Sarah Watt dies aged 53

Filmmaker and animator Sarah Watt has died after a long battle with cancer on Friday.

The acclaimed director of 2005’s Look Both Ways and 2009’s My Year Without Sex was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005 and with secondary bone cancer in 2009.

A tribute in The Age newspaper stated that she “died peacefully at home filled with the love she gave to those who adored her – her family.”

Watt found acclaim for her animated shorts in the 90’s – Small Treasures won Best Short Film at the Venice Film Festival – but her most well-known work was 2005’s Look Both Ways. The film won four AFI awards, including for best director and best screenplay, as well as three IF Awards, the Discovery Award at Toronto, and took just under $3 million at the local box office.

Dozens of people across the industry have expressed tributes to the filmmaker. Australian Directors Guild president Ray Argall said Watt will be missed greatly.

"Working with Sarah was never a job, it was always a close personal creative collaboration bringing her intimate stories to screen, and it was always rewarding to see those stories embraced by the audience. Sarah would also generously offer her thoughts and advice to others in their creative work, something I really valued when making my own films.”

Watt is survived by her husband William McInnes and two children, Clem and Stella.

Sarah Watt, photographed for IF Magazine's February 2009 cover. Photo by Jennifer Mitchell.