CinefestOZ Albany has unveiled its 2022 Film Program and it’s a ripper

The Curious Case of Dolphin Bay.

CinefestOZ Albany has unveiled its 2022 Film Program, delivering a range of screenings plus the unique Kinjarling Koort event, setting the scene for the excitement to come in the Great Southern next month.

CinefestOZ Albany will occur from 28 April-1 May, putting a spotlight on the region’s film talent, with guests from around Australia attracting audiences from across WA.

The Program is composed of 18 features and 10 short films, the schools program Cinesnaps, IndigifestOZ and Industry Programs, with this year’s festival expanding from three days to four.

CinefestOZ CEO Malinda Nixon expects the Albany event, now in its second year, will draw audiences locally and from across WA with its mix of quality new Australian film, live filmmaker conversations and film related events. “The program is exciting and compelling for filmmakers and audiences alike. CinefestOZ Albany attracts national filmmakers and their films, while shining a spotlight on the Great Southern’s film talent. The entire program contributes to the region’s vibrant filmmaking scene,” Nixon said.

The Kinjarling Koort -Noongar for ‘Albany Heart’- is a highly anticipated event to celebrate the Menang community and local filmmakers on Saturday 30th of April at the Albany Town Hall and Square. Coming to life in the centre of the city, this special aspect of the festival will feature Karla Hart’s Toolyand Albany film Edward and Isabella along with a Robert Castiglione film set, a performance from the Albany Shantymen and cultural activities. CinefestOZ is thankful for Kurruh Mia’s assistance in organising the Noongar elements of the activities and the participation of local group, Creative Albany.

CinefestOZ Albany Event Co-ordinator, Annette Davis spoke about the impact the festival wishes to make on Great Southern filmmakers. “It really is about Albany as the heart. One of CinefestOZ Albany’s longer term aims, in the lead up to Albany’s Bicentenary, is to encourage local people to tell local stories through film. We hope that Kinjarling Koort and another event, the Industry Program, will help inspire and foster more local filmmakers.”

Stage Changers

CinefestOZ Albany begins on Thursday 28 April with WA made comedy How To Please a Woman at Orana Cinemas. Join producers Tania Chambers and Judi Levine on the red carpet with cocktail party prior to the screening. Directed by Renée Webster, How To Please a Woman is a heartwarming story that is sure to have the audience laughing. An In Conversation Breakfast at the Kalyenup Studio, Albany Entertainment Centre follows the premiere of How to Please a Woman with insights from internationally renowned producers.

Throughout the festival, viewers will have the opportunity to watch a selection of proud Western Australian films such as I Met A Girl starring Albany’s own Joel Jackson for its first theatrical premiere in Australia, and WA documentary Stage Changers including a Q&A with director Ella Wright.

Incredible documentaries drawing on stories Australians need to know including Carbon: The Unauthorised Biography and Ithaka.Joined by a selection of Indigenous documentaries; Alick and Albert, Ablaze and Off Country.

Bring along the family to enjoy The Curious Case of Dolphin Bay and Around the World in 80 Days. Unmissable dramas include Wrymwood: Apocalypse, Bosch & Rockit, Loveland and CinefestOZ Film Prize Finalist Here Out West. The international selection includes French titlesWaiting for Bojangles and The Kitchen Brigade and is joined by touching New Zealand feature, Juniper.

As CinefestOZ wraps up, celebrate the closing night with a screening of Deadly Indigenous Shorts at the Gala Night. Come dressed in your best for this one, watch filmmakers walk the red carpet then enjoy a selection of short films by Indigenous filmmakers, reinforcing the power of storytelling through film. Sunday will provide a film lovers feast of films at Orana Cinemas.

The CinefestOZ Albany Program also offers:
Spectacular Shorts – an evening of stellar short films for every taste followed by Q&A from Award Winning filmmakers- where guests can get a glimpse of life in the screen industry. Industry Program – a day of panel discussions appealing to local and national industry, to keep inspiration flowing at the Hilton Garden Inn.
Monty’s Leap Winery will host an In-Conversation Lunch where guests can enjoy incredible food and wines while getting an insight into the mind of filmmakers.

CinefestOZ Albany will unfold in the region’s cinemas and gorgeous venues, where audiences can enjoy the company of film stars, up against the stunning backdrop of the Great Southern.

For more information visit www.cinefestoz.com 

How to Please a Woman

Written and directed by Renée Webster
Produced by Tania Chambers and Judi Levine
Starring Sally Phillips, Erik Thomson, Alexander England, Ryan Johnson, Caroline Brazier, Josh Thomson, Hayley McElhinney, Tasma Walton, and Cameron Daddo

Gina is not feeling fabulous. She has lost her job and feels stuck and frustrated in a passionless marriage. She has always lived life on the sidelines – that is, until she
is met with the groundbreaking business opportunity of converting a team of well- built moving guys into well-built housecleaners. Initially the response from her ocean-swimming community is immediate, and her all-male cleaning staff an instant hit. Finally, she is the boss she has always wanted to be.

