Isla Fisher, Zak Hilditch, Judi Levine and Julia Redwood join CinefestOZ jury

Isla Fisher, Judi Levine, Julia Redwood, and Zak Hilditch.

Actress Isla Fisher, director Zak Hilditch, producer Judi Levine, and producer Julia Redwood will make up the jury for next week’s CinefestOZ Film Festival.

They are set to join jury chair Nadia Tass to decide which of the four in-competition films will take home the $100,000 Film Prize at the Closing Gala Night August 28 at Orana Cinemas Busselton.

This year’s finalists include Leah Purcell’s The Drover’s Wife The Legend of Molly Johnson, Justin Kurzel’s Nitram, anthology feature drama Here Out West, and Jennifer Peedom’s River.

Fisher has more than 35 years of film and TV experience, having begun appearing in commercials from the age of nine before playing Shannon Reed in Home & Away. She has since gone on to appear in a raft of international productions, including The Wedding CrashersRango, The Great Gatsby, Nocturnal AnimalsDefinitely, MaybeNow You See MeHot Rod, The Brothers Grimsby, and Blithe Spirit.

Fisher just wrapped Wolf Like Me, a limited series directed by Abe Forsythe and co-starring Josh Gad, for Peacock and Stan.

Hilditch has also enjoyed the fruits of international success in the past few years. The Perth native’s feature These Final Hours premiered at the Melbourne International Film Festival, picking up The Age Critics Prize for Best Film, before later going onto its international premiere in the Director’s Fortnight section of the 2014 Cannes Film Festival.

In 2017, he released his first US-based film, 1922, based on a Stephen King novella, as a Netflix original. His follow up, Rattlesnake, had the same classification, making Hilditch the first and only Australian to solely write and direct two exclusively Netflix original films.

Levine will bring extensive experience producing feature films, television mini-series, and documentaries to her seat on the jury, dating back to when her first short feature Plead Guilty, Get A Bond won an AFI award for Best Screenplay in a Short Film.

In addition to her work in Australia, she has also produced The Sessions, which won Audience Awards at Sundance, San Sebastian, and Mill Valley Film Festivals, as well as a Sundance Special Jury Prize for Ensemble Cast.

Levine recently completed the romantic comedy Falling For Figaro, starring Joanna Lumley and Danielle Macdonald, which is due for release in 2021, and is in post-production on the WA feature film How To Please A Woman, starring Sally Phillips. She is also developing a variety of feature films, TV series, and documentary projects via her company Such Much Films.

Rounding out the jury is Redwood, whose company, Prospero Productions, is one of the leading independent factual production companies in Australia.

She has enjoyed a career as a multi-award-winning director, producer, and writer ever since her 1997 directorial debut Paying for the Piper was nominated for two AFI awards and won the Golden Spire at the San Francisco Film Festival. More recently, she has turned her attention to fulldome films, where the viewer is surrounded by a video projection in a hemispherical environment.

Earlier this year, she won Business Award at the West Australian of the Year Awards, and her latest production, Star Dreaming, will have its world premiere at CinefestOZ.

CinefestOZ chair Helen Shervington said this year’s jury shared a fantastic background of diverse industry knowledge and experiences.

“We pride ourselves on having confident and experienced creatives take on the responsibility of awarding the Film Prize winner, which this year will certainly be a tough decision,” she said.

CinefestOZ will be held from August 25-29. Find out more information about the program here.