5 reasons to attend CinefestOZ: Australia’s richest film prize in the Margaret River Region


Photo credit Elements Margaret River

It’s lights, camera and action in the Margaret River Region from 29 August – 3 September 2023 as the CinefestOZ Film Festival celebrates its 16th anniversary. Australia’s largest 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 screenings such as feature and short films, documentaries and experiential releases across the six-day program at CinefestOZ 2023. 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.

15th CinefestOZ 2022


Orana Cinemas sparkles during CinefestOz

Endless film events at CinefestOZ

A staggering amount of 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 of CinefestOz but if you’re short on time here are a few suggestions:

  • The Rooster – a small-town cop confronts his own personal demons after the death of his oldest friend, starring Hugo Weaving, who will be joining the festivities
  • EGO: The Michael Gudinski Story – a rare insight into the life of the trailblazer who revolutionised the Australia music industry
  • Monolith – a journalist falls down a rabbit hole of truth and lies in this sci-fi thriller featuring one woman, one location and a mystery revealed through audio
  • This Is Going To Be Big – a heartwarming coming-of-age documentary following a group of neurodivergent teenagers staging a musical about John Farnham
  • Bring Him To Me – After a violent robbery, a mild-mannered getaway driver discovers he’s been double-crossed
  • Rachel’s Farm – a documentary about Rachel Ward’s rural property – join the event on Friday 1st September for a Q&A with the famous actress/director

The Rooster, photo credit CinefestOz


Directors Lunch 2018

Rub shoulders with screen legends

As if countless film events and the Margaret River Region weren’t enough of a drawcard, joining the 2023 CinefestOZ festivities as the Chair of the $100,000 Prize Film Jury is Director Robert Connolly (Paper Planes and The Dry), director/producer Debbie Leibling (Southpark, Bridesmaids & TED) will be promoting her new film starring Sir Ben Kingsley. Hugo Weaving will be joining CinefestOz for the second time and premiering his new film The Rooser, actress/director Rachel Ward will be promoting Rachel’s Farm. Mia Wasikowsha (Alice in Wonderland), Rob Collins (Cleverman, Total Control and Glitch) will joining the Film Prize Jury to determine which film will take home the grand prize.

You could be mingling with A-listers, filmmakers, industry experts and screen legends such as 2022 Chair Richard Roxburgh (Elvis, Rake, Hawke and Van Helsing), 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 mingle with your idols, then splurge on the Platinum Cinepass for the opportunity to attend the film screening, after parties and In Conversation events.


2021 Jury Member Isla Fisher


Richard Roxburgh, 2022 Chair of the Jury, photo credit CinefestOz

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 the Film Prize Celebration and a spectacular cocktail party at Sabina River Farm (Busselton).

Each film-prize documentary or film is paired with an In Conversation dining experience where diners learn all about the film process at venues such as Rustico at Hayshed Hill (Wilyabrup Valley), The Studio Bistro (Yallingup), Shelter Brewing Co. (Busselton), Yarri Restaurant + Bar (Dunsborough) Aravina Estate (Yallingup Siding).

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 where you’ll discover 13 underwater sculptures. 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 dozens of 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.

Or immerse yourself in nature and luxury at Wild Wood Glamping Retreat in one of the stylish eco tents decked out with fluffy towels and robes, ensuites with Larn’wa products, cloud-like mattresses, plush couches, air-conditioning, decks, baths and kitchenettes stocked with coffee machines and breakfast treats. The 100-acre property also offers a decadent day spa, countless kangaroos and fluffy highland cows, which you might even have the chance to meet if you ask your hosts Kevin and Amber Kelly nicely.

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

Support Australia’s unique film industry at CinefestOz

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 2023 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.


Photo credit CinefestOz

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Book your flights to the Margaret River Region from Perth and the east coast flying into the Busselton Margaret River Airport.


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