Our Team

Our Team


Sian Mitchell

Festival Director

Dr Sian Mitchell is a film critic, writer and academic at SAE Creative Media Institute. She has presented numerous conference, symposia and seminar research papers at both domestic and international conferences and workshops. Her research on areas of diversity in the Australian screen industry has been published in journals and industry blogs, including Historic Environment, Peephole Journal, NFSA, and the AFI Research Collection. She has worked as a consulting curator on the heritage web/mobile application, 'Past Port' – a history of Port Melbourne (ARC funded project), as a special research project intern at the National Film and Sound Archive, and been a member of the judging panel for the ATOM Awards (short tertiary film in 2012 and short film in 2016). Sian has also worked in areas of communications and sponsorship with the Alliance Française Classic French Film Festival and sits on their board.


Kirsten Stevens

Deputy Festival Director

Dr Kirsten Stevens is an internationally known film writer and researcher working in the areas of film festivals and film exhibition practice. Author of the book, Australian Film Festivals: Audience, Place and Exhibition Culture (2016), she has spent several years tracing the history of Australia's engagement with cinema and the practices that have built the country's vibrant film culture. Now a leading scholar on Australia's film festival history, she has presented her work around the world. Since gaining her PhD in film studies at Monash University in 2013, she has become increasingly involved in Australia's film festival scene, reporting on and volunteering in several festivals, as well as teaching a course on film festival research and practice in 2016. In 2015 and 2016 Kirsten volunteered with the St Kilda Film Festival, gaining invaluable first hand front-of-house experience of the day-to-day running of a large film festival, which further built on her experience in audience research and event management gained through working within the university and at Museum Victoria.


Janice Loreck

Festival Co-ordinator/Panels & Forums

Dr Janice Loreck is a teaching assistant and researcher at Edith Cowan University. Her academic work focuses cine-feminism, contemporary art cinema and screen violence. She is currently researching feminist fandom and viewing pleasure, with an emphasis on women's criticism online. Dr Loreck has written for Peephole Journal and The Conversation and is the author of Violent Women in Contemporary Cinema (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016).

Whitney Monaghan

Festival Co-ordinator/Critics Lab Co-ordinator

Dr Whitney Monaghan is a screen critic and Assistant Lecturer in Film and Screen Studies at Monash University. She is the social media coordinator for Monash’s School of Media, Film and Journalism and producer of the short film AL (The Movie), which premiered at the Melbourne Underground Film Festival in 2016. With a background in screen, media and cultural studies, she has expertise in gender, queer and youth representation, digital culture, and new forms of screen media. She is the author of the book Queer Girls, Temporality and Screen Media: Not ‘Just a Phase’ (2016) and the founding editor of Peephole Journal, an online magazine devoted to creative screen criticism. She has reported on films, television and film festivals for many publications with international reach. 




Sheri Tantawy


Sheri is a passionate graphic designer with a traditional arts, music and academic background. Images and words play a big role in her visual conceptual explorations so when she was honoured with the opportunity to create a brand image for MWFF, she jumped at the chance. Fuelled by the brand essence of the organisation, MWFF represents so much of what Sheri upholds both artistically and ideologically. Sheri is currently completing her Masters of Communication Design at RMIT, Australia.



Patricia Di Risio - Audience engagement and research

Deniese Sequeira - Social Media Intern