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  • Writer's pictureMade in the West Film Festival

WSU signs on as Gold+ Screen Sponsor

We’ve got BIG NEWS!!

Ten years ago, when the SSP team were students at Western Sydney University, we hosted our first ever short film screening night. We really couldn’t have imagined that the decade to follow would result in the Made in the West FIlm Festival you see today, with our three-storey cinema screen, iconic red carpet, beautiful crystal trophies, sponsors and prizes, and not to mention a bustling scene of filmmakers that are connected and collaborative and driven to create.

So it seems only fitting that in 2021, we welcome Western Sydney University as our major partner and Gold+ Screen Sponsor.

There’s no two ways about it, working in the arts and cultural industries has its challenges and the last two years have been most challenging indeed.

Now, even more than ever, grassroots arts organisations like Made in the West need support from local industry partners that value connecting and empowering the creative industries in Western Sydney and further developing our networks of collaboration among established and emerging artists and organisations in the region.

So we’d like to GIVE THANKS to the School of Humanities & Communication Arts at WSU, whose leadership team and teaching staff all see the value in building the creative capacity of Western Sydney artists and connecting local organisations like ours to the many student filmmakers and creatives that seek experience and inspiration, just like we did ten years ago, to chase after their creative careers.

We thank them for recognising and supporting our mission to celebrate the Western Sydney filmmaking community and connect the future storytellers and creative practitioners in Greater Western Sydney.

Please put your hands together for Western Sydney University and the School of Humanities & Communication Arts!

We’d particularly like to thank Professor Peter Hutchings, former Dean of the School and strong supporter of Made in the West, for starting this conversation with us several years ago. We also thank Professor Matt McGuire, whose leadership as Acting Dean has allowed us to continue to expand our engagement with students at WSU during a most difficult era for tertiary students and institutions.

Special thanks goes to Dr Rachel Morley for her tireless support as Associate Dean of Engagement and her shared commitment to envisioning a more proud and productive future for young creative media practitioners in the west, and for helping us find new ways to connect students with more impactful opportunities.

We’d also like to thank the Director of Programs, Dr Jacki Montgomery, as well as all the teaching staff whose support means that we can connect more students with more opportunities throughout the festival season, including our design projects, TV crew productions, digital internships and event management training opportunities.

We are humbled by their commitment to our cause and for their generous support and we are so pleased to be able to bring another kickass film festival to the local filmmakers of Western Sydney this December.

The entire SSP team has been fortunate to benefit from our time at Western Sydney University -- after all, it's where we first met! It’s where we got inspired to make films and write the stories we wanted to see on screen. It’s where we were first found opportunities to experiment and find our voices.

It’s also what motivated us to book the big screen at The Roxy!

We wanted a screening night with all the elements of a silver screen celebration that we thought we deserved as first-time filmmakers -- after all, good filmmaking is hard!! We just wanted a wrap party at the end of the year befitting of the huge effort that it takes from an entire crew of people to bring a film to life on screen

We couldn’t find that screening opportunity, so we booked a big screen ourselves. Made in the West was born of rebellion and we’re proud to tell you all about it!

Read all about beginnings of Made in the West, our journey over ten years of festival-making and the award-winning friends and filmmakers we have met along the way.

This year we’re celebrating our 10th birthday and we’re excited to have been working with a team of WSU design students (under the guidance of their amazing instructor Katrina Sandbach) to bring to life this eye-popping limited edition magazine, complete with AR elements that bring our story to life on the page --- we adore it and we can’t wait to share this special project with you soon!

Shout out to student designers Brendan Schmitz, Thomas Baldwin, Erin Barnes, Annabel Crawford, Alex Foy, Kai Huang, Angela Tao and Ethan White for your incredible work on Made in the West Magazine -- what an amazing feat!!

Since 2014, Made in the West is proud to have worked with Western Sydney University to deliver over 100 engagement opportunities for students.

Whether they’re working the room on the red carpet like 2014/2016 TV Host Holly Kaye-Smith and 2015 TV host Tom LeHuray, helping us host the festival like 2014 MCs Jordan Ingleton & Megan Richards, or our 2020 Online Festival host Jess Pabian, or helping us behind-the-scenes to promote the festival like 2020 Digital Campaign Assistant Emily Mumford and 2020 Festival poster designer Chiara Marshall, and/or joining us as FOH and media crew at the festival, we know that WSU students have talent and they bring their best to the team, every time.

Since 2018, Western Sydney University has donated studio time in their state-of-the-art TV studio at Parramatta South campus to support the production of Made in the West TV, our festival chat show featuring award-winning filmmakers. We can’t wait to get back in there with our next WSU student TV crew to film the 2020 and 2021 episodes.

This year, we’re working with WSU SoHCA students Elissa Sewell and Natasha Raj on our digital campaign and magazine launch, Luke Hodge on our TV show production, and Tia McGillivray on our festival campaign design -- they’re ones to watch!! You’ll hear more about them in our festival news soon.

WSU offers a Bachelor of Creative Industries for design, journalism, media arts production majors and more, with hands-on experience with in-house production and editing studios, client-based creative project work, and an historical perspective that highlights the impact you can make working in the creative industries.

Here at Made in the West, our goal is to build a thriving, productive Western Sydney film scene that celebrates the ground-breaking films made by filmmakers in our region.

We want to see more productions being made here, more work going to Western Sydney filmmakers, more arts venues and studios out West, and more audiences lining up to watch the awesome content we create.

We love hosting Made in the West each year and we know that we couldn’t host such a rewarding event without partnerships like the one we have with Western Sydney University.

We offer plenty of brand exposure among local creatives and of course some festival perks as reward for your support. Send us an email -- we’d love to hear from you!

And for any WSU students out there reading this -- come and work with us! We'd love to hear how you'd like to get involved.

Thanks again to WSU for your support and we look forward to working with you over the coming festival season.


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