The Melbourne Women in Film Festival is a regional not-for-profit festival aimed at celebrating and supporting the work of women and gender diverse filmmakers and creatives – from directors, writers and producers to cinematographers, sound designers and editors. Our annual festival endeavours to promote the many talented women and gender diverse filmmakers who work within all areas of screen production, and to encourage and inspire 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.

Please note that we only screen films from women and gender diverse filmmakers working in Australia, Aotearoa New Zealand and the island nations of the wider Moana Oceania.

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 2022
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.

Our theme for MWFF 2022 will be announced near the end of the year. We can reveal, however, that in addition to our general open call, we also welcome short films, web series and music videos that engage with genres of comedy and humour.

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. 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 First Nations women, women of colour, women with disability and Deaf communities, and LGBTIQ-identified women.

The short film programmes 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, vouchers from Lemac Film & Digital, equipment from Blackmagic Design, WIFT Victoria memberships, and screenwriting mentorship from Script Central.

Submission is open to short films (20 mins max duration including credits) and web series that have been completed after January 1, 2017.

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 programmes 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.

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)

Note:
Secure online screener is the preferred method of submission. If selected, your exhibition copy is required by December 1st, 2021 (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 info@mwff.org.au.

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, and transgender and gender diverse filmmakers, and filmmakers with Disability. Please email info@mwff.org.au for further details.

Overall Rating
Quality
Value
Communication
Hospitality
Networking
  • Erin McCuskey

    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
  • Gemma Cubero Del Barrio

    Even though I was not able to attend this year's festival becuase of COVID. - I am based in LA now - I am very grateful to have discovered this festival. We celebrated the Australia premiere for Our Atoll Speaks and the communication with the staff, the programming of the films and the hospitality of the festival director and team was wonderful! Thank you for everything MWFF and I hope next year I can come back to meet you in person and experience the festival life with my new film!

    March 2021
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    Response from festival:

    Gemma, thank you so much for being a part of our festival...even from all the way over in LA. We hope you can attend in person sometime in the future too!

  • Kate Murray

    I cannot speak highly enough of this brilliant festival! I was honored to have my short film, The Fox, play as part of the Next Gen bundle.

    The communication and organisation was fantastic and Sian and her team were accommodating and wonderful to work with.

    Even during a pandemic they found a way to bring people together to celebrate and support women in film. The program consisted of both
    virtual and in-cinema screenings, an excellent way to provide a jam-packed and exciting program.

    I got to see a HUGE variety of shorts and feature films, insightful panel discussions from other filmmakers, and attend networking events.

    This is a much-needed and thoroughly enjoyable festival to be a part of. Thank you Melbourne Women in Film Fest!

    March 2021
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    Response from festival:

    Gosh! Thanks so much for the wonderful review, Kate. :D

  • Melanie Easton

    A wonderful festival all round. Unfortunately we couldn't attend in person due to pandemic travel restrictions but the online program and panels were excellent. Zoom networking for filmmakers was greatly appreciated. Communication with festival staff was great! Highly recommend this festival and hope we can participate again in future years. Huge thanks to the MWFF team for having us and for running such a great event.

    March 2021
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    Response from festival:

    Thanks so much for your generous review, Melanie. It was wonderful to have be a part of our festival this year and hope to see some more films from you!

  • January Jones

    Love this festival and so proud of the diversity and breadth of films chosen to screen. Had such a great time attending.

    March 2020
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    Response from festival:

    Thanks so much, January. We're so pleased you enjoyed it!