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  • Writer's pictureMade in the West Film Festival

Hanging out with the #WSF Community

How awesome was this week’s Online Networking Event??

Thanks to the 45 local filmmakers from the #WesternSydneyFilm community who joined us for our most recent catch up online! We certainly came away from the call with a renewed feeling of inspiration and excitement (definitely what we need right now!) and a sense of determination to tackle our next big projects.

Once again, we partnered with Western Sydney Filmmakers Hangout for this event and founder Matt Vella joined us on the call to talk about his work hosting quarterly hangouts in Parramatta for local filmmakers to meet up for drinks and networking. Of course, 2020 put a stop to those hangouts, so we have been stoked to join with #WSFH over the last year to connect Western Sydney filmmakers online. We were so happy to have been able to meet for ONE in-person Hangout with everyone in March, but unfortunately, here we are again back in lockdown!

Meeting people at a networking event can be daunting, but online networking is easy! You can meet one person at a time, or a few - it’s up to you! 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 film composers Darren Lim and Me-Lee Hay, plus animation specialist Dr Wendy Chandler. Darren took home the award for Best Original Score in 2019 for the short film Campesinos by Matias Bolla. Me-Lee was nominated for Best Original Score in 2020 for her work on the short film Golem by Ryan Cauchi. Me-Lee is also the Vice President at the Australian Guild of Screen Composers so we were stoked to have her join us.

And Wendy? Well, she is part of the reason why Made in the West exists! She was one of the wonderful SoHCA teaching staff at Western Sydney University who taught the SSP crew back in the day. It has taken some serious determination and creative talent to build up and grow the wonderful Western Sydney filmmaking community over the last ten years, but we also wouldn’t be where we are today without kind and inspiring teachers like Wendy leading the way.

Shout out to ALL our filmmaking teachers, mentors, role models and inspirations! Where would we be without them??

For that matter, where would we be without each other?? Film is such a collaborative artform and the community we have here in Western Sydney is so supportive and hard-working, it’s difficult not to be inspired!

Nearly two thirds of 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 also said they 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!

Thank you again to everyone who joined us. It was great to hear about what you’ve been up to throughout 2021 so far and we look forward to seeing what else comes from this year.

Speaking of which, SUBMISSIONS for Made in the West 2021 are well and truly OPEN!

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 29 October.

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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