SAE graduate and festival director, Gizela Maartens explains the inspiration for the event, and why female filmmakers bring a unique perspective.
Gizela graduated with a Bachelor of Film from SAE Perth at the end of 2021. Alongside fellow SAE graduates Tabbetha Marshall, Chantelle Lucas, Lisette McAllister-Liew, and Casey Renzullo, they wanted to celebrate and give a platform to female filmmakers.
“We are Western Australia’s own film festival dedicated to celebrating powerful women in film from all over Australia and around the world. It’s an opportunity for filmmakers to network and showcase their talents, while supporting other women in filmmaking,” Gizela said.
With only 16 per cent of directors and 34 per cent of producers in Australia identifying as female, Gizela wants to see a rebalancing of representation of women behind the camera.
“A lot of the film industry is word of mouth, so environments like SWAN are so important from a networking perspective,” she commented. “We’re going to get a lot of female filmmakers there, which is going to give opportunities to people to meet and hopefully generate job openings.
“Putting more women behind the camera, especially in those areas where women are underrepresented, is so crucial.”
Since the end of the pandemic, Perth has enjoyed an emergence of new festivals, Gizela explained. “We’ve seen the Perth Horror Film Festival, and the Perth Independent Film Festival doing really well, but we felt there’s a place for a female film festival in the State, like the Sydney Women’s International Film Festival, and The Melbourne Women in Film Festival.”
She added how important it is that women have a “safe space” where they can share their creative work with fellow female filmmakers.
“When you’re watching a film and that character was designed by a woman, you can tell,” Gizela said. “We want women to be able to experience films and feel seen.”
The SAE Perth campus in Northbridge will host three of the five screenings, something which SAE Perth Campus Manager, Dean Pearson is extremely proud of.
“What Gizela, Tabbetha, Chantelle, Lisette, and Casey have been able to accomplish as young filmmakers, is truly inspiring for our students,” said Dean.
“With almost 200 film entries from around the world, they have shown there is a strong appetite in the industry for a festival that recognises and celebrates women behind the camera. The campus is looking forward to hosting the inaugural SWAN – Perth International Women In Film Festival, and sparking the imagination of future young filmmakers.”
In its inaugural year, the festival will be giving out 21 awards including:
- Best International Short Film
- Best Australian Short Film
- Best International Short Film with Female Lead
- Best Australian Short Film with Female Lead
- Best Experimental Short Film
- Best Animated Short Film
- Best International Short Documentary
- Best Australian Short Documentary
- Official Selection
- Audience Choice Award
- Honourable Mentions
- Best Director
- Best Producer
- Best Screenplay
- Best Production Design
- Best Editing
- Best use of VFX
- Best use of Lighting
- Best Performance
- Best Performance (Voice Acting)
- Best Audio Composition
The SWAN -The Perth International Women In Film Festival takes place from 2 – 4 December 2022. Film nominations close on 29 October. To buy your tickets to the festival visit here.
We are Western Australia’s own film festival dedicated to celebrating powerful women in film from all over Australia and around the world! Come for a fun session of networking and showcasing WA talent, supporting women in filmmaking, and sharing the love for all things film. We’re all about celebrating the female perspective and creating a positive environment for interaction between legendary female filmmakers. We love to support emerging and indie filmmakers, especially nurturing Western Australia’s growing film industry. More information available at: swanwomeninfilmfestival.com.au
SAE Creative Media Institute is the place for creatives and innovators. Since 1976 we’ve been the leaders in creative media education across animation, audio, creative industries, creative technologies, design, film, games, and music. Every year, we support students globally to develop the skills and experience needed to carve successful careers. Students enjoy access to the latest technology and are taught by industry-experienced faculty, while putting their skills to the test in small class environments. Our graduates become part of a highly-respected global community of creatives that’s been around for over 40 years. We pride ourselves on being technically explorative, transformative and brave through our range of creative media programs, from short courses and professional training through to bachelor and postgraduate degrees. In Australia, our programs are delivered at campuses in Sydney, Brisbane, Byron Bay, Melbourne, Perth and Adelaide. SAE is a part of Navitas Pty Ltd. More information about SAE is available at sae.edu.au.