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  • Writer's pictureMade in the West Film Festival

INTERVIEW: 2015 Best Student Film winner EMMA ELIAS

Made In The West Film Festival is now less than a month away! What better way to celebrate the final week of submissions (and the influx of student films undoubtedly coming our way) than to chat to Emma Elias, who walked away with Best Student Film Award in 2015 for her beautiful film Clarté de Lâme. If you haven’t seen the film yet (shame on you), you can watch it here.

Note: Late entries are still being accepted THIS WEEK ONLY for Made in the West 2017! If you’re a film student and you have produced a short film as part of your course work this year, you have until Friday 10 November to SUBMIT YOUR FILM! Indie films are welcome too – this is your last chance!


Made in the West Film Festival: Hi Emma, thanks for chatting to us! What have you been working on since we saw you in 2015 at Made in the West Film Festival?

Emma Elias: I’ve had some incredible opportunities working alongside some of the most talented and skilled people in the industry. I have been attached to various projects including Alien: Covenant, Top Of the Lake, Cleverman, and more recently, Ladies In Black. I’ve collaborated as a cinematographer on various AFTRS short films, music videos and corporate projects, and I also work as a freelance camera assistant and photographer.

MITWFF: Can you talk us through some of the challenges with finding your feet and how it feels breaking into the industry?

EE: There are many challenges, as anyone stepping in to the industry will find. I think getting to know exactly what you want to do is invaluable - it helps guide you in deciding which opportunities to pursue and which to let go of. I’ve also found that breaking in is just as much about networking as it is about who you are as a creative and what you bring to the industry. It feels daunting stepping in to the industry but also there’s something propelling about it too, as I’ve encountered some wonderfully kind people willing to give me a chance.

MITWFF: Your short film Clarté de Lâme was beautiful and extremely poignant. Where did the inspiration come from?

EE: The inspiration came while I was staying with my grandparents. I was admiring them as they did their daily activities around the house and the idea just popped into my head. They seemed like the perfect candidates for such a story and I think, for non-actors, they pulled it off quite nicely.

MITWFF: How did it feel to watch your short film on the big screen at Made in the West?

EE: Ultimately I was incredibly proud and excited, but also nervous to have so many people watch my work – especially considering it is a personal story with my grandparents as the stars.

MITWFF: What was the best thing about winning the Best Student Film award at Made In The West 2015?

EE: The look on my grandparents’ faces – they’ve always supported my endeavours and this little film that I didn’t expect to go anywhere just made them so proud. The opportunity to showcase it and share that moment with them was definitely the highlight.

MITWFF: Which local filmmakers are you keen to work with next?

EE: There are too many to name! But I’m finding that with an open mind and intention, the right people often step in at the right time. It’s those people I’m looking forward to meeting and collaborating with!

MITWFF: What advice do you have for other Western Sydney filmmakers?

EE: Keep creating, and watch films that inspire you. Connect with other filmmakers and forge good networks. Use the stories around you in Western Sydney to form a unique creative voice.

MITWFF: What is your favourite memory from Made in the West 2015?

EE: Having the opportunity to speak to other filmmakers.

MITWFF: What are you looking forward to at this year’s Made in the West Film Festival?

EE: Meeting other like-minded filmmakers and seeing their work!

MITWFF: What’s the best way for people to connect with you?

EE: Via Facebook or my website.

Awesome! Thanks for chatting with us Emma. We can't wait to see you at the festival this year and we’re glad you’ll be able to join us at our VIP networking session too! We hope some of this year's finalists will be inspired by chatting to you further about your work.


If you've made a short film featuring cast, crew or locations from Western Sydney, you might be in the running to WIN this year's Best Student Film award, or the Best in the West, or maybe even the Audience Choice Award! Entries close at midnight this Friday 10 November – SUBMIT YOUR FILM now!

Made in the West Film Festival returns to the Paddo RSL (upstairs) on 25 November 2017 from 6pm. RSVP now and invite your posse to join us for the best night of the year for local filmmakers!

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