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  • Writer's pictureMade in the West Film Festival

2019 WINNERS announced!

Still Searchin’ Productions would like to congratulate everyone who entered their films in this year’s event and particularly, the 18 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 – 2019 was definitely our best festival yet, with records broken all round. We received 58 submissions this year from filmmakers across Western Sydney and the quality and variety of content has been the best we’ve ever seen. More entrants than ever before submitted more than one film, and more entrants from previous years submitted a film this year.

We brought together 300 enthusiastic attendees and our social media presence was off the hook - thanks for that #love Western Sydney! To top it all off, something we are very proud of was that for the first time ever we screened over 50% films made by female filmmakers.

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 2019, Made in the West Film Festival screened short films of diverse genres including hilarious comedies and dramas, doco’s, web series episodes, horror, music videos, and some fantastic feel good short films. Something for everyone, really!

We previewed trailers for two new feature films, Fragmentary and Bad Influence, and two great web series currently screening on ABC iview, Carpark Clubbing and Halal Gurls, all proudly made in the West.

We also screened a showcase reel of the semi-finalist films – those that narrowly missed out on the finals. There were 22 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 individual category awards based on the judges’ recommendations. These awards were announced throughout the festival last night.

Here are this year’s winners:

BEST DIRECTOR – Ali Mousawi for My name is Mohamed and Raghad, We don’t exist here anymore

BEST SCREENPLAY - Daniel Krige for Larry Time

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHER – Miller Best for Campesinos

BEST EDITOR – Joanna Beveridge for Sydney Sleuthers

BEST SOUND DESIGN – Nathaniel Watkins for Larry Time

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE - Darren Lim for Campesinos

BEST ACTRESS – Janine Watson for Tomorrow Mourning

BEST ACTOR – Marcus Rivera for Tomgirl

We also awarded a very special honour - the Spirit of the West Award - to Vonne Patiag. 2019 marks Vonne's fifth year in a row not only as a festival entrant but as a finalist too, which we think is pretty remarkable! Vonne continues to dominate the Western Sydney filmmaking scene and we applaud his persistence to his craft and ability to tell stories which are always relevant and push the boundaries.

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 University, MediaHub Australia, Luke Walker Productions, Macquarie Hotel, Sydney Prop Studios, Green Key Studio, Irierootsini Photography, Information + Cultural Exchange, Fotogenic and Creative Plus Business.

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

2019 Runner-up Best Student Film:

The Brave by Michelle Kaldy

Nominated for Best Cinematography, Best Sound Design and Best Original Score

2019 Runner-up Best in the West:

Larry Time by Daniel Krige

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

And rapturous applause for our 2019 WINNERS:

2019 Best Student Film WINNER:

Ankara Pride by Thuy Nguyen

Nominated for Best Director and Best Editor

2019 Best in the West WINNER:

Campesinos by Matias Bolla

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

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:

2019 Audience Choice Award WINNER:

Campesinos by Matias Bolla

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

*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 be releasing photos from last night in the coming days - and stay tuned for this year's red carpet highlights video, coming to you next week!

We hope to see you in 2020 for our ninth Made in the West!

With love,

The SSP Team

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