Past Event

SWANA Film Festival Brunch & Screening

April 30, 2023 10:30 am — Tickets FREE
8 Victoria Rd Parramatta

Arts & Cultural Exchange was thrilled to bring you a special SWANA Film Festival brunch and screening. SWANA Film Festival hosted this event in partnership with Arab Theatre Studio to bring you a unique Sunday brunch screening of four captivating short videos produced by the Refugee Art Project.

Attendees were immersed in an engaging conversation with local filmmakers who will be sharing their incredible stories of filmmaking, identity, and survival over a fresh spread with tea and coffee.

After our discussion, ‘Stove’ – an intimate exploration of life in Bzebdine, a small village in Mount Lebanon, a special film from the talented Melbourne-based artists, Sammaneh Pourshafighi, and Jad Andari’s was screened in ACE’s VR Screening Lab.

This event was a part of the amazing SWANA Film Festival Program. Check out the rest of the program here!

SWANA Film Festival is a project of Arts & Cultural Exchange (ACE), supported by Screen NSW, City of Parramatta, and Arab Theatre Studio

About the Shorts

Border Farce

Directed by Safdar Ahmed and Alia Ardon

Border Farce, a collaboration between graphic novelist Safdar Ahmed, Kurdish-Iranian heavy metal guitarist Kazem Kazemi and filmmaker Alia Ardon tells the story of Kazem’s experiences of refugee detention. Using footage of the musical collaboration between band members of Hazeen (Safdar Ahmed on guitar, Can Yalcinkaya on drums, Kian Dayani on bass and Kazem), the film mounts a powerful critique of Australia’s border policies.


Directed by Zeinab Mir, animated by Shakira Wilson

An Iranian girl is forced to change her name as pressures of racism and Islamophobia in Australia converge.


Directed by Tabz Jebba, animated by Jin Hien Lau

The expectations placed on people of refugee and immigrant background to behave in a certain way, to fit into a mould of sorts.

Take it Easy

Directed by MN, Alia Ardon, Izabella Antoniou

An exploration of the sub-standard health system refugees are forced to endure, both in refugee detention and settlement in Australia. Separated from the community, MN narrates her experiences of International Health & Medical Services (IHMS) in Australia’s offshore detention centre on Nauru.

About the Partners

Refugee Art Project

The Refugee Art Project is a not-for-profit community art organisation which offers support to people of an asylum seeker or refugee background through facilitated art workshops. In a spirit of collaboration, artworks are curated and shown in public exhibitions, online and in self-published zines. The intention is to facilitate the agency and self-expression of people of an asylum seeker or refugee background, to deepen public understanding about the asylum seeker issue and the realities of Australia’s detention regime.

Arab Theatre Studios

Arab Theatre Studio (ATS) is an independent cultural organisation of contemporary artists and creative producers based in Western Sydney. ATS is interested in convening critical conversations and participatory workshops; producing live works and accessible multilingual theatre; sharing information and resources; and being a hub for experimentation and creativity.

Arts and Cultural Exchange (ACE)

Arts and Cultural Exchange (ACE) is a cultural organisation working on Dharug Country in Western Sydney. ACE is committed to social justice, using creativity to produce ground-breaking interdisciplinary, intergenerational, and collaborative projects co-devised with shared communities.



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