Heart beats for films galore

Warren Hately & Jackson Lavell-LeeAugusta Margaret River Times
Kelly Macdonald and Garrett Hedlund feature in the adaptation of Tim Winton's Dirt Music.
Camera IconKelly Macdonald and Garrett Hedlund feature in the adaptation of Tim Winton's Dirt Music. Credit: David Dare Parker

The redeveloped Margaret River Heart will play a leading role in this year’s CinefestOz extrava-ganza, which starts on Tuesday.

Among a range of offerings in this year’s festival program, cinemagoers will have an extra chance to watch highly anticipated WA movies Dirt Music and RAMS, as well as the inaugural Short Film Awards on August 30.

Margaret River Primary School is part of the festival’s Cinesnaps schools’ program, taking in Australian films, and high school drama students have also get involved with the arts hub.

And Walkley Award-winning photographer David Dare Parker’s exhibition of stills photographs from his years on set will also lure the punters in.

Heart general manager Nicky Hansen was looking forward to the venue hosting some of the festival.

“The (Parker) exhibition is aimed at raising awareness of the quality of Australian-based film and television productions, and showcases the valuable contributions of film crews and diversity of our locations,” she said.

Festival chief executive Malinda Nixon reassured cinephiles COVID-19 precautions would be in full effect.

“We would encourage everyone to come along and enjoy this special opportunity in what is truly a unique year for the festival,” she said.

The pandemic had affected the usual star-studded array of visitors and high-profile guests common at CinefestOz, but the silver lining this year would be a visit from Umbrella Academy and Grey’s Anatomy star Kate Walsh.

Walsh, now based in Perth, will head down south to discuss her career and attracting future productions for WA.

“I probably wouldn’t have been able to be a part of the festival if I hadn’t been quarantining in Perth for the past few months, so it’s been surprisingly serendipitous during what’s truly been a crazy time in the world,” Walsh said.

“My goal continues to be bringing a proper studio to WA that will attract international productions, which can then bolster the economy and job market.

“It’s of the utmost importance to me, especially now, to fully champion the film and TV industry, and all those creatives involved.”

During her session, Walsh will talk about her experience in the industry along with her championing of a world-class production hub and attracting productions for the State.

She will also be on the judging panel for the CinefestOz Short Film Prize.

CinefestOZ Film Festival runs from August 25-30. Check out the full program online at cinefestoz.com

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