Joy all round as film fest opens

Catherine MasseyBusselton Dunsborough Times
Judging panel chair Dot West, Indigenous film coordinator Jodie Bell, actor Kelton Pell and Indigenous filmmaker Jub Clerc.
Camera IconJudging panel chair Dot West, Indigenous film coordinator Jodie Bell, actor Kelton Pell and Indigenous filmmaker Jub Clerc. Credit: Catherine Massey

The red carpet was rolled out on Wednesday as Busselton’s CinefestOz officially opened with the WA film RAMS.

The night began with rousing entertainment from a local saxophonist who greeted dressed-up guests for a night of much needed frivolity.

Guests included RAMS actress Asher Yasbincek, Channel Seven’s Jesse James and presenter Carmen Braidwood with CinefestOZ chair Helen Shervington, who announced the 13th year of the event as one for the locals.

The event is the first Australian film festival held since the COVID-19 crisis began. It will run for five days combining live screenings and events in Busselton, Margaret River, Augusta and Bunbury.

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Ms Shervington said she looked forward to welcoming audiences back into the cinema and seeing international and interstate supporters join online.

“Six months ago, we would not have thought this possible but thanks to generous sponsors and supporters we have been able to deliver an event that shines a light at the end of what, for many, has been a dark tunnel.”

The modified festival will still champion Australian stories and film including the Cinesnaps schools program, IndigifestOZ and a two-day industry program.

Indigenous filmmaker and CinfestOZ board member Jub Clerc said she was pleased indigifestOZ was able to proceed in this years modified festival.

“The fact that we’ve had IndigifestOZ for the last six years is a testament to how committed CinfestOZ is to giving indigenous filmmakers a platform to tell our stories,” she said,

On Saturday at Margaret River HEART, the CinefestOZ Short Film Awards will be introduced to be voted on by a panel of industry experts including screenwriter Dot West, producer Taryne Laffar, and actor Kate Walsh.

This year’s event will also give filmmakers the opportunity to chat in person or online with the professionals and other WA and Australian film industry leaders.

CinefestOZ chief executive Malinda Nixon said the 2020 Industry Program will reach a wider audience than ever before due to its COVID-19 live streaming service for all sessions. To see the program, visit www.cinefestoz.

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