But, as her business booms, her clientele demands something more – sex, or better yet, pleasure. Faced with something far more than she imagined, Gina and her team, including her foodie manager Steve, launch an enterprise that is all about getting intimacy right between people. For the first time, the women experience desire on their own terms. As Gina faces the highs and lows, the joys and struggles of maintaining such a unique business, she learns to stand up for herself, to look out for her own happiness and pleasure, and to take control of her life. How To Please A Woman is a precarious, often hilarious and revealing journey into the vulnerable world of what women really want and how hard it can be to get it right.

Tickets and details here

Edward and Isabella

Written and directed by Adam Morris
Starring Chloe Hurst, Daniel Barwick, Renato Fabretti and Bluff Knoll

Edward and Isabella are a successful couple living in Perth and although there’s nothing quite wrong with their relationship, there’s also nothing quite right. The two embark on a week away in the country to ruminate on whether they should end their relationship or stay together. With the help of some mountain climbing, whiskey and a band of shanty singers, Edward and Isabella have to face the unimaginable… each other.

Tickets and details here

Carbon: The Unauthorised Biography

Directed by Daniella Ortega & Niobe Thompson
Written by Daniella Ortega
Featuring Sonya Pemberton, Niobe Thompson and Lucy Maclaren

With Carbon in the news every day, you might think you know everything about her. But you’d be wrong. This spectacular and surprisingly unorthodox documentary reveals the paradoxical story of the element that builds all life, and yet may end it all. Narrated in first person by Golden Globe winner Sarah Snook (Succession), Carbon: The Unauthorised Biography promises to transform how we think of Carbon, from maligned destroyer towards a powerful enabler.

Accompanied by celebrated scientists including Neil deGrasse Tyson and Katharine Hayhoe, unique animations and a stunning orchestral score, this important and thought-provoking film reminds us of our humble participation in the most extraordinary story in the universe.

Tickets and details here

Ablaze

Written and directed by Alec Morgan and Tiriki Onus

The true story of the first Aboriginal filmmaker William ‘Bill’ Onus. Ablaze tells of Bill Onus, a Yorta Yorta and Wiradjuri man from Victoria, a truly heroic cultural and political figure who revived his peopleʼs culture in the 1940s and ignited a civil rights movement that would, against enormous odds, change the course of history.

Told by his grandson Tiriki through rare archival footage, state-of-the-art animation, vividly created digital motion graphics and eye-witness accounts, Ablaze is the compelling tale – part detective story, part contemporary opera – of how Bill and supporters brilliantly orchestrated their campaign for equality through performance, entertainment, film and sheer audacity outsmarted mighty forces seeking to destroy Indigenous cultures, languages, and communities.

Tickets and details here

Alick and Albert

Directed by Douglas Watkin
Produced by Trish Lake and Meredith Garlick
Written by Alick Tipoti, Trish Lake and Douglas Watkin

Artist Alick Tipoti and Prince Albert of Monaco meet at an exhibition of indigenous art in Monaco. When Alick learns of Albert’s commitment to environmental issues, Alick invites Albert to Badu Island and to Alick’s surprise, Albert comes. Alick shows Albert how climate change and a tsunami of plastics is affecting the sea country of Zenadth Kes / Torres Strait.

Tickets and details here

Wyrmwood Apocalypse

Directed by Kiah Roache-Turner
Produced by Blake Northfield, Kiah Roache-Turner and Tristan Roache-Turner
Written by Kiah Roache-Turner Tristan Roache-Turner
Starring Shantae Barnes-Cowan, Nicholas Boshier, Bianca Bradey and Tasia Zalar

Listen to our Podcast episode with director Kiah Roache-Turner here
Read our Wyrmwood Apocalypse review here

In a zombie-infested Australian wasteland, soldier Rhys has dedicated his life to tracking and capturing survivors for the Surgeon General in hopes of finding a cure.

Tickets and details here

Off Country

Written and directed by John Harvey and Rhian Skirving
Produced by Charlotte Wheaton, Nick Batzias, John Harvey and Rhian Skirving

Off Country follows the lives of seven Indigenous students as they leave home to spend a year boarding at Geelong Grammar School in Victoria. Among the most prestigious schools in the country Geelong Grammar taught the likes of Prince Charles, Malcolm Fraser, Dame Elisabeth Murdoch, Kerry Packer and Helen Garner, to name a few.

Capturing life from inside the boarding house, on the sports field and in the classroom Off Country follows the 2020 school year as the pandemic throws boarding school life into chaos. Forcing students home for much of the year, the long lockdown brings the sacrifices required to complete a boarding school education into sharp focus.

Tickets and details here

I Met a Girl

Directed by Luke Eve
Produced by Adam Dolman, Melissa Kelly and Ryan Hodgson
Written by Glen Dolman
Starring Brenton Thwaites, Lily Sullivan, Joel Jackson and Peter Rowsthorn

Devon, an aspiring musician with schizophrenia, is dependent on his brother, Nick, to care for him. However, their status quo is threatened when Nick’s wife, Olivia, becomes pregnant and they arrange for Devon to move out. A dejected Devon contemplates jumping from a rooftop when his friend and “delusion”, Mr. Rocket, an ageing superhero, tries to stop him. But Devon falls… before waking up in the home of a mysterious girl, Lucy.

