CinefestOZ Gala Night

Cinephiles rejoice – CinefestOZ is making its way back to the Margaret River Region this August and September. Here are 10 things you need to know about the festival.

Sigrid Thorton at CinefestOz Gala Awards presentation

2023 is the 16th annual CinefestOZ Film Festival

A six-day festival celebrating everything there is to love about Australian film, it is Australia’s answer to the prestigious Cannes Film Festival. CinefestOZ is the country’s premier destination film festival showcasing an exciting line-up of new films and cultural events set against the incredible backdrop of Western Australia’s South West region in Busselton, Vasse, Dunsborough, Margaret River, and Augusta.


The festival awards the highly coveted $100,00 Film Prize

It recognises excellence in the craft of filmmaking from an Australian feature film or feature-length documentary. Introduced in 2014, the prize is made possible through Tourism WA’s Regional Events Program, and past winners have included Nitram (2021) H is for Happiness (2019), Jirga (2018), and Ali’s Wedding (2017).

In 2022, Seriously Red directed by Gracie Otto, Transfusion directed by Matt Nable and MIFF@CinefestOZ films Sweet As directed by Jub Clerc in her feature film debut, and Of An Age directed by Goran Stolevski are in the running.


There are over 270 events

Including film prize screenings, feature films, short film sets, in conversation lunches and breakfasts, free community days, free screenings and parties held throughout Busselton, Vasse, Dunsborough, Margaret River and Augusta during the six-day festival.


IndigifestOZ is an important part of the festival

The first Cultural Day was held in 2015. The festival has a series of dedicated Indigenous film screenings with filmmakers Q&A sessions.

CinefestOZ Short Film Awards

The festival hosts the largest schools program in Australia

Offering films, workshops and industry Q&A’s to 5,215 South West students annually, with over 42,000 students engaged since inception!


The CinefestOZ Screen Legend Award

This award honours an Australian actor or filmmaker of international repute recognised for playing a valuable role in supporting CinefestOZ celebration of excellence and is presented at the CinefestOZ Gala Night. If you pop past the Orana Cinemas in Busselton and look down on the footpath, you’ll see the plaques of the awarded legends since 2010. The likes of Joel Edgerton, Bruce Beresford, Hugo Weaving, Kelton Pell and Isla Fisher to name a few.


The festival has FREE Community days with IndigifestOZ

These events bring the community together to celebrate our local communities and filmmakers. Engage with important works created by Indigenous filmmakers and the wider community. Immerse yourself in culture and the creative world of film.


The festival hosts a series of FREE film screenings

This year the festival has curated this special set to reflect the 2023 theme Roots; showcasing an array of Australian cinema that highlight the importance of family and connecting to our roots.


Gala Night offers glamour, drama and spectacle

It combines red carpet action and interviews, the cream of Australia’s filmmaking talent on stage, a sample of our best Australian film shorts, the awarding of a high-profile Screen Legend and, as a highlight of the night, the awarding of the highly coveted $100,000 CinefestOZ Film Prize.


Immerse Yourself In The Festival With A Cinepass

The best way to immerse yourself in the CinefestOZ festival experience is to purchase a Cinepass, allowing you to follow the events and screenings of each of the four Film Prize films, experience the excitement of the red carpet before the premiere screening and celebratory party.

Then, following each Premiere, enjoy a unique opportunity to listen to the filmmakers exploring the behind-the scenes decisions and processes required to make a film. These In Conversation lunch and breakfast events take place at spectacular venues in some of the most beautiful settings in the Margaret River Region.

The Film Prize Cinepass includes the exciting announcement of the winner of this prestigious award at the Gala Night. Finally, catch up on some general screening films at the cinema to round out the full CinefestOZ experience.

See you at the festival!

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