Exceptional Australian films in the running for CinefestOZ’s $100k grand prize

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Exceptional Australian films in the running for CinefestOZ’s $100k grand prize

Cinefest Oz

W.A’s premier event for all things movies kicks off their 2022 festivities with a massive announcement.

Since movies were a thing, Aussie cinemas in winter have been jam-packed with Hollywood summer blockbusters; this year, movies like Top Gun: Maverick, Thor: Love and Thunder, and Jurassic World: Dominion, all being massive winners at local box offices.

But Melbourne International Film Festival aside, there’s never been much to celebrate on Aussie shores during these months, that’s where CinefestOZ comes in, a memorable journey through the big screen. 2022’s incarnation is close to getting underway, with the festival team recently announcing the finalists for the coveted film prize.

The film prize has been a staple of CinefestOZ for years, with 2021’s prize going to the widely popular Nitram, which also saw a premiere at Cannes. This year, there’s some killer flicks up for the $100,000 prize.

Seriously Red is one film up for the top spot, a musical dramedy directed by Grace Otto, a journey through the life of a Dolly Parton impersonator and her love affair with a Kenny Rogers impersonator. To top it off, it’s got a bit of a Hollywood flavour with Rose Byrne and Bobby Cannvale in starring roles.


Another finalist comes in the form of Transfusion, a thriller directed by Matt Nable, which stars Sam Worthington as an operative who is forced into a world of crime after the loss of his wife, played by Phoebe Tonkin.


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Sweet As is the next movie up for the film prize, directed by Jub Clerc. This film is the first Western Australian feature length to be written and directed by an Indigenous woman. Sweet As stars Shantae Barnes-Cowan, Tasma Walton, Mark Coles-Smith and Ngaire Pigram.

Last but not least, the last finalist is Of An Age, directed by Goran Stolevski, which is also an opener for MIFF this year, it’s a story of a romance between two men, starring Elias Anton, Thom Green and Hattie Hook.

CinefestOZ is open and ready for Aussies from all corners of the country, the new Jetstar flight from Melbourne to Busselton making it so much simpler to attend. Much of the festival will be held in the region of Busselton, a hidden gem of a town that you’d want to have heard about earlier.

Busselton and the wider Margaret River region attracts many eastern Aussies for its beautiful sights, award winning wineries, and high-class fine dining, with CinefestOZ leaning into this through their In Conversation series.

Each film that is up for the film prize will also have a joint In Conversation session, where members of the films’ creative teams will be there for a discussion, while attendees get to enjoy some of Busselton’s finest culinary experiences.

The fun doesn’t end with these film finalists, there’ll be a whopping 270 film screenings across a bunch of great locations in Busselton and Margaret River, with the full program set to be released in the coming weeks.

There’ll be some time to head to the wonders across the town, the region rich with things to do. You’ll be able to check out their beaches that give the Mornington Peninsula a run for their money, grab some much-needed relaxation at one of their many spas, or even extend the wine and food journey by heading on a guided wine tour. 

You can start to plan your CinefestOZ experience now, there’s early bird tickets available for all of the film finalists, or for a bunch of other great events that you can check out here.

CinefestOZ goes down from August 23 – August 28. Check out more info here.