Melbourne Women in Film Festival: spotlight on career development.

Research has shown that women in positions of leadership in the screen industry not only redresses the current gender imbalance, but also broadens the diversity of screen stories. Yet, the industry is not seeing a significant advancement of women in these positions.

Presented with Film Victoria and Monash University, the public forum ‘Leading the Way: Empowering women’s leadership in the screen industries’ at ACMI on Thursday 21st February, 3-5pm is a pivotal part of the Melbourne Women in Film Festival (Feb 21-24). This forum is a timely opportunity for a public discussion of this complex issue. We urgently need to learn more about why women are not taking up available leadership positions and how best to overcome barriers, both structural and individual.

The forum brings together screen experts and industry leaders, such as Australian Directors’ Guild President Samantha Lang, for a timely discussion: what are the broader issues concerning leadership development for

women across different areas of the industry? What are the developmental pathways for women towards positions of leadership? The forum is free but registration is required; registrations open Jan 31 at

In another bid to further career development for women in the film industry, MWFF is partnering with Compton School to give one of its programmed filmmakers the opportunity to take a creative industries course. Compton School is Australia’s first creative industries business school with courses in Creative Leadership, Creative Intelligence, and getting work ready. Courses are delivered by leading industry representatives such as producers Sue Maslin (The Dressmaker) and Andrea Buck (The Jammed). The scholarship covers the fees for one of the courses, and the recipient will be announced in April 2019.

MWFF is also partnering with Taival Films to find the next up-and-coming star screenwriter, with a pitching event on Sunday 24th February at RMIT City Campus for shortlisted entrants who have submitted a script. Successful entrants will have five minutes to pitch their story, and three entrants, to be announced at the MWFF 2019 award ceremony night, will be chosen to enter a Screenwriter Mentoring Program. Mentoring by industry writers will take place over two months, with one winning script to be chosen for production with Taival Films and screened at the 2020 Melbourne Women in Film Festival.

The Melbourne Women in Film Festival proudly supports and promotes the unique, creative and diverse voices of Australian women screen practitioners and their work. MWFF makes a valuable contribution to our local culture by engaging audiences in a festival celebrating different stories about women; stories that can make a difference to women’s lives.

The full Melbourne Women in Film Festival program (21-24 February) will be announced on January 31 at