Sarah Watt

30 August 1958 — 4 November 2011

Sarah Watt, award-winning Australian director, producer, writer, animator, photographer and artist, completed the Graduate Diploma in Film and Television (Animation) at Swinburne in 1990.

From a background in art, Sarah developed a love of animation while at Swinburne and her graduate film, Catch of the Day, screened at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival and Market (MIFA) in France.

Sarah is best-known for directing Look Both Ways (2005), My Year Without Sex (2009) and Small Treasures (1995).

Small Treasures brought Sarah international acclaim when it won Best Short Film at the Venice Film Festival in 1995. Look Both Ways, her debut feature film, and My Year Without Sex followed, winning numerous awards and commendations.

Sarah’s films are deeply personal affairs and the essence of her painterly style was reflected in the beautiful drawings that make up the animated scenes in Look Both Ways. She explained the importance of making emotive, touching films in an interview with Australian Story.

In 2013 she was posthumously awarded the Byron Kennedy Award, ‘for her brave, innovative filmmaking'. The award announcement acknowledged her special talent.

"Painter, photographer, animator, she brought consummate skill and elegance to the live action form. Without pretension, her work broke all the rules, yet her singular view connected to a wide audience by its profound emotional honesty."

Sarah passed away after a six-year battle with breast and bone cancer.

Sarah was an intelligent, creative, talented, humorous, compassionate, warm, and self-depreciating woman loved by all that encountered her. Her passing is a great loss to the Australian and international film industry.