The World of Women: WOW Film Festival 2012 presented by Women in Film and Television NSW (WIFT NSW) will open on March 6 featuring a screening of Camera Obscura by Marta Maia. Now in its 18th year, the short film festival promotes and awards the talents of women across the Australian film industry and internationally.
Writer/Director/Animator/Editor Maia moved from Portugal to Australia in 2010. In one year at Sydney Film School she edited three short films and directed the short animation Camera Obscura. Drawing upon her interest in painting and sculpting, all the puppets in the film were hand made by Marta and her team.
The film tackles constructions people create, their influence on our lives. Maia said that Camera Obscura represented the many devices that everyone uses to deal with the world.
"On the one hand camera obscura represents mind itself, a particular state of mind we all live inside because of our past experiences and our future aims which make each of us relate, and see, the world in a different way,” she said. “On a bigger scale it represents devices created by society. That is what the growing, moving, tremulous and bleeding city in my film questions and represents. Are we using the endless possibilities that are offered to us properly?”
The festival also launched successful film careers for Australian filmmakers, Elissa Down (The Black Balloon) and Cate Shortland (Somersault, The Slap).
Sydney Film School (SFS) adds the Camera Obscura screening to a total of 77 films, screened in 106 film festivals around the world and 34 first prize wins.
WOW festival director Michelle Bleicher said WIFT was committed to improving the status of women, both on and off the screen.
“We do this by supporting and advancing women working in the film, television and related screen industries,” she said. “The festival aims to provide a thematic perspective of seeing the world through the eyes of women.”