CinefestOZ names short film finalists

Ben Mortley in Carmentis.

Press Release:

CinefestOZ Film Festival has named the four finalists in the running for the top prize in its inaugural Short Film Competition.

For the first time in the festival’s 13-year history, CinefestOZ will champion the country’s best short filmmakers by awarding cash prizes in six categories, including Best Short Film.

The finalists in the running for the $5,000 top prize are:

Carmentis (WA)Australian premiere
Antony Webb (writer/director), Jaclyn Hewer (producer)

I Want to Make a Film About Women (NSW) WA premiere
Karen Pearlman (writer/director/producer), Richard James Allen (producer)

The Immortal (NSW) World premiere
Carl Firth (writer/director/producer), Guy Edmonds and Augusta Miller (producers)

Carrie’s Doing Great (SA)  World premiere
Alex Salkicevic and Bryce Kraehenbuel (writer/director/producers), Morgan Wright (producer)

The CinefestOZ Short Film Competition, supported by both the Festival and Screenwest, was introduced in 2020 as a way of turning the spotlight on WA and Australian filmmakers.

The competition also includes prizes for CinefestOZ Indigenous Best Short Film; Cinewest Best West Australian Short Film; Best WA Female Short Filmmakers (supported by WIFTWA); Best Director (supported by the Australian Directors Guild); Best Lead Actor (supported by Annie MM Casting) and Audience Choice Award.

Other category finalists will be announced on CinefestOZ social media in the coming days.

CinefestOZ CEO Malinda Nixon said the addition of the Short Film Competition in the Festival gave an added boost to filmmakers in what has been a difficult year for the industry.

“This year has been challenging for the entire film industry and to be able to offer these prizes to upcoming filmmakers gives us enormous pleasure. We’ve been delighted by the calibre of short films we’ve received this year and our Festival audiences are in for a real treat,” she said.

Screenwest CEO Willie Rowe said “CinefestOZ has become a key player for the Australian screen industry and their inclusion of a Short Film Prize this year was an incredible opportunity for short filmmakers, particularly given the challenges 2020 has presented.”

The CinefestOZ Short Film Showcase features sets which screen from 25 August and culminates in an awards celebration on 29 August at Margaret River HEART.

Four sets screening at The Esplanade, Busselton and Margaret River HEART will make up the program: Shooting Stars Shorts, showcasing some of the best and brightest talent of Australian short film; Borderless Shorts, bold, fearless filmmaking from Australian storytellers unafraid to push the envelope; Deadly Indigenous Shorts,showcasing short films by Indigenous filmmakers; and Homegrown WA Shorts,demonstrating the enormous talent emanating from Western Australia.

Audiences are encouraged to immerse themselves in the Short Film Showcase by purchasing a Short Film Cinepass, which gives access to more than 30 short films and the awards celebration.

For those who can’t attend the festival, the Short Film Showcase and the CinefestOZ Short Film Awards are also offered On Demand, by purchasing an Online Short Film Cinepass through the Festival website. Short films will be available for viewing from 5pm on Tuesday 25 August to 11.59pm on Sunday, 30 August. The CinefestOZ Short Film Awards will be available to view online late Saturday and available for 24 hours.

CinefestOZ Film Festival runs from 25 to 30 August in the South West and will be the first Australian film festival to host screenings for live cinema audiences since the easing of restrictions in Western Australia following the COVID-19 pandemic.

The festival may look and feel a little different in 2020 but will continue to champion Australian stories and film through a modified program of live and online screenings and special events, curated for these unprecedented times.

The full program is now online at

CinefestOZ thanks Premium Partners Screenwest and City of Busselton and Community Partner Rio Tinto. The festival acknowledges its strong support from Lotterywest and Screen Australia.

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