Australian Womens Film Festival Reveals 2023 Winners

Australian Womens Film Festival

The third annual Australian Womens Film Festival (AWFF) was held in Sydney on Tuesday night.

AWFF 2023, supported by M&C Saatchi, Event Cinemas, and Disney Studios Australia, continued its mission to support, encourage, and celebrate female creatives in front and behind the camera.

“We want to put women front and centre in an industry that has been traditionally dominated by men,” as co-founder Tahyna (Tozzi) MacManus said.

A judging panel consisting of Teresa Palmer, Nakkiah Lui, Edwina Waddy and Grainne Brunsdon selected “Hopeful Romantic” as the winner of both Best Comedy and Best Film. According to Lui, 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.”

“Hopeful Romantic” lead actor, Rae Pastuszak, also won Best Actor. “Rae was so charming, her range and depth of emotions shone and she had impeccable comedic delivery,” added Lui.

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

“The Overthrow”, a film about two young women trying to make the world a better place, won Best Drama. “The friendship is well portrayed by the actors travelling through a beautiful landscape,” noted Brunsdon.

Best Animation went to “My Jumper, It Roars”, a work that was an “empowering, delightful and surprising tale told with wit, creativity, charm and humour,” according to Waddy.

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

For their film “Fuck Me, Richard”, Lucy Elizabeth McKendrick and Charles Poling shared the award for Best Director, the judges describing the film as being “very assured” with “great execution.”