by Renay Xuereb

Blacktown Shorts Q&A

Online: 19 December 2023 to 15 January 2024

Get to know Blacktown Shorts Film Festival filmmakers Esky Escandor, Reg Azwar, Emie Roy, Sebastian Chan, and Daisy Montalvo and discover how and why they came to be part of the film industry.

Curated and produced by Blacktown Shorts Film Festival’s Vonne Patiag and Dee Dogan, this 3-part interview series captures exciting conversations with homegrown creatives.

Watch all films in the Summer Screen program before 15 January 2024!

Image: Courtesy of Blacktown Arts

Esky Escandor and Reg Azwar

Writer and directors of the film In Search of the White Deer provide insight into their film and how it celebrates local community.

In Search of the White Deer is a laugh out loud documentary that hunts for evidence of the mythic white deer.

Image: Courtesy of Blacktown Arts

Emie Roy

Writer and director of the film Chenda, Emie Roy speaks to her love for storytelling and her career as a part-time artist.

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

Image: Courtesy of Blacktown Arts

Sebastian Chan and Daisy Montalvo

Producers of the film Tony’s Dream share advice with local creatives and explore how they connect to culture through film.

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

Creative team

An AACTA Award-nominated Writer and Director, Dee Dogan lives and works in western Sydney. Her work ranges from narrative fiction to documentary, emphasizing stories of the diaspora for an international audience.

In 2021, Dee co-wrote and associate-produced an anthology feature film HERE OUT WEST for ABC with Co-Curious and Emerald Productions. The film was nominated for the 54th Annual AWGIE Awards and was the opening night film at the 68th Sydney Film Festival, 2021. In 2021, Dee’s debut film A CUP OF TEA was shortlisted for the Sundance Screenwriter’s Development Track. The script was accepted into the prestigious Attagirl Program, an incubation program facilitating the development of outstanding female and non-binary filmmakers and run by For Film’s Sake.

Image: Courtesy of the artist

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 that celebrates 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 and 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 using mixed ability teams and skills which will be vital on a film set.

Image: Courtesy of the artist

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 with various organizations and community groups. As well as working with renowned artists such as ONEFOUR, MC Trey, and Christine Abadir (actor). 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.

Image: Courtesy of the artist

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.

Image: Courtesy of the artist

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. With excellent knowledge of all Adobe software and a particular interest in editing, 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 and director with Pretty Films and having received fbiSMAC Award Best Video Nomination for her work as a director and editor 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.

Image: Courtesy of the artist

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.

Image: Courtesy of the artist

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 will make its mainstage debut with a Creative First Look season in March 2023 with Riverside’s National Theatre of Parramatta.

Image: Courtesy of the artist