More than 2,000 visitors are expected to join the excitement of the 2021 CinefestOZ Film Festival when it kicks off in the South-West from August 25 to 29.
The event has received State Government funding, through Tourism WA’s Regional Events Program.
The annual five-day festival showcases mainly Australian films and is held in the State’s South‑West each August.
This event, now in its 14th year, has grown significantly since it was first held in 2008, with this year’s festival potentially injecting $2 million into the local economy through visitor spend.
As well as promoting the Australian and Western Australian film industry, the festival’s program helps highlight the South-West region and boost tourism during a traditionally quieter time of year.
The festival has more than 200 free and ticketed screen-related events in about 40 locations including local wineries, galleries, cinemas and small bars. The dedicated schools program ‘Cinesnaps’ inspires local students to develop an appreciation for the filmmaking process, while the Indigenous film program ‘IndigifestOZ’ supports and promotes Aboriginal filmmakers with the opportunity for the audience to gain insight from filmmakers.
The CinefestOZ Film Prize is also Australia’s richest film prize of $100,000. A jury of prominent Australian film guests award the film prize each year to an Australian feature film displaying excellence in the craft of filmmaking.
CinefestOZ brings together diverse people in film and related industries, providing an environment to spark future screen initiatives for the State, such as the seven films made in the region in the past five years, with more in development.
The CinefestOZ Film Festival took out gold in the Festival and Events category of the 2018 Perth Airport Western Australian Tourism Awards and silver at the 2018 Qantas Australian Tourism Awards.
The funding honours an election commitment from the McGowan Government, with $100 million also committed for a new WA Film Studio and production facility in Fremantle and $20 million committed to a Screen Production Attraction Fund to strengthen and develop the local film industry.
In 2020, the Government also announced $16 million for a WA Screen Fund to encourage film production in the State’s regions.
As stated by Tourism Minister David Templeman:
“The CinefestOZ Film Festival is expected to attract thousands of people to our popular South‑West region which is welcome news for the area’s tourism industry during the cooler months.
“There is no question that Western Australia offers filmmakers an array of unique and stunning landscapes as well as an enviable host of local talent. This celebration shines a light on our WA film industry, with local productions playing an important role in promoting our State to audiences far and wide.
“I encourage everyone who is travelling to the region for this event to take the time to experience the South-West’s amazing wineries, delicious produce and coastal beauty as part of their stay.”
As stated by Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan:
“CinefestOZ provides a unique occasion for our regional communities to share in the amazing screen productions being created right here in our State.
“This five-day festival not only showcases the best the WA film industry has to offer, it also provides an opportunity to attract visitors to our showstopping South-West, supporting local businesses.”