Cultural diversity now showing at Federation Square

Friday 24 March 2017

A shot of Melbourne’s Federation Square

The films will be shown on the big screen at Melbourne’s Federation Square

In summary

  • Victorian Multicultural Commission Film Festival held at Federation Square
  • Short films produced by Swinburne students and graduates will be shown at the festival
  • The films celebrate cultural diversity as part of Cultural Diversity Week 2017

Telling stories that celebrate diversity and the triumph of the human spirit, a selection of short films produced by Swinburne students and graduates are to be shown on the big screen at Federation Square.

The five short documentary films celebrating the theme ‘Same, same but different: Is there more that unites us than divides us?’, will be shown at the Victorian Multicultural Commission (VMC) Film Festival held at Federation Square on Saturday 25 March as part of Cultural Diversity Week 2017.

Each film will be judged by a panel of experts and the winner will be awarded prizes to help further their film careers.

Student success

Tiffanie-Jowie Liew is a Swinburne Bachelor of Film and Television student who has worked on a film as part of the festival.

Her film ‘Mariam's Garden’, tells the story of Somalian-born Mariam Issa, founder of the Resilient Aspiring Women (RAW) Community Garden in Brighton.

“Mariam reflects on her journey since arriving in Australia as a refugee, from her first encounter with the 'western woman in Lycra pants' to welcoming strangers from all cultures into her backyard,” Ms Liew says.

A still from short film Mariam's Garden

“One of the most rewarding aspects of this project was simply being able to interview Mariam. She is such a strong and determined woman, a true inspiration to the community, and I feel lucky to have to gotten to meet her and share her story.”

The bigger picture

Swinburne’s involvement in the festival has been led by film and television lecturer Vincent Giarrusso, who has worked closely with the VMC to give students the chance to produce the films.

Mr Giarrusso’s work is part of larger a research project with Swinburne’s Dr Glenda Ballantyne and the VMC which uses film to generate new perspectives on multiculturalism, with the films produced forming part of the project.

“It’s sociology and film together,” Mr Giarrusso says.

“We’re researching how young people see multiculturalism and diversity differently to organisations and older people.”

Mr Giarrusso is building an online journal featuring films, interviews and research about cultural diversity encompassing many different perspectives. His goal is to exhibit this work publically in Australia.