Itâ€™s a wrap for CinÃ©festOZ
The credits have rolled on CinéfestOZ 2014, which celebrated its seventh year in style with a record 14 Australian, 10 French and one “Aussies Abroad” feature-length films, 13 community screenings and 29 short films over the course of the festival.
In total, CinéfestOZ had more than 18,000 attendances and enjoyed a growth of more than 30%.
CinéfestOZ CEO Malinda Nixon said she was delighted to see film fans flock to the festival, which has now extended its reach to Busselton, Bunbury, Margaret River, Dunsborough and Augusta.
“This year there was an unprecedented interest in CinéfestOZ with many of our events selling out well in advance,” Ms Nixon said.
“We have had some wonderful events including red carpet premieres, industry workshops and some colourful activities for the little ones including fancy-dress fun at the Maya the Bee screenings and a paper plane-making competition after the premiere of our Film Prize winner.
“It is so wonderful to see the festival continue to go from strength to strength.”
This year was particularly significant, not only for CinéfestOZ but the Australian film industry – with the introduction of the CinéfestOZ $100,000 Film Prize.
The prize – awarded to the producer of an Australian feature film or feature-length documentary – went to the Robert Connolly-directed children’s film Paper Planes.
The film, produced by Connolly, Liz Kearney and Maggie Miles, beat fellow finalists Felony, Son of a Gun, The Reckoning, The Waler: Australia’s Great War Horse and MIFF@CinefestOZ film My Mistress to claim Australia’s richest film prize.
This year CinéfestOZ also honoured actor Joel Edgerton – who wrote, starred and co-produced Felony – with the prestigious Screen Legend Award.
The award is given to an Australian actor or filmmaker of international repute and Edgerton said he was surprised by flattered by the recognition.
“Everyone in the Australian film industry is in it for the film part of it not the business part of it,” said Edgerton on accepting his award during Gala Night at the Orana Cinemas in Busselton on Saturday.
Edgerton can rest assured the next generation of filmmakers is just as passionate as he found out when he met Sophia Armstrong, the winner of this year’s Cine-snaps Short Film Competition.
The Manea College student won for her short film Kinetic Happiness and as well as receiving a trophy she had the added honour of being invited to a special breakfast at Lamonts with CinéfestOZ visiting journalists and VIPs, who also included My Mistress star Harrison Gilbertson.
There was a tie for the runner-up team with Three Lives, One Destination by Cameron Green, Chad Cowan and Mitchell Rogers from Cape Naturaliste College and Moola Escaparse by Alexis Gill, Jessabby Drown and Jessica Childs from Cape Naturaliste College all being recognised.
In the past six years more than 5,000 primary and high school age students have participated in Cine-snaps at venues in Bunbury, Busselton and Margaret River.
In 2014, the programme – designed for students to develop an appreciation of the filmmaking process, create opportunities to grow future audiences for Australian film and encourage the next generation of aspiring young industry professionals – saw a growth of 35%.
“We are immensely proud of our Cine-snaps programme and have seen massive growth over the past six years,” Ms Nixon said.
“This year the programme travelled to Nannup for the first time and we look forward to seeing Cine-snaps continue to grow over the coming years.”
The CinéfestOZ Side Bar program was also a massive hit with sell-outs at several venues while film fans flocked to Community Screenings across the South West.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who made this year’s festival the best yet – from our partners and associates to our hard working Movie Crew whose commitment and passion for CinefestOZ does not go unnoticed,” Ms Nixon said.
“To all those who travelled to CinefestOZ, we hope you take away wonderful memories of the South West and the films you have seen at the festival and we look forward to seeing you again next year.”