The Melbourne Women in Film Festival is a not-for-profit festival aimed at celebrating and supporting the work of women filmmakers and creatives – from directors, writers and producers to cinematographers, sound designers and editors. This annual festival endeavours to promote the many talented women who work within all areas of film production, and to encourage and inspire women with creative aspirations to pursue their passions with confidence.

Our goal is to provide a space and opportunities for film creatives to exhibit their work to a diverse Melbourne audience. Further, we aim to advocate for gender equality in the Victorian and Australian screen industries, provide opportunities for dialogue and engagement between women working in film, the Australian screen industry and audiences, provide opportunities for emerging filmmakers to exhibit their work, and of course...entertain!

We look forward to seeing you at the festival!

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emma manning (chair)

Emma formed, an online town planning consultancy, in 2016. Prior to which Emma held senior positions in metropolitan and regional local Councils and the private sector in town planning. Emma also worked for Singapore’s Urban Redevelopment Authority. Emma is a full member of the Planning Institute of Australia and the Victorian Planning and Environmental Association.

In addition to a Bachelor of Urban Planning and Development (Hons), Emma has completed a Masters in Public and International Law. During her studies at Melbourne Law School, Emma was elected President of the Melbourne Law Masters Student Association for two consecutive terms.

Emma’s high level communication and negotiation skills, combined with her win-win attitude and enthusiasm are responsible for her success in planning and business. Emma is also a passionate advocate for gender equality and human rights.

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therese Davis

Therese Davis is an Associate Professor and head of the Film and TV Studies program at Monash University. Previously, she has worked on community radio and as a media activist. Therese holds a degree in Communications, a Masters in Cultural Studies and a PhD from the University of Western Sydney. Her doctoral thesis on the face, death and spectatorship in the media age was published as The Face on the Screen: Death, Recognition and Spectatorship (Intellect, 2004). She is also the co-author with Felicity Collins of Australian Cinema After Mabo (CUP, 2004). 

Therese has been teaching film and television studies at Australian universities since 1994. Throughout this time she has maintained a strong interest in the relationship between theory and media practice in both her teaching and research. Therese is the co-recipient of a 2006 ARC Discovery Grant to investigate collaborations between Indigenous and non-Indigenous filmmakers and writers in Australia since 1960, and has co-edited with Belinda Smaill a special issue of Camera Obscura on “The Place of the Contemporary Female Director” (2014). In 2009, she was awarded the Ivan Hutchinson Prize for Best Writing on Australian Film by the Australian Film Critics Association. Currently, Therese is collaborating with filmmaker Romaine Moreton on a research project funded by Screen Australia looking at Indigenous filmmaking models.




Emma jenkin

Emma Jenkin is a finance professional who has worked internationally in investment banking, funds management, environmental finance and in several start-ups including as a CFO. Emma has a degree in mathematics and finance and has a love of numbers combined with an aptitude for problem solving. Emma is a film lover who is passionate about gender equality and supports increased participation of women in all facets of the film industry. Emma recently become an executive producer on a television series pilot – profiling a female tech start up entrepreneur and directed by an emerging female director. 


hari morfis

Hari is a practising lawyer with over 15 years experience in professional and financial services. She is currently General Counsel and Company Secretary of an ASX listed fund manager and Company Secretary on another ASX listed investment company. Prior to this, Hari spent more than a decade at a global financial institution in various senior legal, risk and compliance roles. She has a Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Laws from Monash University and is currently studying a Graduate Diploma in Applied Corporate Governance.

Throughout her career Hari has been a mentor, supporter and champion of women. She is equally passionate about film.




Leanne Tonkes is a producer of feature films, web series, television commercials, music videos and short films. Her company Sense & Centsability develops and produces engaging and emotional stories with a focus on content for female audiences worldwide.  She has become an advocate for Gender Equality in the film industry and champions the careers of female writers and directors. Her credits include feature film MY MISTRESS, AFI award winning short DOG WITH ELECTRIC COLLAR and webseries THIS IS DESMONDO RAY!  She is producing THE SECOND, Mairi Cameron’s debut feature film, THE CIRCUS Emma Freeman’s debut feature written by Alice Bell and an adaptation of Erin McKean’s best selling novel, THE SECRET LIVES OF DRESSES. She is currently adapting three books -  TIGRESS based on Niromi de Soyza’s memoir with writer Jane Hampson and script editor Meg LeFauve, THE WEDDING SEASON with Menik Gooneratne, Gurinda Chadha and Paul Mayeda Berges and NZ novel THE ELUSIVE LANGUAGE OF DUCKS by Judith White.



festival Director

Sian Mitchell

         Organisational team

Kirsten Stevens

Assistant Festival Director


Whitney Monaghan

Shorts Programming


Janice Loreck

Panel Programming/Marketing & Communications


Sheri Tantawy



Vy Wijekumar - Communications

Elise Froumson - Volunteer Supervisor

Andree L'estrange - Volunteer Supervisor