by bacblogarts

Image: Tony’s Dream film still by Augusto Garcia, supplied by Julia Firak

Blacktown Shorts Film Festival

Digital season on until 22 July 2023


Blacktown Shorts is headed online for a limited season from 11 to 22 July 2023, so grab a snack and watch from the comfort of your own home.

Following its premiere screening at the Skyline Drive In for Magnify: Expand Your Vision, Blacktown Shorts is back for a limited season.

Experience local narratives and explorations of migration, music, family expectations, spiritism, and much more. Each film is an insightful personal story, peering into hidden cultures within the Blacktown sprawl.

Curated by local filmmaker Vonne Patiag with Dee Dogan. Featuring films by Emie Roy, Ian Esky and Reg Azwar, Sangeetha Gowda & Marshall-Weishuai Yuan (NOAH Films), Augusto Garcia with Sebastian Chan and Daisy Montalvo.

See it, hear it, feel it!


Image: Chenda film still by Emie Roy


Emie Roy

A documentary that shines a light on a percussion instrument crucial to connecting South Indians living in the area.

The film follows an extraordinary group of western Sydney musicians as they prepare for a performance, unfurling the fascinating story behind their connection to the instrument.

Image: In Search of the White Deer film still by Ian Esky and Reg Azwar

In Search of the White Deer

Ian Esky and Reg Azwar

A laugh out loud documentary that hunts for evidence of the mythic white deer.

This haunting, heartfelt and honest film explores the environmental effects of new suburban growth in the outskirts of Blacktown, and how sightings of this rare species have astounded suburbanites living with this urban legend in their own backyard.

Image: Red Lantern film still by Sangeetha Gowda & Marshall-Weishuai Yuan (NOAH Films)

Red Lantern

Sangeetha Gowda & Marshall-Weishuai Yuan (NOAH Films)

Red Lantern is a homage to Ethnic-Australian Creatives. It explores the struggle of following your creative pursuits against all odds and family expectations, without a guarantee of success.

A timeless tale of culture versus creativity, and how the two can intersect to give birth to something powerful.

Image: Tony’s Dream film still by Augusto Garcia, supplied by Julia Firak

Tony’s Dream

Augusto Garcia, Daisy Montalvo, and Sebastian Chan

Tony’s Dream blends reality and the dream world in this poignant film about a young Latin-American boy who struggles to fit into his new home in western Sydney.

An escapist suburban fantasy that explores how our identities become a mosaic of overlapping cultures during migration.

Creative team

Augusto Garcia was born in San Juan, Argentina at the foot of the mighty Cordillera de los Andes. His life got a plot twist when his family moved to Australia where he found his passion to tell stories at 24. The lingering roots of his Argentineans origins feed his creative world, and his romantic and passionate sensibility always push his stories towards the challenges of understanding the human heart.

Augusto is a Writer / Director and current member of the ADG (Australian Director’s Guild).  Augusto is alumni of the Queensland School of Film and Television, Griffith Film School and the Sydney Film School. He also keeps himself updated by assisting to AFTRS short courses programs.

Daisy Montalvo is a Mount Druitt filmmaker and Creative Producer – Community & Engagement at PYT Fairfield. She is also the Director of Funpark, a sustained arts engagement program that culminates into a bi-annual community festival celebrating the talent and lived experiences of the people of Mount Druitt.

Daisy’s work on the web-series Las Rosas speaks briefly about her experience growing up in social housing in Mount Druitt as a first generation migrant. It honed her skills in creating content for multicultural and bilingual audiences within genres that play to that specific audience. Daisy’s work on Prone to the Drone, From All Sides, Funpark and PYT have given her extensive skills in event management and coordination.

Emie Roy is a writer, speaker, documentary film maker, and above all, a passionate storyteller. She has been creating socially and culturally relevant audio, visual and print stories for the last 10 years in the form of articles, essays, life writing (on people, places and things), storyboards and scripts.

Emie was awarded ‘Woman of the year 2023’ by Blacktown City Council for curating pandemic time stories of 50 people across Sydney, through the book The Light at the end of the Tunnel, and for writing and directing the documentary series called Unlocked in the same theme.

Esky Escandor is a multifaceted artist as a writer, stand-up comedian, community organiser, and youth worker. Born and raised in western Sydney, Esky’s writings reflect his Filipino heritage and experiences within his communities. His passion for building stronger communities is reflected in his works and collaborations.

His filmmaking productions have garnered acclaim, with his short film/music video Good As Gold earning multiple nominations and winning Best Music Video of the Year at the Made In The West Film Festival. Beyond his creative endeavors, Esky actively contributes to society as a youth worker at Street University Mt Druitt and as the director of Opn.Src, an arts collective based in western Sydney.

NOAH Films was established in 2019 by Actors Sangeetha Gowda & Marshall-Weishuai Yuan, in order to create more opportunities for themselves and other BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour) creatives in Australia.

They have since created multiple projects which have received international success on the festival circuit, most notably being Social Murderer, an 8 part web-series which received ‘Best Directors’, ‘Best Web series’ and ‘Best Ensemble’, having worked with over 90 cast and crew from diverse backgrounds.

Aside from their film work , they are the creators of Diversity Australia Magazine, an independent online magazine which further provides spaces for diverse Australian stories.

Reg Azwar is a talented filmmaker based on Gadigal land, who brings a unique perspective to the film industry through her experimental short films, music videos, and documentaries that explore themes of nostalgia, belonging, and the everyday mundanes of life.

She has worked on several projects as an editor, including short films and music videos, showcasing her ability to bring visual stories to life. Her achievements include working as an attachment assistant editor with Netflix, as director with Pretty Films, and has received a fbiSMAC Award Best Video Nomination for her work on the Same Shit music video and the Home Documentary with Apple and Street University. Her passion for filmmaking and outstanding abilities make her a force to be reckoned with in the industry.

Sebastian Chan is a prolific writer/producer from the ACT. Sebastian graduated from the University of Canberra in 2015 with a Bachelor of Media Arts & Production. He has since gone on to earn an Advanced Diploma in Producing (Story, Audience, Finance) from AFTRS.

Vonne Patiag is a multiple AACTA, AWGIE, Logie and SPA Award-nominated writer, director, producer and Actor based in western Sydney. His recent credits include writing and producing the 4-part series The Unusual Suspects for SBS, the feature anthology film Here Out West, released theatrically in early 2022, and writing on Significant Others, a 6-part drama for ABC.

Most recently, his short film Too Many Ethnics had its World Premiere at Flickerfest 2023 and his one-man show The Life Cycle of Blanco made its mainstage debut with a Creative First Look season in March 2023 with Riverside’s National Theatre of Parramatta.

Image: Vonne Patiag, supplied by the artist

This project is proudly funded by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body, with support from the NSW Government through Create NSW and Blacktown City Council.