by Renay Xuereb

Summer Screen

Online: 19 December 2023 to 15 January 2024

Blacktown Arts celebrates local talent with a selection of films from our 2023 screen program!

Cool off and watch films from Made in the West Film Festival, SF3 SmartFone Flick Fest and Blacktown Shorts Film Festival, all from the comfort of your own home.

Dip into stories of dating, conspiracy, mystery, and more!

Summer Screen has now ended.

Image: Courtesy of the filmmakers

Hello, My Name is Mother Nature
Darcy Carroll and Pamela Manos
Made in the West Film Festival

Mother Nature goes to a speed dating event in an attempt to get over her toxic relationship with Mankind. A chance for love to blossom proves fruitless, with each potential match being more disastrous than the last.

Image: Courtesy of the filmmakers

They’re Listening
Rachael Belle Myers
SF3 SmartFone Flick Fest

A paranoid technophobe goes too far when he tries to convince his girlfriend that his conspiracy theories are true.

A film shot on a phone, about a phone, that’s listening to you.

Image: Courtesy of the filmmakers

In Search of the White Deer
Escandor and Reg Azwar
Blacktown Shorts Film Festival

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

Image: Photography by Julia Firak

Tony’s Dream
Sebastian Chan, Augusto Garcia and Daisy Montalvo
Blacktown Shorts Film Festival

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.

Image: Courtesy of the filmmakers

Emie Roy
Blacktown Shorts Film Festival

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

Creative team

Augusto Garcia was born in San Juan, Argentina at the foot of the mighty Cordillera de los Andes. His life met with 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.

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.

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

Darcy Carroll and Pamela Manos are aspiring young filmmakers from western Sydney whose film Hello My Name is Mother Nature premiered at Made in the West Film Festival and was awarded the Audience Choice Award, People Choice Award and Best Comedy. Darcy hopes to use his artistic voice in the future to create warm and accurate representations of greater western Sydney and the diverse voices that live here. Pamela hopes to pursue her passion and talents for producing and directing to share insights from her personal life and all the stories formed in weird and beautiful ways.

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. As well as for writing and directing the documentary series called Unlocked in the same theme.

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

Made in the West Film Festival brings the glamour of a red carpet industry awards night to western Sydney filmmakers.

Hosted by Still Searchin’ Productions, the festival shines a spotlight on western Sydney’s emerging film scene, connecting independent and student filmmakers with established industry experts for one spectacular event showcasing locally produced films.

Founded in 2012, Made in the West is the biggest annual celebration of western Sydney talent on the big screen.

Image: Made in the West Film Festival logo

Rachael Belle Myers is a multi-award-winning social impact filmmaker. As a screenwriter, director and producer, Rachael’s passion is to inspire change in the world through visual storytelling. With a large focus on social media and technology’s impact on our society, her films challenge the audience’s view and perception of their reality.

Rachael’s most notable award-winning films are First World Problems which deals with homelessness, Curated Illusions which delves into social media addiction and the unsafe use of mobile devices whilst driving, and Three Feet Deep which tackles social responsibility and karma.

Born and raised in western Sydney, Rachael has spent a lot of time trying to support and grow local filmmakers by co-founding the western Sydney Filmmakers Hangout and sponsoring and judging international film festivals.

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

SF3 aka the SmartFone Flick Fest is one of the world’s biggest and most prestigious smartphone film festivals. An international festival open to filmmakers of all ages from every corner of the world – all you need is a great idea and a phone or tablet.

SF3 provides a platform for budding, emerging and professional filmmakers to bring their ideas to life and have their films seen by a global audience, without the need for lots of fancy equipment or a big budget. The democratisation of filmmaking is here!

Alongside the festival, SF3 is also a world leader in the smartphone education space. They teach smartphone filmmaking workshops throughout the year both live and via Zoom. Their workshops cater to all ages, the youngest student to date is 5 years old and the oldest in their 70s. SF3 teaches for NIDA, the Actors Centre Australia, WIFT NSW, many local Australian councils and arts centres across both metro and regional Australia, in Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Jamaica and across America, Europe and Asia.

Image: SF3 SmartFone Flick Fest logo