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 and gender diverse practitioners 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 Post Lab.IO, equipment from Blackmagic Design, WIFT Victoria memberships, 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, 2020. Note that we can only screen one episode of a web/digital series in venues.

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 and by submitting your film, we assume this is case.

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 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
  • Jessica Sherlock

    A wonderful festival that truly celebrates women in film. I was so pleased to attend MWFF 2024, and watch so many incredible films. The festival organisers were amazing with their communication in the lead up to the festival. Thank you so much!

    June 2024
  • Angie Black

    Fantastic film festival in support of women and gender diverse people. The focus on experimental works and films the promote and support women were incredibly well programmed and curated. The organisers are passionate about exhibiting and discussing the film and the panels provide a wonderful opportunity to engage with the work and their makers. Everyone was very welcoming and the whole event was exceptionally well organised. Could not recommend more highly.

    May 2024
    Response from festival:

    Thank you so much for this incredible review, Angie!

  • We had a wonderful time at MWFF. It was a last-minute choice for us to attend, but given that our film was part of opening night, we made the call to travel from Aoteroa. And boy, are we glad we did. There were such excellent staff, board, and volunteers and superb programming. And the ACMI film centre is top-notch. It has big screens and comfy seats, is near the river walk and restaurants, and is in the heart of Melbourne city. Free trams, so it is easy to get around. Add MWFF to your festival calendar.

    April 2024
    Response from festival:

    Amazing, Mary-Lyn, thank you! We're so pleased you came and hope to see you back again!

  • A truly beautiful festival with thoughtful and important programming. We had a blast. Thank you!

    April 2024
    Response from festival:

    Yay! So glad you had a great time at the fest! Thanks for the review.

  • Super accommodating, super organisers and volunteers, and in a super venue. Especially thankful for Sian and the crew ensuring our Auslan interpreters were well looked after. MWFF will be a go to for future submissions for sure!

    April 2024
    Response from festival:

    Thanks so much, Peta. It was wonderful to see your film on the big screen!