by R rendah haj
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HAYAT follows the lives of an immigrant family in Melbourne, Australia.
Rahma, a Muslim refugee from Ethiopia and her four children live together in a small unit located in Melbourne’s inner suburbs.
The film documents the tribulations of this immigrant Muslim family, as they struggle with identity, racism, and Islamophobia. As the family collectively reconcile the outside world (mediated by the Australian government’s harsh policies on refugees and immigrants), it is their mother who constantly encourages her children to maintain a sense and understanding of their own faith and culture, as well as embracing the world beyond their household. It is through their mother that the children find the strength, love and compassion as a means of embracing Australian society as first generation immigrants.
Set during the backdrop of ramadan, HAYAT explores life in all its facets.
Rendah Haj is a Melbourne based filmmaker and director who has an extensive history in curating social issue and youth mindful projects. In 2015 Rendah founded Youth Misinterpreted, a youth movement and film series dedicated to voicing awareness for diversity in aim to empower and unite youth. Her documentary series ‘Dialogue’ screened at ACMI in collaboration with Signal Melbourne. She has very recently graduated from Screen and Media production at RMIT and now focuses specifically on making social issue documentary and drama films.
Maudie Osborne is a Melbourne based visual artist, filmmaker and film producer. Her works have been featured in galleries across Melbourne as well as publications around the world including Curated by Girls, Accidental Discharge and Ramona Magazine. She is a recent graduate of Monash Unviersity having contained a BA in Film and Screen studies and a minor in Art History.
Gabriel Francis is a Melbourne based cinematographer and filmmaker. He collaborates with filmmakers who share an interest in character driven stories with an emphasis on rich visual storytelling. His graduate film from the Victorian College of the Arts ‘Perisher’ premiered at Palm Springs International Short Film Festival and was screened at the Melbourne International Film Festival where Gabriel participated in the 2018 Accelerator Labs.
Cesar Martinez is a sound and audio technician and recent graduate from RMIT University’s Melbourne campus. With experience in different areas related to audio, his interests include sound recording, ADR and sound design. He is also a music producer and photographer.
Georgina Taylor is a Melbourne based filmmaker who has spent her time exploring realms of both fiction and non-fiction. Having recently graduated with an Associate Degree in Screen and Media from RMIT she has a handful of projects in the works. Most recently, her documentary short ‘Choice.’ exhibited in Melbourne as part of a cultural exchange in collaboration with Mexico’s Doqumenta Festival.
Keshi Sacdalan is a graduate from RMIT who has had extensive background in broadcasting and editing. She has worked in a multitude of post-production work including but not limited to TV directing, vision switching and camera operating. She is a regular volunteer at Channel 31.
Our intention for this project is to tell an intimate story about the lives of a refugee family that ultimately reflects the hardship immigrants face when adapting to a life in a new country.
It is our imperative to showcase this film to audiences on both a domestic and international scale, as we feel that the discourse around settled refugees in Australia is so integral and important regarding today’s socio-political climate.
With your collective help we hope to be able to achieve this!
Our objective is to use the funds for this project in the most democratic and ethical way possible, meaning that they will strictly be used towards the following:
– Financing the film into festivals around the world
– A professional colourist
– Professional full audio post production