CinefestOZ Short Film Award Finalists Revealed

Finalists in the CinefestOZ Short Film Competition were announced today ahead of the Short Film Awards, which will be held as part of Australia’s largest destination film festival from 23-28 August in Western Australia’s beautiful South West.

Recognising exceptional storytelling and talent in the short filmmaking sector of the Australian film industry – more than 140 entries were received from filmmakers across Australia – with 17 finalists in the running for awards in eight categories, as selected by an independent jury of industry professionals.

CinefestOZ CEO Malinda Nixon said she was blown away by the calibre of this year’s short film entries, which in turn made the selection process both extremely enjoyable and also extremely difficult.

“I love the Short Film Program because audience members get to experience and enjoy – and hopefully also be moved and inspired – by so many different Australian stories and communities. These awards also give CinefestOZ the opportunity to acknowledge the many exceptional films we have the privilege to screen each year, and to help filmmakers as they create new, and incredible films in the future.”

Cash prizes are up for grabs in three of eight categories including Best Short Film ($5000)Best Indigenous Short Film ($2500) and the Cinewest Best WA Short Film ($2500). 

Nominees for the top award – Best Short Film are: Favour on the Fourth Floor – late at night in an inner city hotel, a hotel cleaner attends to a guest’s room on a seemingly routine request and is confronted with an unusual proposition (Director – Harry Quinlan; Producer – Lawrence Phelan); Freedom Swimmer – the story of a grandfather’s perilous swim from China to Hong Kong that parallels his granddaughter’s own quest for a new freedom (Director Olivia Martin-McGuire; Producers Brooke Tia Silcox, Ron Dyens, Olivia Martin-McGuire); Inspire Me – award-winning comedian Madeleine Stewart explores the phenomenon of “inspiration porn” in this comedic host-driven documentary (Director – Sophie Saville; Producer Rowan Devereux); and, Jarli – Jarli Jones, a young First Nations girl in Outback Australia, dreams of flying to the stars and sets out on an adventure to do so (Director – Chantelle MurraySimon Rippingale; Producer – Ryan Greaves).

Nominees for the remaining categories are as follows: 

  • Indigenous Best Short FilmWirnitj; Sunnies; Finding Jedda 
  • CineWest Best WA Short Film: Good Night; Peregrinations of a Citizen Botanist; Hash Browns
  • Best Director: Jahvis Loveday (Bangay Lore) ; Megan Smart (Stonefish); Riley Sugars (Hatchback)
  • Best Lead Actor Nominees: Claudia Hruschka (Jungle); Jackson Tozer (Hatchback); Kat Stewart (Victim)
  • Best Screenwriter: Claudia Bailey (Right Here); Ismail Khan (Sunnies); Madeleine Stewart (Inspire Me).

A category for Best Short Animation has also been established this year as part of CinefestOZ’s partnership with WAnimate and their own 3Thirty Competition. The nominees are Blight; Larry the Lightbulb; and, While They Sleep. There will also be a People’s Choice Award, which will run after the short film screenings.

The Short Film Program is being delivered in seven sets that will take you on a journey and include RollercoasterParty BusVengabusDelorean Filmmakers of the Future and Deadly Indigenous Shorts. Short films sets are also shown at   the Gala Night and the Short Film Awards.

Best Short Film Finalists in the Short Film Competition will be screened at the Short Film Awards where winners will be announced. The event will be held at Margaret River HEART on Thursday 25 August – included is a welcome drink, canapes and beats by DJ ZeroGrowth.  The beats continue at a post awards celebration at the HEART.

Celebrating its 15th year CinefestOZ features an epic 270 film screenings and events  and will be held from 23-28 August across 35 locations in Western Australia’s South West where festival-goers will see some of Australia’s best new films first, and connect with filmmakers and visiting talent at the region’s cinemas, wineries, restaurants, boutique breweries, small bars and galleries in Augusta, Bunbury, Busselton and Margaret River.

CinefestOZ would like to acknowledge the traditional owners of the land we live and work on, and pay our respect to the Elders past, present and future.

CinefestOZ thanks Presenting Partner Tourism WA, Premium Partners Screenwest and City of Busselton and Community Partner Rio Tinto. The festival acknowledges its strong support from Lotterywest and Screen Australia.

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