The Melbourne Women in Film Festival returns with environmental focus

Don't miss new experimental 'poem' documentary WINHANGANHA at this year's MWFF.

The Melbourne Women in Film Festival (MWFF) is back at ACMI from 21-25 March, marking its eighth year of celebrating films by women and gender-diverse screen creatives.

This year’s festival promises to delve ‘into the intricate relationship between filmmakers and their environments’, exploring how film interacts with sustainability, climate crises, and contemporary social and cultural landscapes that impact women and gender-diverse individuals.


Opening Night, 21 March

The festival kicks off with WINHANGANHA, a ‘lyrical journey’ through the lens of acclaimed Wiradjuri artist, Jazz Money. This film is ‘a poem in five acts’ examining the impact of the horrors, joys and beauties held within the archives on First Nations people.

Commissioned by the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia in 2023, this film offers a poetic exploration of storytelling and resistance, questioning the power and position, storyteller and the stories told set against a backdrop of archival footage and original composition. It also includes original poetry written and performed by Jazz, and an original score by Filipino-Aboriginal rapper and composer DOBBY (Rhyan Clapham). Following the screening of WINHANGANHA, Jazz Money will host a Q&A session.

Carbon: The Unathorised Biography

Narrated in first person by Sarah Snook (Succession), Carbon: the Unauthorised Biography is an unorthodox documentary that reveals the paradoxical story of the element that builds all life, and yet may end it all. Directed by Daniella Ortega and Niobe Thompson, Carbon features celebrated scientists, unique animations and a stunning orchestral score to remind us of our humble participation in the most extraordinary store in the universe. Carbon is playing at ACMI on Sunday 24 March.

Read: The Royal Hotel Review: a dead-set Australian classic

The Royal Hotel

Directed by Kitty Green, and written by Green and Oscar Redding, and starring awarding-winning actor Julia Garner and British actor Jessica Henwick, The Royal Hotel (Australia, 2023)is screening on Friday 22 March. This drama unfolds around the unnerving experience of two Americans in a remote Australian Outback mining town, exploring themes of friendship and control.

Closing Night, 25 March

Jeni Thornley presents Memory Film: a Filmmaker’s Diary, a journey chronicling decades of activism and social change. Drawing on her Super 8 archive (1974-2003), the film chronicles decades of activism and social change such as films MaidensTo the Other ShoreIsland Home Country and the collaborative feature For Love or Money.

After the screening, Thornley will host a Q&A discussion to conclude the 2024 MWFF season. Memory Film is a road movie of an ‘inner journey’ that resonates with themes of gender fluidity, utopian feminism, love and its tribulations, the pain and pleasure of motherhood, and the quest for a world free of violence and colonisation that is accompanied by a sweeping score by world-renowned Egyptian-Australian Oud virtuoso and composer, Joseph Tawadros.  

As always, MWFF features panel discussions, workshops, and short film sessions over the weekend.

The festival aims to broaden gender equality and diversity in the Australian screen industries, and is supported in this endeavour by the City of Melbourne Arts and Creative Investment Partnership program.

The Melbourne Women in Film Festival runs from 21-25 March at ACMI, Melbourne. For tickets and more information, visit the MWFF website.

Silvi Vann-Wall is a journalist, podcaster, and filmmaker. They joined ScreenHub as Film Content Lead in 2022. Twitter: @SilviReports