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CinefestOZ: Australia’s premier destination film festival

Published Friday, July 26, 2019 in What's On & Events

Celebrate Australia’s filmmaking talent and best new flicks

Did you know Australia’s premier annual destination film festival, CinefestOZ, has been held in WA’s South-West since 2008?


The five-day celebration of film – this year from August 28 to September 1 – attracts our biggest and brightest talent in Australian cinema. There’s also New Zealand and French films, documentaries, short films, and IndigifestOZ – shining a light on Aboriginal stories and filmmakers.


The whole region from Bunbury to Margaret River will be alive with activity, with more than 150 events in the line-up. Book your tickets for film premieres, dining experiences, In Conversation events featuring Q&As with directors and actors, and Gala Night where the stars will walk the red carpet.


This year, respected director and actor Rachel Ward is acting as head judge. She’ll also be introducing a screening of her movie Palm Beach, a film boasting a who’s who of Australian cinema in Bryan Brown, Sam Neill, Jacqueline McKenzie, and Greta Scacci.


The film finalists

The field has been whittled down to just five entries vying for the $100,000 prize – the richest film prize in Australia.



A family flick about Jack and his mother (played by Frances O’Connor) who move to a small town in Western Australia, where he gets involved in the competitive world of go-karting.

Premiere: Orana Cinemas Busselton

Wednesday 28 August

Buy tickets

Extra event: Learn about the making of the film directly from the filmmakers and talent at Go!’s In Conversation event at Eagle Bay Brewing Co. Buy tickets.



H is for Happiness

Based on the book My Life as an Alphabet and shot in Albany, this shows a quintessentially Australian world through the eyes of the quirky young protagonist. With Richard Roxburgh, Emma Booth, Joel Jackson, and Deborah Mailman.

Premiere: Orana Cinemas Busselton

Saturday 31 August

Buy tickets

Extra event: Join the celebrations afterwards at the Festival Hub with food, drinks, and a hosted Q&A session.



Hearts and Bones

Starring Hugo Weaving, this film is about a war photographer and a South Sudanese refugee who form an unlikely friendship. While looking through the images they discover the refugee’s daughter, long thought deceased, may be alive after all.

Premiere: Orana Cinemas Busselton

Thursday 29 August

Buy tickets

Extra event: Go behind the scenes with the filmmakers at the In Conversation lunch at Amelia Park Tavern in Busselton. Buy tickets.



Judy & Punch

Described by director Mirrah Foulkes as ‘a dark, absurd fable treading a line between fairy-tale, fantasy and gritty realism…’, this film stars Mia Wasikowska and Damon Herriman as puppeteers trying to revive their marionette show.

Premiere: Orana Cinemas Busselton

Friday 30 August

Buy tickets

Extra event: Learn more about Judy & Punch at the In Conversation event at Dunsborough’s Yarri restaurant. Buy tickets.



Measure for Measure

The second film finalist with Hugo Weaving, this is the story of an unlikely love between a Muslim girl and a local musician. Set in the gritty world of commission flats impacted by racial tension and crime.

Premiere: Orana Cinemas Busselton

Friday 30 August

Buy tickets

Extra event: Book your ticket for a Measure for the Measure In Conversation breakfast at Equinox Restaurant and Bar, near Busselton Jetty.



What else is on?

We love celebrating the finalists but there are lots of other events for the whole family. Start at the Festival Hub with food and drinks, and enjoy WA Museum’s VR and 3D imagery of Antarctica and WWII shipwrecks.

Also look out for:


Storm in a Teacup

As well-known WA artist Leon Pericles creates an exhibition of his life’s works, his biggest supporter, wife Moira, develops Alzheimers and Leon must juggle his role as artist, husband and carer.

Where: HEART Margaret River

When: Wednesday 28 August

Buy tickets


Ride Like a Girl

The true story of Michelle Payne, the first female jockey to win the Melbourne Cup. This is the directorial debut of Rachel Griffiths with Teresa Palmer in the starring role.

Where: Grand Cinemas Bunbury

When: Saturday 31 August

Buy tickets


Dark Place

Five post-colonial tales told by Indigenous filmmakers. A horror to send shivers up your spine and your hands covering your face.

Where: Orana Cinemas Busselton

When: Thursday 29 August

Buy tickets


Film Prize Jury In Conversation

Meet the Film Prize Jury led by chair, Rachel Ward.  Listen to the film professionals as they talk about their lives over a three-course lunch.

Where: Studio Bistro, Yallingup

When: Saturday 31 August

Buy tickets


Whale Super Highway

Follow the journey of humpback and blue whales as they migrate along the WA coast. This was shot in 4K and will be shown in the 180 degree Dome cinema.

Where: Festival Hub – Outdoor Dome Theatre

When: Daily

Buy tickets


The full program can be downloaded here.



David Barton and Helen Shervington started CinefestOZ in 2008 as a celebration of the French bicentenary of exploration in the region (hence the French films being showcased). The event has gone from strength to strength and draws in big crowds and big names every year.


Private Properties is proud to be supporting CinefestOZ in 2019.


Why not live it up like a movie star during CinefestOZ? Browse our portfolio to discover your dream holiday home.


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