CinefestOZ $100,000 Film Prize finalists revealed – Here’s why we can’t wait to see these new films

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There’s some big film festival news coming out of Western Australia this morning with CinefestOZ announcing its $100,000 Film Prize finalists.

Gracie Otto’s Seriously Red, Matt Nable’s Transfusion, Jub Clerc’s Sweet As and Goran Stolevski’s Of An Age are all in the running to win the coveted annual Film Prize at the 2022 Busselton festival.

“The calibre of this year’s finalists is evidence that despite a challenging couple of years, the Australian filmmaking industry continues to bring to life inspirational and entertaining Australian stories,” said CinefestOZ chair Margaret Buswell.

“I know CinefestOZ audiences will be captivated by these films, which cover the full spectrum of storytelling from comedy, romance and self-discovery to gritty drama.”

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Ahead of each Film Prize premiere, filmmakers and attending talent will walk the red carpet followed by a film screening with the CinefestOZ Film Prize Jury and audience.

Each Film Prize film or documentary is paired with a unique In Conversation dining experience, where the filmmakers share with guests how they brought their projects to life, while enjoying sensational food at some of the South West’s best restaurants.

In Conversation tickets for Seriously Red, Transfusion, Of An Age and Sweet As are on sale as part of the Early Bird ticket release from this Friday, July 1.

The glittering Opening Night and Gala Event will take place at Orana Cinemas in Busselton, with celebrations continuing at the spectacular Origins Market.

You can find out more about CinefestOZ here.

Seriously Red

Directed by Gracie Otto
Written by Krew Boylan
Produced by Jessica Carrera, Sonia Borella, Robyn Kershaw and Timothy White
Starring Krew Boylan, Daniel Webber, Rose Byrne, Celeste Barber and Bobby Cannavale

A vivacious, misguided redhead (Krew Boylan) trades her 9-to-5 to become a Dolly Parton impersonator in Gracie Otto’s utterly enjoyable Australian comedy. Writer Krew Boylan stars alongside Rose Byrne, Bobby Cannavale, Daniel Webber, Celeste Barber and Thomas Campbell.

Why we’re excited: Gracie Otto is one of Australia’s most dynamic and experienced filmmakers working today. Having seriously impressed with last year’s highly-regarded music documentary Under the Volcano, as well as television episodes of the brilliant Bump, comedy series The Moth Effect and Matt Okine’s The Other Guy we can’t wait to see Otto’s narrative feature film debut.

Seriously Red.

Of An Age

Written and directed by Goran Stolevski
Produced by Kristina Ceyton and Samantha Jennings
Starring Elias Anton, Hattie Hook and Thom Green

In the Summer of 1999 an unexpected and intense twenty-four-hour romance blossoms between a young Serbian ballroom dancer and his dance partner’s older brother. A decade later the pair meet for a bittersweet reunion. Directed/written by Goran Stolevski and produced by Kristina Ceyton and Samantha Jennings, the film stars Elias Anton, Thom Green and Hattie Hook.

Why we’re excited: Goran Stolevski has two feature films doing the rounds at the moment – You Won’t Be Alone and Of An Age. Can you remember the last time an Australian filmmaker had two highly-anticipated feature films doing the festival circuit at the same time? You Won’t Be Alone is creating a lot of buzz due to its international appeal and Noomi Rapace leading the cast, but Cinema Australia is all about Of An Age at the moment. Actor Thom Green is a star on the rise, and we can’t wait to see him here.

Of An Age.

Transfusion

Written and directed by Matt Nable
Produced by John Schwarz and Michael Schwarz
Starring Sam Worthington, Phoebe Tonkin, Matt Nable and Susie Porter

After the loss of his wife, a former soldier is thrust into the criminal underworld to keep his son from being taken from him. Writer and director Matt Nable stars in the film, alongside Sam Worthington and Phoebe Tonkin.

Why we’re excited: Matt Nable – former Rugby League footballer, actor, writer, author and now director. Is there anything this man can’t do? Nable is a bag of talent and we couldn’t be any more excited to see his feature film debut as director. Transfusion is also Sam Worthington’s first Australian feature film since Mel Gibson’s Hacksaw Ridge. Going by the photo below, Worthington looks like he’s settled right back in at home.

Transfusion.

Sweet As

Directed by Jub Clerc
Written by Jub Clerc and Steve Rodgers
Produced by Liz Kearney
Starring Shantae Barnes-Cowan, Tasma Walton, Carlos Sanson Jr., Mark Coles Smith

When all hope is lost, sometimes all it takes is to jump on a minibus with five strangers and trust the journey. Set in WA’s Pilbara, where writer/director Jub Clerc grew up, the film was produced by Liz Kearney and stars Shantae Barnes-Cowan, Tasma Walton, Mark Coles-Smith and Ngaire Pigram.

Why we’re excited: With two documentary shorts, two episodes of TV series The Heights, and a segment each in anthology films Dark Whispers and The Turning, it’s time for Jub Clerc to flex her extraordinary filmmaking talents with her feature film debut, Sweet As. If you’ve ever met Clerc, you’ll know she’s a shining light with a beaming and infectious smile. We can’t wait to see that playfulness expressed here. Sweet As also stars Shantae Barnes-Cowan – one of the best Australian actors working today.

Sweet As.

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