Movie magic will come to Albany this week with the second annual CinefestOZ film festival starting on Thursday and Hollywood actor Chloe Hurst among a cast of special guests. CinefestOZ Albany is set to start with a bang at an opening night event at Orana Cinemas, with the first film screening of the festival in How to Please a Woman, starring Caroline Brazier, Sally Phillips, Erik Thomson and Tasma Walton. Film fans will be able to walk the red carpet ahead with filmmakers and other special guests. Brazier, whose screen credits include Rake, Packed to the Rafters, Tidelands and Home and Away, will be at the opening night, and will also lead a breakfast Q&A session at Albany Entertainment Centre at 8.30am on Friday, sharing insights on the making of the WA-based film with producers Judi Levine and Tania Chambers. Also joining the fun on opening night will be Allegra Teo, who stars in family movie The Curious Case of Dolphin Bay, screening at Orana Cinemas at midday on Friday and Saturday. Peter Rowsthorn, best known for his role as Brett Craig on Kath and Kim, features in the film I Met a Girl and will be at its red carpet premiere at Orana Cinemas on Friday at 5.45pm. Hollywood actor Chloe Hurst, star of Albany-made film Edward and Isabella, will also attend events throughout the festival. The award-winning film — which Hurst describes as “an honest representation of a couple that are working through sort of cleaning out their cobwebs, and they choose Albany to do it in” — was made with a local production team and co-stars Daniel Barwick. “One of my favourite parts of the film is in the opening scenes, there’s a couple of really unique characters that are just passersby of the Albany community,” Hurst said. “For me what (writer and director) Adam Morris has been able to capture is the essence of Albany itself. “I think the film is relatable from a character standpoint, but also if you have any history with Albany, I think you’ll be able to have a smile and take it all in.” Edward and Isabella will screen on Saturday as the final part of the Kinjarling Koort event. The event’s title is a Menang Noongar name meaning heart of Albany, and will be based at the Albany Town Hall and town square with events starting from 9am. The event, supported by Kurrah Mia, will showcase Albany’s Indigenous community as well as locally made films. CinefestOz Albany festival ambassador Karla Hart’s film Tooly will screen at 9.45am, and will be followed by community yarns. Kinjarling Koort will culminate with the screening of Edward and Isabella at 2.30pm. Having spent three weeks in Albany during the filming of the movie, Hurst said she was “really excited” to visit the city again, this time as a special guest. “I absolutely love what I do, so the recognition for doing it is honestly overwhelming,” she said. “I’ve been an observer of CinefestOZ for years now but because most of my career has been over in the US, I very rarely get home to be part of the Australian film community. “To be recognised this year as part of the film community with Edward and Isabella is a real privilege, and I hope this is the first of many years with CinefestOZ because I’m absolutely thrilled and a big fan of what they do.” Hurst’s trip to Albany will cap off several months she has spent in WA since coming back to Australia from the US in December. On Monday, she will fly to Melbourne to work on a new project, before she returns to Los Angeles. “It’s such an incredible way to tie up the time that I’ve had here, and especially because filming Edward and Isabella was sort of the highlight of my COVID stay here as well when I got stuck a couple of years ago,” Hurst said. “It’s really amazing to go full circle and finish it again with Edward and Isabella this time round, too.” Hurst will also attend the Gala Night closing event on Sunday, which will bring the glitz and glamour of Hollywood to the Albany Entertainment Centre. From 6.30pm, the red carpet will be rolled out again with Albany locals invited to rub shoulders with the who’s who of the WA film industry over local food, wine and live music. The night will include a screening of a selection of short films titled Deadly Indigenous Short Films. Kelton Pell, who can be seen in Red Dog: True Blue, Bran Nue Dae and Blackfellas will also appear at the event. This year, CinefestOZ Albany’s festival ambassadors are Albany-raised actor Joel Jackson and Great Southern filmmaker Karla Hart. For the full program and tickets, visit cinefestoz.com.