Review: Shorts Session #1 at the Melbourne Women in Film Festival

26 February 2018

The Melbourne Women in Film Festival (MWFF) is an annual event celebrating the often-unnoticed dedication and talent of females in the Australian screen industry. This year it ran from the 22nd to the 25th of February. On Saturday the 24th, we went to watch MWFF’s first session of a selection of short films at the RMIT cinema on Swanston Street. Each of the ten films shown demonstrated that women in the industry are indeed a force to be reckoned with.

Many of the filmmakers themselves were present on the evening, and introduced their pieces in a warm and casual manner. Despite knowing nothing about any of the films to be screened, we felt welcomed as though we were part of the crews that created them. Each filmmaker spoke modestly about their own work, and gushingly about the work of others. It was clear we were sitting in a room full of women supporting and uplifting one another, and this incentive radiated through all of the films.

The screening itself was smooth running and well curated, with each of the films flowing one after the other seamlessly and working well together to create a highly emotional experience. The content was a successful balance of hard-hitting political statements and lighter pieces of comedic relief. While some of the matters explored over the course of the session definitely should have been content warned, the films generally dealt with heavy issues in a respectful and sensitive manner.

One of our favourites of the selection, Kiss Me, was written and directed by Victorian College of the Arts student Lara Gissing. The film was set in rural Victoria and followed the story of a young couple who go on a camping trip in an attempt to save their relationship. Without us spoiling too much, let’s just say this very humorously doesn’t quite end up being the case. Another favourite of ours was They Always Ask About Africa, written and directed by Paola Bilbrough. This film starred Agot Dell, and gave us insight into one aspect of her life as the only person of colour in her Australian classroom.

While these were our favourites, all of the other films still had important things to say that will stick with us just as much. We highly recommend getting a hold of the festival program and viewing them for yourself in support of the festival cause.


The Melbourne Women in Film Festival runs 22-25 February.

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