2023 Australian Womens Film Festival Winners Revealed in Sydney 


The Australian Womens Film Festival (AWFF) 2023 has seen an array of upcoming talent recognised at the annual festival in Sydney. 

Now in its third year, the AWFF looks to support, encourage and celebrate female storytellers by giving them a platform to showcase their talent both in front and behind the camera. “We want to put women front and centre in an industry that has been traditionally dominated by men,” said co-founder Tahyna (Tozzi) MacManus.  

Fellow co-founder Kelly Tomasich added: “We are so grateful to all of the filmmakers who chose to share their work with AWFF this year. Congratulations to all of the finalists and award winners. We are consistently impressed by the calibre of films being made and are proud to do our part to help showcase such incredible emerging talent.” 

Judges Teresa Palmer, Nakkiah Lui, Edwina Waddy and Grainne Brunsdon selected Hopeful Romantic for Best Comedy and Best Film. Lui said the film “hit all the marks, with a clear story, great performances, and all the elements coming together for a touching and charming short film”. 

The film’s lead actor, Rae Pastuszak also took home Best Actor.  Lui added:  “Rae was so charming, her range and depth of emotions shone and she had impeccable comedic delivery.”

Best Documentary went to She; Who Lives, which judge Grainne Brunsdon described as a “beautiful, gentle documentary giving voice to migrant mothers’ experiences, fears and hopes for their children”. 

Best Drama went to The Overthrow, which explores the messiness of friendships and shared interests in a poignant portrait of two young women trying to make the world a better place. “The friendship is well portrayed by the actors travelling though a beautiful landscape”, said Brunsdon. 

Best Animation was My Jumper, It Roars. Judge Edwina Waddy said of the winning entry that it was an “empowering, delightful and surprising tale told with wit, creativity, charm and humour”. 

The woman behind the animation, Isabella Spagnolo was also named One to Watch by the judges. Waddy stated of the win: “Isabella did a terrific job at bringing the central idea roaring to life.”

Best Director was taken home by co-directors Lucy Elizabeth McKendrick & Charles Polinger for their film, Fuck Me, Richard

The judges described the film as having a “clear and creative voice and tone” and “very assured, great execution”. 

The winner of the Best Film at AWFF 2023 received a $10,000 rental package from VA Hire, a $10,000 rental package from Disney Lighting and a $5,000 post production package from Spectrum Films to go towards their next project. 

One of the aspects of AWFF is that at least three key creatives of a film must identify as female.

The AWFF is supported by leading creative services group M&C Saatchi, Event Cinemas and Disney studios Australia.

Press Release

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