The third year of the Australian Womens Film Festival (AWFF), supported by M&C Saatchi, Event Cinemas and Disney studios Australia, continued its mission to support, encourage and celebrate female storytellers by giving them a platform to showcase their talent both in front and behind the camera.
The annual celebration took place on Tuesday 21 November at Event Cinemas George Street, Sydney, and recognised an array of upcoming talent. Notably, one of the aspects of AWFF is that at least three key creatives of a film must identify as female.
“We want to put women front and centre in an industry that has been traditionally dominated by men,” said co-founder Tahyna (Tozzi) MacManus.
Fellow co-founder Kelly Tomasich added, “We are so grateful to all of the filmmakers who chose to share their work with AWFF this year. Congratulations to all of the finalists and award winners. We are consistently impressed by the calibre of films being made and are proud to do our part to help showcase such incredible emerging talent.”
Judges Teresa Palmer, Nakkiah Lui, Edwina Waddy and Grainne Brunsdon selected Hopeful Romantic for Best Comedy and Best Film. Lui said the film “hit all the marks, with a clear story, great performances, and all the elements coming together for a touching and charming short film”.
Best Documentary went to She; Who Lives, which judge Brunsdon described as a “beautiful, gentle documentary giving voice to migrant mothers’ experiences, fears and hopes for their children.”
Best Drama went to The Overthrow, which explores the messiness of friendships and shared interests in a poignant portrait of two young women trying to make the world a better place. “The friendship is well portrayed by the actors travelling though a beautiful landscape,” said Brunsdon.
Best Animation was My Jumper, It Roars. Waddy characterised the winning entry as an, “empowering, delightful and surprising tale told with wit, creativity, charm and humour.”
The woman behind the animation, Isabella Spagnolo was also named One to Watch by the judges, with Waddy commenting, “Isabella did a terrific job at bringing the central idea roaring to life.”
Best Director was taken home by co-directors Lucy Elizabeth McKendrick and Charles Polinger for their film, Fuck Me, Richard, described by the judges as having a “clear and creative voice and tone” and “very assured, great execution.”