The SWAN Perth International Women in Film Festival is a special celebration of WA women in the film industry, coming to Perth from Friday, December 2 to Friday, December 4.

The festival was founded by five SAE Creative Media Institute graduates, which to date has received almost 200 entries across 40 countries.

“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,”  said SAE graduate and festival director, Gizela Maartens, explaining the inspiration for the event.

With only 16 per cent of directors and 34 per cent of producers in Australia identifying as female, Maartens 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 said. “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.”

“When you’re watching a film and that character was designed by a woman, you can tell,” Maartens said. “We want women to be able to experience films and feel seen.”

Maartens 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 to share their creative work.

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 Pearson. “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:

Category Awards

  • 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

Achievement Awards:

  • 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 Perth International Women In Film Festival takes place from Friday, December 2 to Friday, December 4, 2022. Film nominations close on Saturday, October 29. To buy your tickets to the festival visit here.