The Melbourne Women in Film Festival is a not-for-profit festival aimed at celebrating and supporting the work of women filmmakers and creatives – from directors, writers and producers to cinematographers, sound designers and editors. Our annual 4 day festival endeavours to promote the many talented women who work within all areas of film production, and to encourage and inspire women with creative aspirations to pursue their passions with confidence. We are best known for our retrospective screenings, Q&As with filmmakers and creative personnel, diverse short film sessions, engaging panels, public forums, networking events and practical workshops.

Our goal is to provide a space and opportunities for screen creatives to exhibit their work to a diverse Melbourne audience. We advocate for gender equality in the Victorian and Australian screen industries, provide opportunities for dialogue and engagement between women working in film, the Australian screen industry and audiences, provide opportunities for emerging filmmakers to exhibit their work, and of course...entertain!

MWFF 2020
Our theme for MWFF2020 will be announced shortly. However, we can reveal that from 2020 we are opening up our submissions to our sister practitioners from New Zealand. We welcome short film submissions of any genre, style or theme from women working within all areas of the Australian or New Zealand screen industry. To be eligible, all films must have a woman in a key creative role (Producer, Director, Writer, Cinematographer, Editor, or Sound Designer/Composer) and have a clear connection to Australia or New Zealand.

MWFF is committed to celebrating and promoting diversity in the screen industry. We believe that it is important to be inclusive in our programming so we open the category of “women” to any individual that identifies with this term. This means we are inclusive of cisgender and transgender women and we accept submissions from gender diverse, gender non-conforming, genderqueer, non-binary and intersex individuals that feel the term “women” is for them.

We strongly encourage submissions from First Nations women, women of colour, women in disability and Deaf communities, and LGBTIQ-identified women.

The short film programs are eligible for the following awards decided by an industry jury: 
- Best Short 
- Best Next Gen Short (student category) 
- Critics' Choice
There will also be an audience award for the short film program.

Prizes will be announced soon and will be in the area of future production assistance. In the past, prizes have included post production services at Soundfirm Post Production, vouchers from Lemac Film & Digital, equipment from Blackmagic Design, WIFT Victoria memberships, and screenwriting mentorship from Script Central.

Submission is open to short films (15 mins max duration) that have been completed after January 1, 2015. We occasionally program longer shorts, so please contact us if your film is 15-20 mins in duration.

We welcome narrative films, documentaries, animations, and experimental films.

Works-in-progress and feature length films are not accepted.

In order for a film to be eligible, it must have a woman in a key creative role (Producer, Director, Writer, Cinematographer, Editor, or Sound Designer/Composer) and have a clear connection to Australia or New Zealand. Priority will be given to creative teams of women. 

For entry into the Next Gen category, you must currently be studying an accredited screen, film or media production degree at an Australian or New Zealand public or private university, or have graduated one of these programs in the last 12 months. This will be indicated in your cover letter.

Please ensure the following are provided as part of all submissions: 
-A cover letter 
-Synopsis of the film in both short (50 words) and long (150 words) versions 
-Full cast and credits list 
-Director’s biography (under 100 words) AND filmography 
-3 different stills from the film (at least 300 dpi High Resolution) 

Secure online screener is the preferred method of submission. If selected, your exhibition copy is required by December 1st, 2019 (exhibition requirements will be sent shortly after acceptance letters).

All entries with dialogue not in the English language must be subtitled in English.

Fees will not be reimbursed for films not selected for the festival.

Overall Rating
  • Claudia Bailey

    great film festival for the filmmaker, so many wonderful events all over melbourne and great opportunities from it. defs consider entering your film if you want to network and make some real connections in your career.

    April 2019
  • What a bless, awesome staff, venues, people, master classes. Thank you so much for the festival, great work. See you next year!

    March 2019
    Response from festival:

    Thanks for the great review, Anastasia. It was wonderful to have you be a part of the fest this year! MWFF

  • Lucinda Horrocks

    Lovely festival with a warm and welcoming vibe. Opening night was great. Really appreciated that filmmakers who were attending were invited to introduce their films in the shorts session.

    March 2018
  • It was a fantastic film festival. Informative, generous, well organised and inclusive. Would highly recommend.

    March 2018
  • EV Moore

    The Melbourne Women in Film Festival is a stellar festival achieving truly remarkable things, especially given that its only in its second year. The program was lean but comprehensive, which I actually preferred as a filmmaker because I find festivals that are too packed are actually really difficult to make the most of. I went to events every day - the selection of films was outstanding, all very different with a real focus on indie filmmaking, on women who don't seek permission to practise their craft, who just make things. Films screened on huge, beautiful screens in a proper cinema set up all conveniently located in Melbourne's CBD, so you could attend lots of different events. And screening at ACMI? Every filmmaker's dream! But despite being screened in the high-rent facilities, each screening was well-attended, which really says something about the festival's organisation and ability to connect with audiences.

    Networking and panel events were truly inspiring, not to mentioned well-catered for. How many film festivals will you meet Writer/Directors of Cannes Film Festival-winning films, or Producers of Oscar winning films? I met both at the opening night after party!

    Communication was also really robust - it's one of the best organised festivals I've ever been selected for. Program was finalised months ago and emails were responded to promptly.

    Congratulations to Sian and the dedicated team of volunteers who made this festival so special. Really hope I have the honour of attending again some day.

    March 2018