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  • Writer's pictureMade in the West Film Festival

Meet your 2023 festival hosts!

Made in the West 2023 kicks off this Saturday 25 November at 6pm with local filmmakers arriving on the red carpet, then a marathon short film screening from 7pm featuring 18 short films on the big screen, and the biggest annual film awards night for local artists in Western Sydney! 

Tickets close at 6pm this Friday! That’s 24 hours before doors open – don’t miss out! 

Note: For those of you who can’t join us at the cinema -- we’ve got you covered! Tune in from 1 December as we bring the red carpet to you ONLINE and ON DEMAND this summer with Made in the West Online MEGA Movie Marathon.

You can watch all 18 festival films, plus highlights and interviews with filmmakers on the red carpet, all from the comfort of your own home! Tickets are only $7.70 ($5 USD) each.

No matter where or when you are watching Made in the West this year, you're in good hands!

For this weekend’s event at Event Cinemas Liverpool, we’ve enlisted the help of some great artists to help us put on the show! Our Festival AD Ross will be on the mic of course, and joining him this year we have three amazing women taking on starring roles – emceeing the live event, hosting on the red carpet, and anchoring our online festival for the viewers at home.

All three are dynamite female artists and we’re so excited to have them with us. It’s time to meet your hosts!


Holly Mazzola is an actor, writer and director who studied at Actors Centre Australia. Her most recent theatre credits include The Libertine (dir. Lizzie Schebesta), and The Partygoers (dir. John Tsakiris). Earlier this year, she adapted and directed her own version of the Greek tragedy Electra, which she plans to remount next year. Next year, Holly will be touring Australia as part of the Poetry In Action theatre troupe, and is excited to eat a meat pie in every town she ventures to. This Saturday Holly will be your MC at Made in the West, hosting this year’s 300-strong crowd in our huge cinema and guiding you through the year’s best short films. We’re so excited to have her on the mic!


Writer, actor, director and musician Prudence Bernadette a.k.a Theartgrl from Prudent Pictures is your red carpet host this year! Prudence is a multi talented creative force! When she’s not writing scripts or planning her next creative venture, you can find her making music on her Moog Theremini, or helping us all find our Zen with her synth meditation tracks. She’s the creator of the original cartoon series Please Stop Talking and is also a video game reviewer as That Gamer Girl, not to mention she’s an emerging director - you might have seen her last short film Ps Get Degrees which played at Made in the West Film Festival in 2020 or hosting last year’s online festival. You can catch Prudence on the red carpet interviewing this year’s Official Selection finalists if you’re tuning in at home for our Online Film Festival screening this summer, and in our highlights reel which captures all the glitz and glamour from the night. It’s her first time on the red carpet at Made in the West and we are stoked she can join us!


Meet Shetu Simone – podcaster, performer, model and your online MEGA Movie Marathon host! Some of you might recognise her from the BAE Podcast - available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts - where she chats with her friends about all things wellness, their upbringing in Western Sydney and what it’s like being young and black. Shetu has a passion for audio production and sound editing, which she developed during her time at Nova FM. She also recently had a stint working in community engagement at Darlinghurst Theatre, a community theatre in the city with a passion for pushing boundaries and ensuring diversity on stage and behind the scenes. She’s an amazing host and conversationalist and super smooth on the mic! You’ll catch Shetu hosting our MEGA Movie Marathon this year, available on-demand from the start of December until the end of January. It’s her second year on the festival team and we can’t wait to see her shine again!


Ross is a podcaster, filmmaker, actor and singer, and the lead creative at Still Searchin' Productions, the team that plans and produces Made in the West each year. He’ll be getting you cheering for this year’s films and celebrating the winners of this year’s awards and trophies. Ross founded Made in the West more than a decade ago – back when we were just a group of film students running a film night in the broken down old Roxy Hotel, with just a projector stacked on top of an old amp and a couple of milk crates (you can read more about our humble beginnings and the meteoric rise of Made in the West in our 10-year anniversary magazine!). He’s passionate about building an audience for local films, and many years later, he’s now bringing Western Sydney films to a wider audience than ever before, with online screenings, TV shows, interviews and spin-off projects. Ross is also the host of The Pagey Train podcast where he interviews local creatives including actors, musicians, filmmakers and entrepreneurs. You can check out the podcast episodes on YouTube, Spotify (with video) and IHeartRadio. You’ll meet Ross at the start of the night, and then throughout the show as we announce our individual category awards (meet the nominees here) and major trophy prizes.

Please join us in thanking our 2023 festival hosts!

We’re thrilled to have these talented and charismatic hosts on the microphone this year to get you in the mood for celebration. They're going to help make it a great night for all involved!

And it IS going to be a great night -- partly because we know Western Sydney filmmakers have given us an awesome line-up of films for you to enjoy -- and also because we know we have an AWESOME team of contributors and creatives who are throwing their support behind our thriving filmmaker community. We can’t wait! 

Are you wondering what to expect at the festival this year? Thinking about prizes and awards? There’s lots of info over on our news blog and FAQ page

We’ll see you on the red carpet soon!


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