Freedom Stories at the Sydney Film Festival
8 Jun 2015
4:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Event Cinemas, George Street
Freedom Stories is a new feature documentary telling positive stories of former asylum seekers who are now Australian citizens. In doing so it turns around the negative stereotypes of ‘boat people’ that are so prevalent. It follows Hope (2008), my doco about the late Amal Basry who survived the SIEV X disaster in 2001.
All of our participants arrived from the Middle-East around the watershed political period of 2001 – the year of the Tampa and John Howard’s declaration that ‘we will decide who comes to this country…..’. Some were just kids when they found themselves in remote detention centres and then on temporary protection visas. Despite this ‘welcome’ and its personal legacies, today they are contributing to their new country in all kinds of ways. Freedom Stories is a celebration – for the first time on screen giving former asylum seekers the space to reflect on their experiences and tell their own stories.
The premiere screening will be attended by the filmmakers and several of the film’s participants. It will be followed by a Panel discussion at the Sydney Town Hall on the Representation of Refugees on the Screen (6.30pm, admission free).
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