5 reasons to attend CinefestOZ: the Cannes Film Festival of Margaret River

It’s lights, camera and action in the Margaret River Region from 23 – 28 August 2022 as CinefestOZ celebrates its 15th anniversary. Screening over 270 film events, Australia’s premiere destination film festival shines with all the glitz and glamour of the Cannes Film Festival set against the stunning backdrop of Margaret River.

Flying in from all over the country, and beyond, audiences will be enthralled by the diverse range of uniquely Australian films such as feature, documentary, shorts and experiential releases across the six-day program. Immersive experiences include dining ‘In Conversation’ events hosted by the filmmakers and red carpet events in the Margaret River Region teeming with world-class wineries, restaurants and staggering natural beauty.

270 film events

A staggering 270 film events will be screened and run over the six-day program – that’s a lot of popcorn and decisions to make! Click here for the full program but if you’re short on time perhaps start with the four 2022 finalists where the winner is decided by a jury of prominent industry guests during the festival.

  • Seriously Red – a Dolly Parton-Kenny Rogers comedy starring Rose Byrne and Johnny Carnavale, directed by Gracie Otto;
  • Transfusion – Sam Worthington’s new movie follows a former soldier who, after the loss of his wife is thrust into the criminal underworld to prevent his son from being taken from him, directed by Matt Nable ;
  • Of An Age ([email protected]) – during the summer of 1999 an unexpected romance flourishes between a seventeen-year-old Serbian ballroom dancer and his best friend’s older brother. Fast forward to a decade later when the duo meet for a bittersweet reunion, directed by Goran Stolevski;
  • Sweet As – a coming-of-age story shot in the Pilbara, reflecting a 16-year-old girl growing up in the State’s North West. directed by Jub Clerc in her feature film debut.

Directors Lunch 2018

Rub shoulders with screen legends

As if 270 film events and the Margaret River Region weren’t enough of a drawcard, joining the 2022 CinefestOZ festivities as the Chair of the $100,000 Prize Film Jury is actor, writer, producer and director Richard Roxburgh, whose extensive career has included roles in Elvis, Rake, Hawke and Van Helsing. You could be mingling with A-listers, filmmakers, industry experts and screen legends such as Hugo Weaving, Jack Thompson, Bryan Brown, David Wenham, Sigrid Thornton, Joel Edgerton and Isla Fisher who graced the red carpet in previous years.

If you really want to meet your idols, then splurge on the Patron Cinepass for the opportunity to meet and listen to patrons Emma Booth, Myles Pollard and Kelton Pell at events throughout the festival.

2021 Jury Member Isla Fisher

A feast for the senses

There’s never a shortage of eateries to satiate your tastebuds and CinefestOZ is the perfect pairing of Margaret River’s renowned food and wine. The gala night serves up plenty of drama and glamour, with an after-party at Origins Markets showcasing over 60 of Western Australia’s finest gourmet and artisanal producers.

Each film-prize documentary or film is paired with an In Conversation dining experience where diners learn all about the filmmaker’s process compliments of Cullen Wines (Margaret River), Yarri Bar and Restaurant (Dunsborough) and Shelter Brewing Co (Busselton). Other venues supporting the festivities include the Esplanade Hotel (Busselton), Mojos Restaurant (Bunbury), Market Eating House (Bunbury), Rio’s (Margaret River), Forester Estate (Margaret River), Aravina Estate (Margaret River) and Rustico at Hayshed Hill (Margaret River).

Explore the Margaret River Region

You could spend weeks exploring the region and still have plenty to discover in the Margaret River Region. Since many of the festivities are focused around Busselton, the iconic Busselton Jetty is a must see and while here visit the underwater observatory, take a range of tours such as snorkelling or an undersea walk or if you’d prefer to stay dry, jump onboard the train to the end of the jetty. Reaching 1.8 kilometres out to the Indian Ocean, it’s the longest timber-piled jetty in the Southern Hemisphere.

Busselton Jetty, Photo credit: Jarrad Seng

For more adventures, swim with dolphins or go whale watching at the Dolphin Discovery Centre in Bunbury. Head underground and explore the region’s ancient caves from Cape Naturaliste and Cape Leeuwin. Or extend your trip and traverse the 135-kilometre Cape to Cape trek spanning from Cape Naturaliste and Cape Leeuwin. On the trail you could camp or take it up a luxurious notch and join a guided tour with Walk into Luxury.

Hamelin Bay, photo credit Jarrad Seng

Grab a map from any of the visitors’ centres and create your own itinerary across over 100 wineries, breweries and distilleries such as Leeuwin Estate, Vasse Felix, Cullen Wines, Margaret River Distilling Company or get off the well-beaten path to Wild Hop Brewing Company, Blind Corner, Si Vintners or LS Merchants. Or relax with guided tour with Harvest Tours, Margies Big Day Out or Wine for Dudes (all genders persuasions welcome). If time is of the essence, after all, there are 270 film events on offer, why not have the wineries come to you with South West Winos who will deliver a wide selection of red and white wines to your accommodation, including these 5 Luxurious Margaret River Properties.

Forester Winery VIP Tour, CinefestOz 2020, photo credit: @Mac1Photo, Court McAllister

Support Australia’s unique film industry

There’s no denying how films get us through the good times and the more challenging times – where would we have been during the pandemic without Binge or Netflix? Now we’re free to explore Western Australia once again without restrictions, the not-for-profit CinefestOZ is the perfect excuse to head down to Margaret River and join record numbers of film guests while supporting Australia’s unique film industry. The sensational line-up of new Australian films in 2022 is competing for the $100,000 prize – the largest film prize dedicated to Australian feature films acknowledging excellence in filmmaking and the impressive growth of Western Australia’s film industry. Check out Screenwest for some of WA’s innovative film projects.

 

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