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Western Sydney Shorts

by beth sorensen

New online film festival

Local films made by local artists about local life

Over the next month, Blacktown Arts and CuriousWorks will bring you Western Sydney Shorts, a home-grown feast of short films and one feature, curated by Blacktown filmmaker, Vonne Patiag.

Commencing 15 May, eight films will be released via Blacktown Arts’ social media platforms every Tuesday and Friday evening at 7.30 pm, each remaining available for only 10 days at a time.

While some of these films have been seen at a range of festivals, this is the first time they will be streamed online. Exploring themes of identity and place, the selected films capture the diverse experience of contemporary life in western Sydney, from intimate personal portraits to global issues. Above all, they reveal the enormous talent of filmmakers living and working here.

Where to watch
Blacktown Arts YouTube

Full Program

Directed by Vonne Patiag
Friday 15 May: 7.30 pm
A young man in suburbia develops a fascination with his neighbour. As he watches from his bedroom, a shared secret from their past slowly reconnects the two.

Prodigal Son
Directed by Gerard Cabellon
Tuesday 19 May: 7.30 pm
As new generations are born, how much of their culture do they keep and how much is forgotten? If tradition is lost, what is gained in its place? Three Filipino males embody these contrasting notions as they try to sustain their beliefs against their ever-changing environment.

Being Kurd
Directed by Dee Dogan
Friday 22 May: 7.30 pm
A Kurdish journalist reflects on her childhood memories of escaping Saddam’s regime and reclaiming back her cultural identity.

My name is Mohamed and Raghad, we don’t exist here anymore
Directed by Ali Mousawi
Tuesday 26 May: 7.30 pm
A one-shot, twelve-minute film about a day in the life of an Iranian- Ahwazi asylum seeker family, surviving in Australia.

Artist Talk: Hidden Stories

Thursday 28 May: 1 pm
Where: On Zoom, click here
Join Dee Dogan and Ali Mousawi for a talk and Q&A about their films Being Kurd and My name is Mohamed and Raghad, we don’t exist here anymore. Both filmmakers tackle pressing stories from their cultures and issues in our own backyard affecting everyday unseen Australians. The discussion will take place over Zoom and you can see the films here: Youtube

Wild Dances
Directed by Bina Bhattacharya
Friday 29 May: 7.30 pm
When Ruslana wins Eurovision for Ukraine in 2004, this sets of an unbelievable chain of events on the other side of the world. The lives of a shy, closeted Australian gay boy and a spirited, Ukrainian-Australian girl are forever fused as they share a shining moment on the dance floor.

Directed by Kriv Stenders
Tuesday 2 June: 7.30 pm
Nikki (Niki Owen) is a secretary who is struggling in a relationship with a married man. When she meets Tony (Tony Ryan), ‘a black fella on a white bus’, and despite their obvious differences, Nikki learns that there is room for romance in the desperate western suburbs struggle that is life in Blacktown.

Melon Grab
Directed by Andrew Lee
Friday 5 June: 7.30 pm
Dysfunctional truth rap and suspended youth – the final skate between two best friends.

Prone to the Drone
Directed by Daisy Montalvo
Tuesday 9 June: 7.30 pm
An isolated young man spends his baking hot Sydney summers moving aimlessly between work and home until a drone falls in his backyard.

Artist talk #2
Friday 12 June: 1 pm
In conversation with Shawn Spina, Undi Lee and Bina Bhattacharya