WHAT'S ON

Grey's Anatomy, Umbrella Academy star set for WA film fest

American actress Kate Walsh has been living in Perth during the pandemic, and says she is keen to see a movie studio established in WA. Photo: Instagram/@katewalsh

American actress Kate Walsh has been living in Perth during the pandemic, and says she is keen to see a movie studio established in WA. Photo: Instagram/@katewalsh

Grey's Anatomy actress Kate Walsh will be part of this year's CinefestOZ Industry Program along with WA and Australian film industry leaders and innovators.

With support from the South West Development Commission (SWDC), CinefestOZ will present the Industry Program from 27-28 August.

This year, the Industry Program will reach a global audience with the addition of an online component and will address contemporary issues in today's challenging environment.

Walsh is currently based in Perth while she rides out the COVID-19 pandemic, and will join local and national film industry representatives and discuss her career and perspective on Hollywood, and new opportunities arising in WA.

With more than two decades of experience, Walsh is best known for her role as Dr. Addison Montgomery in the hit drama Grey's Anatomy and spin-off Private Practice. She recently revived her character, The Handler, in the second season of Netflix's acclaimed series The Umbrella Academy.

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.

"I feel really fortunate to be involved in CinefestOZ, to connect with fellow storytellers in the film and TV space, and to further explore the bustling entertainment industry that exists here," said Walsh.

"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. 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."

CinefestOZ CEO Malinda Nixon said the Festival had extended an invitation to Walsh as part of its aim to enhance the global perspective of the Industry Program.

"We are very fortunate to have Kate in town for CinefestOZ this year," Nixon said.

"Kate has been championing WA and the Australian film industry during her stay in Perth. Having Kate on the judging panel at the Short Film Awards will offer a welcome international viewpoint. We are also thrilled to have representation from many sectors of the filmmaking business, including marketing and distribution."

In a festival first, online sessions are accessible by visiting the CinefestOZ website and purchasing a pass.

SWDC chief executive Mellisa Teede said the State Government agency was pleased to support the CinefestOZ Industry Program.

"These are unprecedented times for events and CinefestOZ is always a highlight of the South West events calendar, attracting visitors and giving locals an opportunity to see a wide range of fantastic films," she said.

"We are getting behind this important program to ensure it goes ahead as part of our continued efforts to support jobs and business through growing the film industry in the region. CinefestOZ's Industry Program will support local industry development and also expose other professionals to the benefits of the region as a filming location for productions."

CinefestOZ Film Festival runs from 25 to 30 August. The full program is now online at cinefestoz.com