The Naked Wanderer to make its world premiere at CinefestOZ 2019

Callan Durlik, Megan Smart and Angus McLaren in The Naked Wanderer. Photograph by David Dare Parker.

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The Naked Wanderer will make its world premiere at a star-studded red-carpet event at this year’s CinefestOZ.

In a major coup for the festival, the WA-made film about a man who treks the WA coastline – mostly naked – for charity in a bid to win back his ex-girlfriend, will premiere in Bunbury on August 30.

Speaking at the Bunbury launch of the festival on Friday night, CinefestOZ Chair Helen Shervington said securing the world premiere of The Naked Wanderer highlighted the festival’s commitment to fostering and championing the local film industry.

“This is a film made in Western Australia by West Australians and it is an absolute honour to have it screen at a festival that shines the spotlight on and celebrates local and Australian film,” Shervington said.

The Naked Wanderer stars Angus McLaren and Natasha Liu Bordizzo, alongside a stellar cast of Australian actors and British comedy icon John Cleese, who makes a special guest appearance.

Alan Little and Angus McLaren in The Naked Wanderer. Photograph by David Dare Parker.

McLaren is best known for playing Nathan in Channel 7’s popular series Packed to the Rafters while his co-star Liu Bordizzo starred in the hit Netflix show, The Society.

The film was directed by Vue Group’s Alan Lindsay, who also produced alongside Bunbury local Helen Clucas, and written by Callan Durlik.

Originally from Margaret River, Durlik rose through the ranks as a stand-up comedian before penning The Naked Wanderer, which is his first screenplay.

He said premiering The Naked Wanderer in Bunbury brought the film full circle, with CinefestOZ and the South West region having played essential roles in getting the feature to the big screen.

“We had five or six actors read the script for the film infront of an audience at CinefestOZ back in 2015,” Durlik explained. “That gave us the chance to get audience feedback and it ended up rating really well.”

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Durlik was connected with Lindsay at the festival and said to have the film not only screening but premiering at CinefestOZ was pretty special.

“This is a real feel-good film that is guaranteed to make you happy as you leave the cinema,” Durlik said.

Production of The Naked Wanderer first began in 2017, with Cleese shooting his scenes in the UK. Filming continued last year along the South West coast, including Bunbury, Dardanup, Harvey and Capel, and in Lancelin, Sandy Cape and Karratha.

Lindsay said the film was very much a regional WA movie and thanked regional development agencies, community and local government for their support in bringing it to the big screen.

The Naked Wanderer combines romance, comedy and amazing scenery and we are thrilled the world premiere is happening in Bunbury, where we had so much community support making the movie,” he said.

Alan Lindsay and John Cleese on the set of The Naked Wanderer.

The Naked Wanderer is the first film to be announced for CinefestOZ 2019, which takes place from August 28 to September 1 in Bunbury, Busselton, Margaret River and surrounds.

The festival combines the best new features, shorts and documentaries in a program of more than 200 film and film related events ranging from red carpet premieres and intimate Side Bars to free screenings and school programs. The pinnacle of the festival is Gala Night and the announcement of the $100,000 CinefestOZ Film Prize – Australia’s richest film prize – which is awarded to an Australian feature length film for excellence in filmmaking.

CinefestOZ is supported by the Western Australian State Government through Tourism WA’s Regional Events Program. Rio Tinto is a proud Premium Partner. 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 July 26. Early Bird tickets will be on sale from July 5 at cinefestoz.com

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