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CinefestOZ Film Festival

Headquartered in Busselton, CinefestOZ extends to Margaret River and Bunbury for extension premieres, additional screenings and a unique Schools Program.

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Hugo Weaving Deemed Screen Legend @ CinéfestOZ 2015

Actor Hugo Weaving at Closing Ceremony of CinefestOZ 2015

This year's CinéfestOZ hosted a number of star studded Australian talents including internationally beloved Hugo Weaving, recognized by the festival as Screen Legend. While his motley career boasts many credits in theater and film, he is recognized globally for his roles in The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, The Matrix, Priscilla: Queen of the Desert, The Interview, Men In Black, Cloud Atlas, Strangerland, The Turning and most recently The Dressmaker. He graduated from the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) and performs regularly in Australian theater productions with the Sydney Theater Company. During CinéfestOZ 2015, Hugo spent the duration of the festival participating in activities such as movie premiere galas and film conversations-with at winery lunches.

When asked to name one of his favorite films of his career to date, he immediately replied “Little Fish” as being one of the most rewarding to work on. During festival events, Hugo gracefully weaved between photo opts with avid fans in and out of movie screening and deep conversations of wine and film with new and old industry acquaintances. His poise graceful and full of command he emits a presence of great self possession, as if always in character as the great Elrond himself. You would think an actor of this stature would be too busy to take the time out to enjoy the days of local wine tastings and hours of conversation which take place at the boutique CinéfestOZ, a film festival some have deemed Australia's answer to the Cannes film festival, but Hugo is a man who clearly knows when to work and when to take time away to enjoy a good time and a celebration of life and cinema. With his monumental career and lofty presence, Hugo proved an irreplaceable asset to this year's CinéfestOZ and, as Festival chair David Barton said about his attendance, “To have Hugo here to attend CinèfestOZ and to receive our Screen Legend award is a special honor for our festival and a tribute to its growth.”

When honored at the closing night ceremony as Screen Legend for his exceptional achievement in film, he was given a gift of blown glass of which he gratefully accepted and asked in a joking manner, followed by ripples of laughter, “What do I do with this?” In past years, recipients of the CinéfestOZ Screen Legend award included: Jack Thompson, Bryan Brown, David Wenham and Fred Schepisi.

After Hugo's recognition as Screen Legend, the festival jury awarded the coveted film prize of $100,000, Australia's largest film prize, to the filmmakers of MIFF documentary "Putuparri And The Rainmakers".

CinéfestOZ 2015 hosted 68 events at locations all across southwest WA from Busselton to Margaret River, including gala film premieres, winery lunches, short film side bar screenings, family film events, script workshops and free community screenings. In total, 82 Australian films, French films, documentaries and short films were screened; of these, 17 films were Western Australian premieres attended to by CinefestOZ industry guests.

CinéfestOZ is sponsored by the State Government via Tourism WA’s Regional Events Program, funded by Royalties for Regions. Rio Tinto is a continuous Premium Partner of CinéfestOZ. Further, the festival holds and longstanding alliance with ScreenWest, Western Australia’s screen funding and development agency.

For more information on CinéfestOZ newsletter to learn more

CinefestOZ 2015

Written by Vanessa McMahon


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