Meet the filmmakers!
Six amateur filmmakers came together to share their migrant stories on film as part of ACH Group’s Good Lives on Film #3 project.
An award-winning initiative of member network The Exchange, the project saw filmmakers aged 50+ spend 13 weeks together to produce two films.
They spent six weeks at Adelaide’s Media Resource Centre, developing concepts and learning the basics of filming, before heading out on location to film, then returning to the editing suite to guide the final production. Along the way, they learnt to produce, direct, edit and use camera, lighting and sound equipment.
MEET THE FILMMAKERS
Aisa fled the war in Slovenia in 1992 as a 38-year-old with her four-year-old son. She lived in a refugee camp in Northern Italy for nearly three years until she and her husband were granted humanitarian visas and chose to emigrate to South Australia.
“The day that we left was horrible, there were bombs all night,” she says. “I just wanted to leave everything and, as a mother, to protect my son – that is what drove me.”
Aisa is thrilled to have had the opportunity to share her story via the Good Lives on Film project.
“I think that the younger generation is interested in what we have done,” she says. “I hope that these stories can inspire people, so that they can appreciate what they have and so that we can all make changes for the better.”
Aisa is an active volunteer, working to help new migrants connect with services they need.
Sahar left Iran 27 years ago with her husband and three children, seeking safety and a better life in Australia under the protection of the UN.
Sahar works at the Onkaparinga Community Centre and was thrilled to be part of the Good Lives on Film project.
“I’ve really enjoyed it,” she says. “I’ve made a lot of new friends. 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.”
Nancy came to Adelaide from Brindisi, a port city in Puglia, Italy, in 1970, following her brother who had come 19 years earlier.
She was 20 years old and had a one-year-old daughter in tow, and she and her husband were looking for a better life.
“I was very young and inexperienced at the time,” she says. “Australia made me the person I am today.”
Nancy volunteers with Radio Italiana in Hindmarsh, which is where she heard about the Good Lives on Film project.
“Straight away I thought ‘that’s me, I’m going to do that’,” she says. “I’ve learnt to do things I never knew I could do – it doesn’t matter how old I am, I am young inside; there is always more to learn and to grow.”
“These stories are so important for us to tell, to have a voice. There’s a lot of emotion involved.”
Francesco first came to Australia in 1989 for a holiday and liked it so much he decided to bring his wife, daughter and son from Calabria in Italy to settle in Adelaide.
“I moved because I wanted to change my life and find a better life here,” he says. “I’ve enjoyed this project; it’s the first time I have been in front of the camera.”
George emigrated to Australia from Cologne, Germany, in 1983 with his wife and four children.
He remembers how hard it was when he first arrived because nobody could speak German, but after three months he found work as a taxi driver. He went on to enjoy a 20-year career as a chauffer and today volunteers for the Salvation Army.
“We are very happy here in Australia,” he says. “My children have made a good life for themselves.”
He says making a film had always been “on the bucket list”.
“On my 65th birthday I received a letter inviting me to join the project and I thought that was a sign,” he says. “I like the idea of telling my story so that when I’m gone people will still remember.”
Kam migrated with his wife Judy from Hong Kong to Adelaide in 1994. Their three sons were born in Australia and home schooled until Year 8.
Kam started studying for a Bachelor in Dementia Care at university this July and is passionate about people connecting face to face. In his spare time he enjoys developing puzzles for seniors and games for kids.
“Thinking is the ultimate problem solver,” he says. “Happiness can only come from caring about others. I think cheerfulness is the best health insurance.”