prize on Saturday night as part of CinefestOZ’s dazzling Gala Night celebrations in Busselton, in the South West of Western Australia.  

“Benjamin and I went on this crazy journey together, that has ended up here at CinefestOZ and it really is quite surprising. This prize will actually help the people to see the film,” said Maynard. 

“We really need a film like this in the world at the moment. Thank you CinefestOZ and all the other films in competition. Hopefully this film prize will put more people into the cinema to see this film. Thank you”, said Gilmour.  

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Modern fable Jirga tells the story of former Australian soldier, Mike Wheeler, who returns to Afghanistan seeking redemption from the family of a civilian man he accidentally killed during the war. Seeking forgiveness, he puts his life in the hands of the village justice system – the Jirga.

The film was selected from fellow finalists 1 %, Ladies in Black, and The Merger. 

The prize is awarded each year to an Australian feature film for excellence in film-making.  In 2017 the winning film was the entertaining and moving comedy, Ali’s Wedding, based on the unbelievable true story which has since gone on to international critical and box office success. 

Jirga releases Australia-wide September 27.

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