Monash University & MWFF present

Women, Film and Independence in the 21st Century

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The 2018 Melbourne Women in Film Festival opens with Shirley Barrett's defiantly individual Love Serenade (1996 - written, directed, produced and edited by women).

To help celebrate this Australian classic and the many new films by Australian women filmmakers MWFF brings to the big screen, we invite a panel of filmmakers, academics and industry representatives to reflect on the meaning of independence for women working in screen industries.

What are the issues and factors that impact on the shape of women’s independent filmmaking today? What kinds of cinematic processes of transformation are women filmmakers performing today?

How are trade agreements, digital modes of distribution, and the current Australian screen policy framework impacting on opportunities for women screen creatives in Australia?


Margot Nash: director of six fiction and non-fiction feature films including The Silences 2015, screening at MWFF.

Santilla Chingaipe: an award-winning journalist and documentary filmmaker; her work explores contemporary migration, cultural identities and politics.

Lisa French: Professor and Dean of the School of Media and Communication at RMIT University; co-author of Shining a Light: 50 Years of the Australian Film Institute (2009 & 2014), and Womenvision: Women and the Moving Image in Australia (2003).

Claire Perkins: Senior lecturer in Film Studies at Monash University; author of American Smart Cinema (2012) and co-author Indie Reframed: Women’s Filmmaking and Contemporary American Independent Cinema (2016).

Kristy Matheson: Senior film programmer at ACMI and 2017 recipient of The Natalie Miller Fellowship.


Jodi Brooks: Senior lecturer in Film Studies at UNSW; has published widely on feminist film theory, spectatorship and performance.

Event coordinators

Therese Davis: Associate Professor, Monash University

Dr Sian Mitchell: Festival Director, MWFF