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  • Writer's pictureMade in the West Film Festival

August wrap on #WSF ONE!

How great was this week's #WesternSydneyFilm Online Networking Event!!??


We were stoked to be joined by over 40 local filmmakers from the Western Sydney Film community – a huge thanks to all who joined us for our most recent catch up on Zoom! We certainly came away with a renewed feeling of inspiration and motivation to tackle our next big projects.


Once again, we partnered with Western Sydney Filmmakers Hangout for this event and founder Matthew C. Vella joined us on the call to talk about his work with #WSFH, when he’s planning the next event, and what he’s been working on lately. Keep an eye out for Upcoming Attractions Podcast, as well as the global online release of his hilarious comedy short She’s Not Your Type later this month, which took home the Audience Choice Award a few years back at Made in the West and has been running laps around the festival circuit ever since!


We’re always happy to join with WSFH to connect Western Sydney filmmakers online!

Our online networking events are a unique blend of three elements: a live TV show with guest interviews, a Zoom party with random breakout rooms for smaller group chats, and a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure-style interactive game, complete with alternate endings!


This time we spotlighted special guest filmmakers, each working on some great projects and offering up all sorts of advice for the filmmakers on the call -- writer/producer Joanna Beveridge, rapper/comedian/filmmaker Ian ‘Esky’ Escandor, and writer/director Bina Bhattacharya.


Writer and producer extraordinaire Joanna Beveridge chatted to us about her new web series called Shippers going into production soon with local crew and contributors, the various ways for local #fanfiction writers and junior crew to get involved. She’s also been running an awesome crowdfunding campaign and it seems we’re not the only ones who think so, judging by the interest they’ve had online! If you have been to Made in the West in recent years you’ve likely spotted some of Jo’s previous work as she took home Best Editor award in 2019 for Sydney Sleuthers and then Best Actress and runner-up Best in the West in 2020 for The Takedown of Melanie Sprottle.


Ian ‘Esky’ Escandor is a rapper, musician, comedian and filmmaker who took home the inaugural Best Music Video trophy in 2021 for ‘Good as Gold’ (which we have on high rotation here at Made in the West HQ!). You might remember Esky from his previous short film Chocolate & Coffee which screened in the inaugural Made in the West Marathon in 2020, and as we heard on the call last night, he’s been busy lately at his new OpenStudio in Glendenning, a studio warehouse located in the West with production, photography and recording spaces available for hire. Writer and director Bina Bhattacharya joined the call and told us about her latest project – her first feature film From All Sides looks amazing and she has also been working on a crowdfunding campaign – between both her and Jo, we got some great crowdfunding advice! You may have seen Bina’s previous short films at Made in the West Film Festival over the years as she took home the Audience Choice Award in 2017 for her film Wild Dances, Best Screenplay in 2018 for Musings, and runner-up Best Music Video in 2021 for What You See, by Parvyn.

Bina was also excited to share that ABC is screening the groundbreaking new feature film Here Out West this Sunday night and later on iView (Bina was one of the 8 amazing screenwriters! pictured) – it’s necessary viewing for anyone looking for an authentic glimpse of Western Sydney, along with the awesome food series based in the Western suburbs, called 8 Nights Out West.


Just like our special guests, nearly two thirds of the filmmakers who joined us this week identified as directors, with half also identifying as a producer or scriptwriter. We think this speaks volumes about the #slashie culture of Western Sydney Film community!! One third of those who came along said they are also editors or DOPs, and we even had a handful of composers, sound designers and actors on the call too. It was great to see such a range of creatives!

Thank you again to everyone who joined us at the online networking event. It was great to meet so many new people, hear about your work, and share a few laughs about the challenges we all face being film creatives these days. We hope you feel inspired to get your 2022 projects completed before the year is out!



If you have made a short film (under 15 minutes) that features cast, crew or locations from Western Sydney, you are eligible to submit your film. All genres and types of content are welcome, from documentaries and music videos, to animation, drama series, web series episodes, sci-fi and horror. You can learn more and read the entry criteria here.


SUBMIT YOUR FILM NOW! Submissions close on Friday 28 October.


Made in the West is a celebration of Western Sydney on the big screen. This year we are celebrating our 11th annual festival and we’re proud to showcase hundreds of filmmakers from across Western Sydney and the original and authentic stories being told in our local region.



And, if you know someone who would like to sponsor the festival this year as a prize donor or financial contributor, let us know! Our sponsors are vital in helping us celebrate the contributions that filmmakers make to Western Sydney’s arts scene and this year will be bigger than ever before!


Cheers to you, Western Sydney Film community, and we’ll see you at the next event!

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