Sarah Ward is a film critic and writer. She is the Australian film critic for Screen International, a senior writer for Concrete Playground, a film reviewer and feature writer for artsHub, and a contributor to FilmInk, Metro Magazine, and Screen Education. Her work has been published by the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, Lumina, Senses of Cinema, Screen Hub, Junkee, SBS Film, Televised Revolution, Broadsheet, and the World Film Locations book series. Sarah is also the editor of Trespass Magazine, and a film critic for ABC radio Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, and the ABC's national digital channel.
In 2013, Flavorwire named Sarah one of the 15 Great Female Film Critics You Ought to Be Reading. She is also a committee member of the Australian Film Critics Association, and has worked with the Brisbane International Film Festival, Queensland Film Festival and Sydney Underground Film Festival, written for the Melbourne International Film Festival, Spanish Film Festival and Korean Film Festival in Australia, and been on juries at the Possible Worlds Film Festival, Human Rights Arts and Film Festival and Football Film Festival.
City I call home: Brisbane
Twitter handle: @swardplay
Type of cinema I am most passionate about:
Everything! It is impossible to choose — there are too many options, and every form of cinema has its pleasures.
A film that changed me/my mind is:
François Truffaut's The 400 Blows because: when I saw it as a young teenager, it completely changed my conception of what cinema could be — the tales it could tell, the manner in which those stories could unfold on screen, and how a film could look and feel. It made me want to delve deeper into cinema in all its forms, and despite the film being several decades old at the time, it still felt fresh and new. It's a coming-of-age film that really did mark the coming-of-age of my movie watching, and finding myself unable to stop thinking about it is one of the reasons that I wanted to become a critic.
Cinema excites me because:
Whether it comes in the form of cathartic entertainment playing at a multiplex, an intimate art house drama, or the multitude of movie types that exist in between, it always filters life, emotion and the human experience onto the screen — and there's always something new to discover and ponder as a result.
My career highlight was when:
Everyone loves seeing their name in print for the first time, and I'm no exception. However, my film criticism career continues to be filled with ongoing highlights because I'm thrilled to be able to spend my time doing what I love: discovering new films, thinking about them and sharing those thoughts through criticism.
The future of film criticism is:
Constantly evolving, because the urge to explore and analyse films will never fade — and hopefully becoming more diverse, allowing different voices and perspectives to be heard.
Film criticism is important because:
If film reflects life, then criticism contemplates just how it achieves that feat. Films make sense of the world, and film criticism makes sense of how they make sense of the world.
The film I'm most looking forward to at MIFF is:
After finding Kate Plays Christine to be a fascinating exploration of Christine Chubbuck’s tragic true story — and of form as well — I’m keen to see the dramatised take on the tale in Christine.