CinefestOZ is a long way from Cannes but for Pemberton-born Julius Avery it is still a thrill to be invited to unveil his much-anticipated debut feature Son of a Gun at the booming Busselton-based festival.

"My mum was a bit of a hippie and I grew up down here so it's wonderful to have the Australian premiere at CinefestOZ," the Sydney-based Avery, whose film is one of six finalists for the $100,000 Film Prize, said.

"Son of a Gun is a Western Australian story and it was shot here so it is the perfect place to start its journey."

Son of a Gun is a thriller starring Ewan McGregor as a career criminal who forces a young former inmate (played by the red-hot Brenton Thwaites) to pay a debt and take part in a gold heist.

Though it is a brutal action movie, Son of a Gun has Avery again working in autobiographical mode, with McGregor's hard man based on a similar mentor figure in Avery's own life.

Avery said a letter he sent McGregor about the personal nature of the story was how he was able to obtain the services of the in-demand British actor. He was also attracted to playing a hard-edged character.

Joel Edgerton, who stars opposite Perth-raised actress Melissa George in morality thriller Felony, has been announced as this year's CinefestOz Screen Legend.

CinefestOZ runs until Sunday.


The West Australian

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