A look at life Down Under

A scene from the film `The Dish'

A scene from the film `The Dish'  

PROJECTING THE distinct and complex identity of today's Australia are a series of 10 quality feature films to be screened in Delhi as part of a film festival titled "Visions of Australia'' beginning this coming Saturday.

The ten films were selected from a package prepared by the Australian Film Commission for use by Australian diplomatic missions in a project called the "Embassy Roadshow'' under the auspices of the Australian International Cultural Council.

The films to be screened as part of the festival include "Bootmen'', "Better than Sex'', "Innocence'' and "My Mother Frank'' all of which are examples in best Australian film-making and depict the Australian identity, its multi-cultural life and its diverse landscape.

The festival also offers an opportunity to see an extraordinary and award-wining new documentary film, "My Mother India'' which explores the heritage of a multicultural marriage and is a very personal journey between India and Australia. Made by Safina Oberoi, who has her origins in India, the film combines interviews of her family, particularly her mother who hails from Punjab. "The film is also a journey into who I am and where I come from,'' says Safina.

Interestingly, there is another film which revolves around the director's relationship with his mother. However, unlike "My Mother Frank'', "Mother India'' has a distinct Indian flavour and it explores the effect of the anti-Sikh riots on a woman who is still very much in love with her land. "As I made this film, I began to understand the profound effect the events of 1984 had on my family,'' says the young director.

Other films to be shown as part of the festival include "Soft Fruit'', "Siam Sunset'', "Radiance'' "The Wog Boy'', "Doing Time for Patsy Cline'' and "The Dish''. Most of the films have been shown in film festivals across the globe and have been internationally acclaimed.

The festival to be inaugurated on Saturday will begin with the screening of "Bootmen'' directed by Dein Perry. An inspirational film, the story revolves around a young Newcastle steel worker who is determined to escape his small town existence. Despite many obstacles including personal tragedy, he finally beats the odds and realises his dream of forming a successful tap group. The film serves as a reminder of the good old saying that "every great journey begins with a single step!''

By Kannan K.

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