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Essential Australian Women Directors: 10 Trailblazers Selected by David Stratton

Revisit ten exceptional Aussie films made by female directors at this year's Sydney Film Festival.
By Sarah Ward
March 29, 2019
By Sarah Ward
March 29, 2019

The film industry is a long way off achieving gender parity, but female directors have been wowing audiences for decades nonetheless. And in the case of Australian female filmmakers, they've been helming some of the country's most memorable movies — from 89-year-old silent film The Cheaters by the pioneering Paulette McDonagh, to Gillian Armstrong's Judy Davis and Claudia Karvan-starring High Tide, to the chills and thrills of Jennifer Kent's The Babadook.

All of the above — fantastic Aussie ladies behind the lens, and the fantastic films they've been making — are in the spotlight at this year's Sydney Film Festival. Each year for the past few years, the fest has tasked David Stratton with taking a look back through cinema's past, and in 2019 he's focusing on trailblazing Australian women filmmakers.

Running from Wednesday, June 5 to Monday, June 10 at the Art Gallery of New South Wales as part of SFF's broader program (which keeps going until Sunday, June 17), Essential Australian Women Directors showcases the work of ten top local female talents. Each one is a crucial slice of Aussie movie history, including Jane Campion's Cannes sensation Sweetie, the stunningly original Bedevil by Indigenous artist and photographer Tracey Moffatt, and Cannes Camera d'Or winner Love Serenade from Shirley Barrett.

Nadia Tass' Malcolm, Jackie McKimmie's Waiting, Rachel Ward's Beautiful Kate and Ana Kokkinos' Blessed round out the program — and Stratton will be on hand at each screening to introduce the films.

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