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  • Writer's pictureMade in the West Film Festival

2018 WINNERS announced!

Still Searchin’ Productions would like to congratulate everyone who entered their films in this year’s event and particularly, the 14 finalists whose films were screened – you each contributed to a fabulous evening and we applaud you for making such engaging and heartfelt films!

We had a BRILLIANT time last night – 2018 was definitely our best festival yet, with records broken all round. We received over 50 submissions this year from filmmakers across Western Sydney and the quality and variety of content has been the best we’ve ever seen. We brought together over 300 enthusiastic attendees and our social media presence was off the hook - thanks for that Westie #love Western Sydney!

Thank you to everyone who attended the festival – the energy that you brought to the event made the night truly exciting for our finalists. And the team at SSP loved every minute of it!

Made in the West is dedicated to supporting emerging filmmakers in Western Sydney. We love seeing the great films being made here each year and we surely love recognising Western Sydney on the big screen.

And that’s why we don’t have any rules about what kind of films you can enter into the festival – we welcome any genre – we just want you to tell great stories that audiences will enjoy!

In 2018, Made in the West Film Festival screened short films of diverse genres including comedy, documentaries, dramatic web series, crime dramas, thrillers and even post-apocalyptic action films.

We also screened a showcase reel of the semi-finalist films – those that narrowly missed out on the finals. There were sixteen highly commended films this year and they truly made us wish we could host a six-hour long festival so we could screen them all too.

But the judges had to make their decision and ultimately, their word is final. They all told us how challenging it was to select the winners this year and that each of the films impressed them in different ways. We take our hats off to them for being able to assess the films and select our winners – we certainly couldn't have done it!

Each film was nominated for at least one individual category award based on the judges’ recommendations. These awards were announced throughout the festival last night.

Here are this year’s winners:

BEST DIRECTOR – Hawanatu Bangura for Afro Sistahs

Winner of a one day TV studio hire at Sydney Prop Specialists’ huge Studio 4 (value $1100), with adjacent green room and kitchen.

BEST SCREENPLAY - Bina Bhattacharya for Musings

Winner of a one year mentorship package with writer and producer Peter Millynn, including one initial face-to-face script consultation and up to three follow up sessions (in person or via skype).

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHER – Dane Howell for Melon Grab

Winner of a Zhiyun Tech gimbal (value $1000), thanks to Rah Sharma on YouTube and Nighthawk Productions.

BEST EDITOR – Joey Hunter for Culture Strong

Winner of a one week studio hire in Information & Cultural Exchange’s Video Editing Suite (value $1000).

BEST SOUND DESIGN – Peter PJ Johnson for After Nightfall

Winner of a one week studio hire in Information & Cultural Exchange’s Sound Recording Studio (value $1000).

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE - Anisha Thomas for Three Feet Deep

Winner of a mixing & mastering session (value $1100) for your next short film composition, thanks to Bunk Bed Beats.

BEST ACTRESS – Megan Kennedy for How To Write A Screenplay

Winner of a Deluxe Actors & Models Profile Photography Package (value $500) with up to 15 prints included, thanks to Irierootsini Photography and a feature article in StarCentral Magazine.

BEST ACTOR – Nicholas Burton for Milo

Winner of a Deluxe Actors & Models Profile Photography Package (value $500) with up to 15 prints included, thanks to Irierootsini Photography and a feature article in StarCentral Magazine.

All finalists were also in the running for major trophies and prizes, thanks in part to our wonderful sponsors StillSearchin’ Productions, Event Cinemas Liverpool, Western Sydney Business Access, Western Sydney University, Jaded Belle Productions, MediaHub Australia, Luke Walker Productions, Nighthawk Productions, Digital Logic, Information & Cultural Exchange, Amazing People Productions, Photo+Shop+Studio and Creative+Business.

Of course, the room erupted with cheers as the final winners were announced. We want to give a HUGE shout out to:

2018 Runner-up Best Student Film:

How to Write A Screenplay by Cat Sole

Nominated for Best Original Score and Best Actress (WINNER)

2018 Runner-up Best in the West:

Culture Strong by L-FRESH The LION

Nominated for Best Director, Best Cinematographer, Best Editor (WINNER) and Best Sound Design

And rapturous applause for our 2018 WINNERS:

2018 Best Student Film WINNER:

Milo by David Hoey

Nominated for Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Cinematographer, Best Sound Design, Best Original Score and Best Actor (WINNER)

2018 Best in the West WINNER:

Melon Grab by Andrew Lee (Pursekey Productions)

Nominated for Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Cinematographer (WINNER), Best Editor, Best Sound Design, Best Original Score and Best Actor

We had so many attendees commenting on the quality of films in the line-up and tensions were high as the final votes were being counted for the highly coveted Audience Choice Award. But in the end, there could only be one…

Congratulations to:

2018 Audience Choice Award WINNER:

She’s Not Your Type by Matthew C. Vella

​Nominated for Best Director, Screenplay and Actress

*cue applause*

Congratulations again to all involved in the making of this year’s finalist films and thank you to everyone who chose to join us last night – we had a blast and we hope you enjoyed your night too.

We'll see you next year at Made in the West 2019!

With love,

The SSP Team

#madeinthewest #filmfestival #2018 #winners #westernsydney

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