They spend a magical day together and Devon falls deeply in love. Devon tells Nick about the girl who “saved” him and arranges for Nick to meet her. But when Lucy doesn’t show, Nick suspects that Lucy is another delusion, while Devon, desperate to prove his sanity, discovers a note that Lucy wrote, saying: meet me in Sydney, and impulsively embarks on an epic, cross-country journey to find her.

Tickets and details here

Stage Changers

Directed by Ella Wright
Produced by
Janelle Landers
Starring
Tim Watts, Arielle Gray, Chris Isaacs, Adriane Daff and Siân Roberts

Filmed over eight years, Stage Changers is an observational documentary that follows the brilliant, young theatre company, The Last Great Hunt, from near obscurity to international success and their opportunity to make their first large-scale festival work. The film explores their highly unorthodox creative process, full of play and collaboration. This unusual way of creating ideas has worked for them so far, but will it still work when they have to up their game? The film follows a team of best friends as they navigate the new challenges that come with creating an ambitious new work. As the challenges get larger and more complex, the fate of the company hangs in the balance.

Tickets and details here

Ithaka

Written and directed by Ben Lawrence
Produced by Gabriel Shipton

The world’s most famous political prisoner, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, has become an emblem of an international arm wrestle over freedom of journalism, government corruption and unpunished war crimes. Now with Julian facing a 175 year sentence if extradited to the US, his family members are confronting the prospect of losing Julian forever to the abyss of the US justice system.

This David-and-Goliath struggle is personal – and, with Julian’s health declining in a British maximum-security prison and American government prosecutors attempting to extradite him to face trial in the US, the clock is ticking. Weaving historic archive and intimate behind-the-scenes footage, this story tracks John’s journey alongside Julian’s fiancée, Stella Moris, as they join forces to advocate for Julian. We witness John embark on a European odyssey to rally a global network of supporters, advocate to politicians and cautiously step into the media’s glare – where he is forced to confront events that made Julian a global flashpoint.

Ithaka provides a timely reminder of the global issues at stake in this case, as well as an insight into the personal toll inflicted by the arduous, often lonely task of fighting for a cause bigger than oneself.

Tickets and details here

Bosch & Rockit

Written and directed by Tyler Atkins
Produced by John Schwarz, Cathy Flannery and Jamie Arscott
Starring Luke Hemsworth Rasmus King Isabel Lucas Leeanna Walsman

In the late summer along the Australian coast, Bosch, a young father goes on the run for drug dealing with his surf gang. In tow is his teenage son, Rockit, who believes he is on a magical holiday with his father. A journey through boyhood and manhood, BOSCH & ROCKIT is an unforgettable true story about love, forgiveness, and magic.

Tickets and details here

Bosch & Rockit

Here Out West

Directed by Fadia Abboud, Lucy Gaffy, Julie Kalceff, Ana Kokkinos and Leah Purcell
Written by 
Nisrine Amine, Bina Bhattacharya, Matias Bolla, Claire Cao, Arka Das, Dee Dogan, Vonne Patiag and Tien Tran
Produced by Annabel Davis Sheila Jayadev Bree-Anne Sykes 

Listen to our Podcast episode with Arka Das & Bina Bhattacharya here

Nancy visits her daughter in hospital who has just given birth. Tagging along is her 8-year-old Lebanese neighbour, Amirah, who she is babysitting. It is a bittersweet meeting for Nancy, as her new grandchild is about to be taken away, her mother being deemed unfit by the authorities to keep her. In an act of desperation, Nancy makes the decision to steal the baby, fleeing from the hospital with Amirah by her side. Not long after their audacious escape, a pedestrian is involved in a hit and run. Three young men step in to help, unsure if he’ll survive the night. Across eight distinct yet interconnected stories, Nancy’s spontaneous flight sets off a chain of events that brings together complete strangers over the course of one dramatic day.

Tickets and details here

Loveland

Written and directed by Ivan Sen
Produced by David Jowsey, Greer Simpkin, Angela Littlejohn and Ivan Sen
Starring 
Ryan Kwanten, Jillian Nguyen, Hugo Weaving 

Read our interview with director Ivan Sen here
Read our interview with Ryan Kwanten here

In a futuristic Hong Kong, assassin Jack (Ryan Kwanten), crosses paths with a nightclub singer, April (Jillian Nguyen). As Jack becomes increasingly drawn to April his body mysteriously deteriorates. Jack tracks down reclusive life extension scientist Doctor Bergman (Hugo Weaving), in a search for answers. Doctor Bergman unearths Jack’s long buried secret and is forced to confront his own murky past. As the net that connects them tightens, Jack and April struggle for love as they face their past in a loveless world that is on the cusp of immortality and extinction. 

Tickets and details here

The Curious Case of Dolphin Bay

Directed by Christine Luby
Produced by 
Steve Jaggi and Kelly Son Hing 

investigate the possibly-paranormal truth about what – or who – is responsible for the problems on the reef. 

Tickets and details here

The Curious Case of Dolphin Bay.

 

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