Deakin University

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Melbourne Women in Film Festival 2023: Connections

posted on 2023-08-11, 03:21 authored by Sian MitchellSian Mitchell
Melbourne Women in Film Festival 2023: Connections


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Research statement

Background A study conducted across 2013-2015 by the University of Southern California and the Sundance Institute identified key barriers for female filmmakers in establishing career longevity and noted that mentoring and encouragement for early career practitioners is a key strategy for change. It identified the crucial role that film festivals play in developing and facilitating collaborative filmmaker networks and initiatives. Responding to these areas in film festival and industry research, MWFF 2023 examined the specific, contemporary barriers to women's screen career development, nationally and internationally, and initiatives supporting further opportunities. Contribution As the festival’s director, I defined the theme ‘Connections’ that informed a publicly presented program of 15 events. My curatorial work comprised of programming 4 first time feature filmmakers, including opening night; identifying and inviting panelists for the Global Connections panel; developing The Lifecycle of Film event with WIFT Victoria, connecting established industry mentors with early career female/non-binary filmmakers in roundtable conversations; and working with Texas women’s film organisation, Femme Frontera, on a reciprocal short film program and panel, enabling dialogue and networking between local filmmakers and their international peers. Significance MWFF 2023 was funded by the state’s industry body, VicScreen ($10K), and the City of Melbourne’s 2-year Arts and Creative Investment Partnership program ($30K/year) determined through peer-review processes. The Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) is the festival’s presenting partner, acknowledging the MWFF’s standing within Victoria’s film festival ecology. The festival attracted national media attention including featured interviews with myself and Jub Clerc on ABC Melbourne and Darwin radio programs among others. The festival attracted an audience of 1615 attending physical and online, and livestreamed events from across Australia and overseas.


1 print program 6 colour photographs


Stevens K, Loreck J, Monaghan W


Australian Centre for the Moving Image

Place of publication

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

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