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  • Writer's pictureMade in the West Film Festival

Made in the West X WSU Creative Industries!

We’ve said it before and we can’t believe it’s true, but 2020 has brought us so many opportunities to look at what we want from our creative work and rethink the ways we do things.

Of course in 2020 those new ways of doing things were often based around social distancing requirements and so involved us running our production meetings online and reinventing the entire festival with a new DOUBLE cinema program and our first ever Online Film Festival screening.

2020 has certainly been a year of firsts!!

We’ve finally connected the Western Sydney Film community online for the first time, we’ve produced an online series called REWIND featuring films from the festival archive, we’ve run a poster design competition with the WSU design school, and to top it all off, we’ve put together an awesome 12-week internship for WSU students in the Creative Industries course!

WSU student Emily Mumford joined us for twelve weeks as our Digital Campaign Assistant helping us call for submissions from Western Sydney creatives and student filmmakers.

She has been busy writing press kits and pitch emails, getting creative with graphics for marketing plus helping us plan and produce our first ever online networking event for local filmmakers to connect with the community from home, which involved creative event design and development, email communications, online marketing and producing a live and interactive online event.

Studying a double degree in Communications and Creative Industries, Emily loves getting her hands onto creative projects and she is keen for the challenge that comes with PR & marketing. She has been handling the tasks we’ve thrown at her like a #BOSS and we’ve enjoyed having her on the team this year.

“I am loving my time with the Made in the West! I’ve had such a ball and have built my knowledge base and expanded my skill set since August. The most surprising thing I have learnt is how much fun you can have with a team but still be so productive. I am proud to have brought my design knowledge and content creation skills to the online networking night -- it is so cool to see the pieces you have crafted go live and exist in the real world and I thank Made in the West for the opportunity.”

Emily is also no stranger to Made in the West, having submitted her own film It’s Nothing to the festival in 2018 and then working on the crew of 2019 finalist film Into the Rabbithole, produced by Jess Pabian.

“We attended our first Made in the West in 2018 and it was a night to remember. I felt like I was going to a full on celebrity event! Having our short film recognised the following year in the 2019 festival program was a pretty rewarding and proud moment for us all.”

Made in the West is pleased to be able to include WSU students in our creative practice. For SSP, it is an opportunity to help inspire some young minds on their own creative journey (maybe teach them a thing or two about how to get things done!), and also a reminder of how far we have come in the last nine years since starting Made in the West as 3rd year WSU students ourselves.

For the students we work with, it can be their first experience in the creative industries and sometimes that's all that's needed to get started in a creative career.

In 2020, we had WSU students on our event volunteer team too -- Amy, Kylie, Jumana, Sunshine (pictured), Regina, Nataly and Laura all stepped up to help us on the night checking tickets, seating people, even taking photos on the red carpet! If you’re keen to work with us next year feel free to get in touch.

WSU Creative Industries graduate and all-round legend Jessica Pabian graced global screens last week as the host of our first ever Online Film Festival. She did an amazing job hosting our at-home audience for the 3-hour movie marathon and live vote -- no mean feat for any presenter! Hats off to Jess for her great work.

Earlier in the year we worked with The Rabbit Hole (WSU's Design Lab) and ten design students including Chiara Marshall, whose amazing talent for graphic design brought you this year's festival artwork and graphic elements. We really enjoyed working with the Design School students on this project and were blown away by their creative responses to our brief. We loved Chiara's work from the start!

And of course, Made in the West has been working with WSU students for several years now producing Made in the West TV and we’re so happy to be able to get back into their state of the art TV studio in early 2021. We'll be working with the TV1 and TV2 students to produce the show featuring the 2020 trophy award winners.

Thanks to the progressive leadership of Prof. Hutchings the Dean of the School of Humanities & Communication Arts, who sees the value in what we do and our drive to connect and celebrate the Western Sydney filmmaking community, Made in the West was able to survive a tumultuous year.

We have been very happy to build upon our relationship with Western Sydney University in 2020, often with the assistance of Associate Dean (Engagement) Dr Morley, to develop more pathways and opportunities for WSU students to get experience and understanding of the opportunities available to them in the creative industries.

We’re looking forward to strengthening this relationship in 2021 as we move into our 10th birthday year!

Thanks to WSU, Emliy and all the students we've worked with this year. Your contribution to the festival this year means a lot to us.



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