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  • Writer's pictureMade in the West Film Festival

Announcing the People’s Choice Awards!

What a wonderful end to our 12th festival year! Thank you to everyone who tuned in to watch our MEGA Movie Marathon this year – it was such a buzz sharing films from our local community with more viewers than ever before from around the world. 


Hosted by Shetu Simone, this year’s online film festival featured 19 short films made by Western Sydney filmmakers plus interviews with filmmakers, cast and crew filmed live on festival night with our wonderful red carpet host, Prudence Bernadette!


2023 was the fourth annual online screening of Made in the West, with our newly reimagined movie marathon streaming throughout summer from the start of December last year through to now at the end of January 2024, and of course we have been watching the votes roll in for our online awards!


Everyone who watched the show was asked to vote for their favourite film and list their nominations for our new genre awards including Best Horror, Drama, Sci Fi and Comedy. 


We were super excited to see the final results!! 


To celebrate, we announced the winners today in a live episode of the Pagey Train podcast, with everyone’s favourite podcast host Roscoe, as we chatted about the winning films and what’s to come for Made in the West this year.





Let’s hear it for the 2023 genre award winners:



Best Horror WINNER

Chained - Submitted by Aaron Waite





Best Sci Fi WINNER

Tony’s Dream - Submitted by Augusto Garcia





Best Drama WINNER

Tint - Submitted by Jack Voegt





Best Comedy WINNER

No Film Sets In Bankstown - Submitted by Alex Dona




Congratulations to you all!


Crafting a compelling film that stays true to a genre (or fearlessly blends a few) is no small feat. This year's films truly delivered on that front!


Now, for the grand finale... the much-anticipated People's Choice Award.


This coveted accolade goes to the film that captured the hearts of our ENTIRE online audience. After carefully counting the votes, we're thrilled to unveil the winner of the 2023 People's Choice Award!


Please put your hands together and let’s hear it for:


2023 People’s Choice Award WINNER

No Film Sets In Bankstown - Submitted by Alex Dona


Hats off to Alex and the entire cast and crew of No Film Sets In Bankstown.


Fun fact: You might remember that this isn't the first time Bankstown-based powerhouse writer/director Alex Dona has been awarded the top prize by our online audience – he also won the People’s Choice Award in 2021 with his smash hit film A Girl’s Best Friend


What a track record! 


We're big fans of Alex’s work and we’re sure you’ll be seeing plenty more of him in the years to come. 


Please put your hands together for all of the incredible filmmakers that made a film and entered Made in the West in 2023 – there are more and more creative folk from Western Sydney working on films these days than ever before!


A special shout-out also to all the finalists who lit up the big screen at Event Cinemas Liverpool and brought joy to audiences throughout our summer movie marathon. Your films truly made the festival experience fabulous for everyone, including us!


Kudos to you all.


A heartfelt thanks also goes out to our amazing hosts, Shetu Simone and Prudence Bernadette, for their outstanding on-camera work. Special mention to the fantastic crew from Luke Walker Productions, our valued festival sponsors, working with Ross and Daragh, our producers, to capture all the festival night fun.


Of course, the sponsors who bring Made in the West to life by contributing to the event’s  running costs deserve a big thanks as well. Event Cinemas, Western Sydney University, AFTRS, Still Searchin’ Productions and Made in the West CREATIVE – we love your work!


With your continued support, Western Sydney shines on screen each year at Made in the West - the only dedicated film festival showcasing the diverse and authentic Australian stories found in Western Sydney.


And with that, we should tell you that submissions are OPEN right now for the 2024 festival! 


If you have produced a short film featuring a location, cast or crew member from Western Sydney, we want to see it on the big screen! Head to our Entry Criteria page for more info and to SUBMIT YOUR FILM!



See you soon, film fam! 

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