The Waler: Australia’s Great War Horse set to make world premiere at CinéfestOZ

12 August, 2014 by IF


Mago Films’ World War I documentary, The Waler: Australia’s Great War Horse will have its world premiere at this year’s CinéfestOZ.


Directed by Russell Vines and narrated by acclaimed actor William McInnes, this compelling film recounts the story of the horses that served Australia in the Middle East during the Great War of 1914-18. Popularly known as ‘Walers’, they carried their men to victory on the long road to Damascus but at the war’s end they did not come home.

Proudly funded by ScreenWest, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and Screen Australia, with the assistance of The Department of Veterans’ Affairs, the documentary was commissioned as part of the ANZAC Centenary Commemorations.

The Waler Australia’s Great War Horse, is one of six films in the running for CinéfestOZ’s inaugural $100,000 Film Prize, awarded to the producer of an Australian feature film or feature-length documentary.

Several members of The Waler production crew will attend CinéfestOZ to present the documentary and take part in a Q&A, including producer Marian Bartsch, writer Barry Strickland and presenters Brad Manera, senior historian and CEO of the ANZAC Memorial in Hyde Park, Sydney, and Professor Roland Perry, a Melbourne-based author best known for his books on history.

“The Waler documents a fascinating piece of Australian history,” CEO of CinéfestOZ Malinda Nixon said. “The story of these unsung heroes of World War I is truly remarkable and one that is guaranteed to move audiences.

“It is an honour to welcome the producer and writer of The Waler to CinéfestOZ and we look forward to hearing the story behind the making of this remarkable documentary.”

CinéfestOZ runs from 20th – 24th August in Busselton, Bunbury, Margaret River and Augusta, Western Australia.

Feature films, along with an exciting program of short films, documentaries, industry workshops and related events occur throughout the South West of Western Australia as part of the festival.

CinéfestOZ is supported by the State Government through Tourism WA’s Regional Events Program, which is funded by Royalties for Regions. The festival acknowledges its strong partnership with ScreenWest, Western Australia's screen funding and development agency.

The world premiere of The Waler: Australia’s Great War Horse will be held at 5.15pm on Friday, 22nd August at Orana Cinemas, Busselton. The audience will then be invited to the Festival Marquee for post-screening canapés and Forester Estate wines. Tickets priced $55 are available online at The Waler will also screen at 3.45pm on Saturday, 23rd August at Orana Cinemas, Busselton.