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  • Writer's pictureMade in the West Film Festival

September hangs with #WSF ONE

How great was this week’s #WesternSydneyFilm Online Networking Event?? We love getting everyone together and this time, after it had been so long since our last gathering, was especially sweet!

BIG thanks to all who joined us on the night! We certainly came away feeling excited about what’s still to come this year and we can’t wait to see all of your amazing projects come to fruition. Bring on the festival!


Once again, we partnered with Western Sydney Filmmakers Hangout for this event and founder Matthew C. Vella joined us on the call to talk about his work with #WSFH and when he’s planning the next event (hint: very soon!), and what he’s been working on lately. He’s been producing comedy videos for his VellaMatt YouTube and TikTok channels, including his latest vid featuring kickass Western Sydney filmmaker and martial arts queen Maria Tran -- coming soon!


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 three awesome local filmmakers who are each working on some great projects.

We chatted to writer and director Ronnie Riskalla from SkyCross Entertainment whose feature film Streets of Colour is currently making its way around the country. Persevering when it comes to his passion meant that Ronnie got to screen at Parliament House in Canberra - how many Western Sydney filmmakers can say that? It was great to get some insight into his seven-year filmmaking journey with Streets of Colour and get a few tips on distribution too. The film is already streaming and available online via Apple TV, YouTube and Fetch.

We checked in with award-winning director Chloe De Brito, zooming in from Austin TX, who chatted to us about her work on the music video for Only One with local hip hop artist Ashli. We heard about the perils of an overnight shoot at a popular Kingswood takeaway joint and the best parts of working in a community like Western Sydney. Chloe just completed her latest short film Pink Reef about a mermaid struggling with identity – be sure to keep an eye out for it!


And finally, we talked to Darcy Carroll, a student filmmaker at WSU and the director of Hello, My Name is Mother Nature which took home the Audience Choice Award last year at Made in the West, as well as the People’s Choice Award AND Best Comedy over the summer at our Online Festival. He told us about the inspiration for his very lonely speed-dating mother nature story and gave some great advice for any student filmmakers out there thinking of making their next film: don’t make a movie just to please anyone else, make the story YOU want to tell.


And did you hear? We shared the insider scoop that we’re going to be at the SXSW (South By Southwest) Festival in Sydney! We’re super excited to be part of the inaugural #SXSWSydney event and you can catch us hosting an INDIE FILMMAKER MEET UP on Tuesday 17 October from 1pm-2pm at JMC Academy in Ultimo. You know how we love connecting with other creatives!


Check out the session details for more info and grab your badge / wristband to be there with us at the biggest tech/screen/music/games EVER to visit the southern hemisphere!


Thank you again to everyone who joined us at the online networking event - our last one for the year. The next time we see you will be at the festival – SAVE THE DATE! Saturday 25 November at Event Cinemas in Liverpool – for the biggest night of the year for Western Sydney Film!


It was great to meet so many new people and get to hear about your work, plus share a few laughs about the challenges we all face being film creatives these days. We hope you feel inspired to get your 2022 projects completed before the year is out!


Speaking of which, submissions for Made in the West 2023 are still open for another few weeks!


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 SOON on Friday 27 October.


Made in the West is a celebration of Western Sydney on the big screen. This year we are celebrating our 12th annual festival 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’re keen to work with us, shoot us an email to let us know what role/s you’re keen to take on, and we’ll get you on the team!


And, if you know someone 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 their amazing support allows us to share some fantastic #loot in our prize pool each year.


Drop us a line if you want to get involved 🙂


We’re looking forward to seeing you at the festival soon!

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