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  • Writer's pictureMade in the West Film Festival

Hanging out with the #WesternSydneyFilm community

We had a brilliant time hosting our first ever online networking night on Thursday!

Great things can happen in our community when we connect and talk about our ideas and filmmaking practice. Everyone came away inspired, with a renewed sense of determination and more than a few potential collaborators.

Partnering with Western Sydney Filmmakers Hangout, co-host 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 up with Matt and finally connect Western Sydney filmmakers online!

As the doorbell kept ringing, it was clear we have a huge filmmaker community. There were lots of people we’ve met before at the festival, a few new faces and so many moments where people were “finally putting a face to the name’ as some of the more visible community members joined us on the call.

We want to say a huge THANK YOU to the forty local filmmakers who joined us on our first online networking adventure. Nearly all who attended identify as directors, with two thirds also identifying as a producer or scriptwriter. Half of those who came are editors, and one third were either actors or cinematographers. We think this speaks volumes about the 'Slashie' culture of the Western Sydney Film community!!

Meeting people at any networking event is daunting, but online networking was totally fun! 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! We had a blast and we can’t wait to host another one.

The evening featured interviews with special guest filmmakers Matias Bolla, Jess Pabian, Bina Bhattacharya, Emma Elias and Luke Walker. With six crystal trophies from the Made in the West prize table among them, this crew have some serious talent. They shared industry insights and some advice for new filmmakers, plus DOP extraordinaire Luke Walker announced he is on board again this year as one of our 2020 festival prize sponsors!

Speaking of which, we’ve got some exciting news to share with you!

ENTER YOUR FILM in the 2020 festival and you could be working with professional DOP Luke Walker on your next short film project - he comes highly recommended by us and by many others in the local film industry, and his beautifully shot films have made it into our festival line-up five times, with two of them ending up taking home a trophy!

Would you like to SPONSOR THE FESTIVAL this year? SSP are funding this year's festival ourselves, so we are definitely on the lookout for supporters!! Local legends like Luke Walker Productions are vital in helping us celebrate the contributions that filmmakers make to Western Sydney’s arts scene.

If you want to see your company name up in lights on the big screen this year, please contact us to let us know!

Once again, thank you to everyone who joined us at our first online networking event. It was great to hear how you are all adapting to the new Covid-normal and continuing to work on some exciting projects, even while social distancing.

Cheers to you, Western Sydney Film community!


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