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Migrants turn to filmmaking to share their stories

A group of Australian migrants have been given the opportunity to share their story through film, thanks to ACH Group’s Good Lives On Film project.  

Adelaide woman Sahar Amini has shared her story on film for the Good Lives On Film project (Source: ACH Group)

The award winning initiative of ACH Group’s member network The Exchange gave the participants, all of whom are over 50 years old, the opportunity to produce two films about themselves and their cultural backgrounds.

The group spent 13 weeks together at the Adelaide Media Resource Centre developing their own concepts for the final films, before learning the basics of filming and heading out on location to shoot their own footage.

The group had to learn about using the camera and sound equipment, lighting their scenes, producing, directing and editing their own film. After that, the group returned to the editing suite were they oversaw the final production of their work.

Sahar Amini, who left her home country of Iran 27 years ago to seek a better life in Australia for herself, her husband and their three children, is one of the first-time filmmakers who worked on the project.

“The first film we made, A Taste of Harmony, is about food, culture and different backgrounds getting together,” Ms Amini says.

“All of us made different foods from our background and cultures, then we put them together to share them. “The other film, Life’s Box of Treasures, is about things that are important to us, so everyone brought something special and we spoke about what it meant to us. I brought a thing we use to make our tea a special way that we call a samovar.”

Ms Amini says she is really appreciative of the opportunity to be a part of the Good Lives On Film project.

“It was wonderful, I really enjoyed it and I’ve made a lot of new friends,” she says. “Our work may not be perfect, but it’s made us feel that as migrants we have value, that we are counted, and that is really important to us.”

Project Manager for The Exchange Fiona Telford-Sharp says she is delighted with the result of the project, which is now in its third instalment.

“The filmmakers captured a rich tapestry of stories from a range of countries, including Italy, Germany, Bosnia, Iran and Hong Kong,” she says.

“With so many shared experiences the group quickly formed strong friendships. They have all challenged themselves to learn new skills, and showed great courage in sharing their personal stories with the wider community.”

The films will be premiering at the Mercury Theatre in Adelaide on Wednesday, June 28. Adelaide based singer and WOMADelaide perfomer Akhter Jahan will be performing music from Bangladesh and North India. The event is free to attend and guests are encouraged to wear their cultural dress.

To find out more or to book a space, call (08) 8159 3425 or visit the ACH Group website.


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