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  • Writer's pictureMade in the West Film Festival

FAB Feb Hangout online with #WesternSydneyFilm

We had a brilliant time hosting the first online networking event for 2021 last night!

We want to say a huge THANK YOU to the 40 local filmmakers who joined us on the call - we came away inspired and excited about 2021, with renewed determination to get all our projects done this year!

We partnered with Western Sydney Filmmakers Hangout for this event and Matt Vella joined us on the call to talk about his work hosting quarterly hangouts in Parramatta for local filmmakers to meet up for a drink and networking. Of course, 2020 put a stop to those hangouts pretty quick, so we were stoked to join with WSFH and connect Western Sydney filmmakers online!

Meeting people at any networking event is daunting, but online networking is easy! The event was 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!

The evening featured interviews with special guest filmmakers Arka Das, Maria Tran, Chris Elena and Cat Sole. All four of them have been finalists at Made in the West before and among them they have some serious filmmaking talent. They talked about their plans for 2021 and some of the big lessons they learned in 2020, and it was great to hear their great advice for new filmmakers!

Nearly 75% of filmmakers who attended the event 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 quarter of those who came along are editors, actors or DOPs, and we even had a handful of composers, sound designers and production designers on the call. It was great to see such a range of creatives!

Once again, thank you to everyone who joined us at the online networking event. It was great to hear about the projects you have planned for 2021 and we look forward to seeing what comes of this year!

We made some big announcements on the call too -- including that we’ll be awarding two NEW AWARDS at the festival this year! That’s right, we’re going to be celebrating Best Production Design this year, as well as the winner of a Best Music Video category!

This is in addition to our existing awards for Best Director, Editor, Cinematographer, Sound Design, Original Score, Scriptwriting and Acting.

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 read the entry criteria here.

Submissions close on 22 October.

EARLYBIRD prices apply until 30 July!

Made in the West is a celebration of Western Sydney on the big screen. This year we are celebrating our 10th festival year 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.

If you know anyone 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! If you want to see your company name up in lights on the big screen at the 2021 festival, please contact us to let us know.

Cheers to you, Western Sydney Film community!


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