This week, a new film festival focusing on works from ethnically and culturally diverse filmmakers comes to Sydney, with two openly gay filmmakers at the helm.
Gary Paramanathan and Joey Hakim are the curators of Colourfest, which shows at the Red Rattler Theatre on May 21 and 23.
“With Colourfest, Gary and I wanted a short film festival which only honoured films made by or starring people from culturally diverse backgrounds,” Hakim told Sydney Star Observer.
“A lot of short film festivals today don’t give amateur filmmakers the opportunities they deserve. We don’t care if your film was made with only a couple of people on the crew or with little funds. We recognise good cinema when we see it.”
While the pair won’t be screening any of their own works in the festival — “It’s unfair to all the hard-working filmmakers if we filled up one of the slots with our own film,” Hakim said — their experiences growing up part of ethnic and sexual minorities had influenced both the films they made and the films they chose for the festival.
“It is reflected in some way. Growing up as a queer Australian of Middle Eastern descent has made me more accepting of everything in life, so most of my films are made in a non-conventional way.
“The latest one I produced, which Gary directed, is a huge reflection of what my life used to be like. The film’s about a young queer boy growing up in an Indian family and the hardships he faces.
“All the films chosen [for Colourfest] have huge potential and I’m excited to see how the audience reacts to each film differently.”

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