Schepisi and Wenham receive Australian Screen Legend Awards at CinefestOZ 2011

Press release from CinéfestOZ

CinéfestOZ 2011 delivered on its promise to bring extraordinary film and film talent to Western Australia. The five-day festival of film, premieres and gala events concluded on Sunday with organisers clearly delighted with the results.

David Barton said the festival was realising its potential to be the premiere film festival in Western Australia.

“Each year CinéfestOZ builds on its ability to attract great new film and film talent to the festival. This year we were honoured to host filmmaker Fred Schepisi and actor David Wenham as guests of the festival. In fact, our guest list was the strongest in our four-year history and moves are afoot to build on this in 2012.”

This year over 6000 people were welcomed to the festival.

Saturday night’s WA premiere of The Eye of the Storm was a glittering success, attracting audiences from Perth, the south-west and the eastern states. A gala evening of food, wine and entertainment followed, where Fred Schepisi and David Wenham received Australian Screen Legend Awards.

Other CinéfestOZ highlights included:

· CinéfestOZ featured the largest film program yet, with twenty one feature films. This included the presentation of nine WA premieres including six Australian features, one French feature and two Australian documentaries. In total, CinéfestOZ screened eleven new Australian Films and seven French films.

· Attendances by actors Alexandra Schepisi (The Eye of the Storm), Ra Chapman (Birthday, Face to Face), Natalie Eleftheriadis (Birthday), David Wenham (Oranges and Sunshine), Dean Daley Jones (Mad Bastards, Toomelah) and Travis McMahon (Swerve, Birthday).

· Industry guests included Fred Schepisi (director The Eye of the Storm), Tim Duffy (producer Drift), Sean Keenan (Drift), Craig Lahiff (director Swerve), Helen Leake (producer Swerve), Mario Andreacchio (director The Dragon Pearl), Khoa Do (filmmaker Falling For Sahara), James Harkness, (director Birthday), Michael Rymer (director Face to Face), Leanne Hadley and Gabrielle Christopher (producers, Face to Face), Franco Di Chiera (director Big Mamma's Boy), Veronica Fury (producer Curse of the Gothic Symphony), Michael Wrenn (distributor Toomelah), Erica Smyth (Chair of Screenwest), Ian Booth (CEO Screenwest), Claire Dobbin (CEO Melbourne International Film Festival), Mark Woods (Manager of MIFF Premiere Fund).

· VIP guests included Madam Wong (Chinese Counsel), Hon. Barry House MLC, Hon. Brendon Grylls MLA.

· Over 1000 south-west school children attended the popular schools sessions featuring The Dragon Pearl and Falling for Sahara. These sessions were made possible through the financial and in-kind support of Rio Tinto.

· Rio Tinto employees and their families arrived en masse to see the Pilbara-based film, Red Dog.

· A further $50,000 was committed to CinéfestOZ through an Eventscorp grant, via Royalties for Regions – The Hon. Brendon Grylls attended the festival on Friday night to make the announcement.

· Question and Answer sessions as part of the film festival presentation, with actors and filmmakers sharing their experiences about the making of the film.

· Films in both Margaret River and Bunbury were introduced in 2011.

· A short film program at BOHO bar in Margaret River was well received.

· A highly successful documentary section was introduced this year.

· A program of short film at Malt Market in Dunsborough was a sell-out event.

· Fifty-five movie crew volunteers were supported by Rio Tinto and Nick Goode Construction.

· For the first time, all three screens were used at Orana Cinemas to accommodate the extended film program.

CinéfestOZ will return next year as a star in the Western Australian event calendar.