By Travis Johnson

Academy Award nominated writer and director Scott Hicks and the already announced Ewen Leslie will be joined by actor, playwright and screenwriter Reg Cribb (Last Train to Freo, Bran Nue Dae) and costume designer Cappi Ireland (Lion), on this year’s CinefestOZ Jury, tasked with deciding which of four nominated films – Jungle, Australia Day, Ali’s Wedding, and Three Summers – will take home the $100K CinefestOz Prize.

They will be joined by an impressive roster of special guests, all keen to mark the 10th anniversary of what is now recognised as one of Australia’s most important film festivals.

WA-based Myles Pollard (Wolverine, Drift) is attending on behalf of the Cinesnaps Schools Program, for which he has been Cinesnaps Patron since 2014. This year also sees Pollard chairing the Cinesnaps Jury, as well as starring in John V. Soto’s  The Gateway which makes its Australian premiere at CinefestOZ.

Indigenous actor Kelton Pell (Red Dog: True Blue, Looking for Grace) will be attendend  the festival as IndigifestOZ Koorda (Noognar for “friend”). The IndigifestOZ initiative offers school incursions and excursions, feature films, short films and side bar events designed to engage with extant and emerging Aboriginal filmmakers.

Three Summers director Ben Elton will make his second appearance at CinefestOZ, having stepped in to host closing night gala at the last minute. In fact, this year sees all CinefestOz prize finalists in attendance, with Australia Day’s Kriv Stenders (Red Dog, Kill Me Three Times), Ali’s Wedding‘s Jeffrey Walker (Angry Boys), and Jungle‘s Greg McLean all on board. Additionally, Osamah Sami, co-writer and star of Ali’s Wedding; Jungle author Yossi Ghinsberg; and Jungle cast members Joel Jackson (Peter Allen, Deadline Gallipoli), Lily Sullivan (Sucker) are also slated to attend.

Finally, actor Luke Ford (Red Dog, The Black Balloon, The Mummy) and actor, writer, director, and this year’s Tropfest winner, Matt Day (Dance Academy, Love and Other Catastrophes, Rake), are also in, along with the usual assortment of emerging and practicing  writers, producers, directors and industry heads.

CinefestOZ kicks off Wednesday August 23, with tickets going on sale and the full program dropping on July 28. For more info, hit the official site.


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