The Melbourne Women in Film Festival is a regional not-for-profit festival aimed at celebrating, supporting and promoting the work of Australian, Aotearoa New Zealand and Pasifika women and gender diverse filmmakers and creatives. Our annual festival encourages and inspires others 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 audiences in Melbourne and across Australia through a hybrid program in venues and online. We advocate for gender equality in the Victorian and Australian screen industries, provide opportunities for dialogue and engagement between women working in a variety of screen forms, the Australian screen industry and audiences, provide opportunities for emerging and student filmmakers to exhibit their work, and of course...entertain!

We welcome short film submissions of any genre, style or theme from women and gender diverse filmmakers working within all areas of the Australian, Aotearoa New Zealand or wider Pasifika screen production. To be eligible, all films must have a woman or gender diverse practitioner in a key creative role (Producer, Director, Writer, Cinematographer, Editor, or Sound Designer/Composer) with priority given to creative teams of women and gender diverse filmmakers.

MWFF is committed to celebrating and promoting diversity in the screen industry and screen culture. 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. We are inclusive of cisgender and transgender women and we accept submissions from gender diverse, gender non-conforming, genderqueer, Indigenous gender identities, non-binary, and intersex individuals.

We strongly encourage submissions from women and gender diverse practitioners identifying as First Nations, Women/Person of Colour, Disabled, and LGBTIQ+ from Australia, Aotearoa NZ and the wider Moana.

Should you require an alternative way of submitting, please contact us via email -

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

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 and The Post Lounge, equipment from Blackmagic Design, WIFT Victoria memberships, studio access from Studio F and cash prizes.

Submission is open to short films (20 mins max duration including credits) and web series that have been completed after January 1, 2018.

We welcome narrative films, documentaries, animations, music videos, web series, 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 and/or gender diverse filmmaker in a key creative role (Producer, Director, Writer, Cinematographer, Editor, or Sound Designer/Composer) with priority given to creative teams of women and gender diverse filmmakers.

For entry into the Next Gen category, you must currently be studying an accredited screen, film or media production degree at a public or private university in Australia, Aotearoa New Zealand, or a wider island nation of Moana Oceania, or have graduated one of these programs in the last 12 months. The film submitted should have been made as a part of your studies. This will be indicated in your cover letter.

You must have all the necessary clearances in place for film festival exhibition.

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, 2022 (exhibition requirements will be sent shortly after acceptance letters).

If you have any questions about this application, or would like to submit it in an alternative format, we encourage you to contact us via email at

All entries with dialogue not in the English language must be subtitled in English. We also welcome films with audio description and closed captions.

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

Fees are inclusive of GST.

PLEASE NOTE: Fee waivers are available for First Nations, Pasifika, transgender and gender diverse filmmakers, and Disabled filmmakers. Please email for further details.

Overall Rating
  • Keshi Sacdalan

    This was the first physical screening for my graduate film "Aswang" due to the lockdown restrictions. What a great experience for a first physical screening!

    Lots of amazing films and communication with MWFF team was great.

    February 2022
    Response from festival:

    Thanks so much, Keshi! It was wonderful to have your film as part of our cinemas! :)

  • Laura Jane Turner

    The Melbourne Women in Film Festival is the best place to share your work as a woman in this industry. They create the most supportive framework, especially (for me) as someone who is quite new to sharing their work publicly. Thank you so much for your care and compassion - and for elevating stories by and about women and gender diverse people.

    February 2022
    Response from festival:

    Oh thanks so much, Laura Jane. We absolutely aim for just this experience, so we're really chuffed you enjoyed it.

  • Jessica Hutchinson

    Such a brilliant event - we felt extremely welcome and humbled to be a part of the filmmakers showcased at the 2022 festival. The entire festival team was a pleasure to deal with, and we had a fantastic time. We can't wait to attend next year!

    February 2022
    Response from festival:

    Hurray! Glad you had blast, Jessica. See you next year!

  • Love that this festival exists to give a platform to women filmmakers.

    February 2022
    Response from festival:

    Thanks for taking the time to review us, Alanna, and hope we get to screen something else of yours soon.

  • What a terrific festival. Had some fabulous conversations about film, women and dancing, despite the festival needing to be online! Well worth submission and attendance, the MWFF crew were so incredibly supportive and the festival was beautifully challenging. All you want in a festival!

    January 2022
    Response from festival:

    Thanks for the lovely review, Erin, and for all your wonderful twirling and dancing. We hope to see you back sometime!