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WA-made bikie drama nominated for Australia’s richest film prize

A WA-made bikie film has become part of an exclusive club.

Crime-drama 1%, which explores the inner-workings of outlaw motorcycle clubs, has been named as one of four finalists in the running for Australia’s richest film prize.

The $100,000 CinefestOZ film prize, established to reward excellence in Australian filmmaking, is awarded by a five-member industry jury, this year chaired by award-winning actress Sigrid Thornton.

Directed by Stephen McCallum, 1% is written by and stars Matt Nable. The cast also features Ryan Corr, Simone Kessell and model-turned-actress Abbey Lee.

Director Bruce Beresford’s highly anticipated Ladies in Black was also chosen as a finalist. The comedy-drama is set in the summer of 1959 when the impact of European migration and the rise of women’s liberation is about to change Australia forever.

Perth-raised Angourie Rice stars as shy schoolgirl Lisa who takes a job at a department store where she meets the “ladies in black”. The ensemble cast includes Julia Ormond and Rachael Taylor.

Alison McGirr, Angourie Rice and Rachael Taylor play leading roles in Ladies in Black.
Camera IconAlison McGirr, Angourie Rice and Rachael Taylor play leading roles in Ladies in Black.

Also in the running is modern fable Jirga which tells the story of former Australian soldier, Mike Wheeler, who returns to Afghanistan seeking redemption from the family of a civilian man he accidentally killed. Jirga is directed by Benjamin Gilmour and stars Sam Smith in the lead role.

The Merger, a comedy that pairs regional football and the refugee crisis, rounds out the field. Actor and comedian Damian Callinan plays Troy Carrington, a former football star who returns to his country home where it soon becomes clear that his political views aren’t welcome.

Directed by Mark Grentell and written by Callinan the cast includes Geraldton-raised actress Kate Mulvany, John Howard and Penny Cook.

Many in the film industry are expected to attend the five-day event although Rice is likely to be a no-show as she is currently filming blockbuster Spider-Man: Far From Home.

Each of the four finalists will screen during the Busselton-based festival which runs from August 22-26. The full program is announced on July 27 details at cinefestoz.com.

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