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An indigenous comedy which has been a popular hit with NITV/SBS TV audiences and had previously screened at the Greek Film Festival, is currently in the running for the Best Short film award in the Social Shorts Competition organised by the Australian Film Institute and AACTA.

The 6-minute indigenous comedy titled ‘’Boat People’’ was written and directed by award winning Greek Australian director Kosta Nikas, whose recent debut feature ‘’Sacred Heart’’ starring David Film had its world premiere at the 19th Shanghai International Film Festival.

Boat People features a mainly indigenous cast and a real life Afghani asylum seeker who arrived to Australia by boat! That’s right, cast member ‘Ali’, was deemed a legitimate asylum seeker by the Australian Government, after he was targeted several times for assassination by the Taliban. His only crime being that he was an artist and a musician, both disciplines which the Taliban regard as sinful, along with education for women.

‘’Boat People’’ is a light hearted political satire which transplants the current political debate about asylum seekers back into the past; 18th century first fleet Australia.

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The story:

The year is 1788, Australia. Two Aboriginal warriors capture three British shipwreck survivors: A naval officer, a maid and a convict, and take them back to camp. The Aboriginals argue over the fate of these “boat people” and whether their way of life will change if they let more of them in, 240 years later. We return to the present where the descendants of the Aboriginals are now hiding an Afghani asylum seeker from immigration officials who are the descendants of the British shipwreck survivors!

The indigenous cast includes some of the most recognisable faces throughout the country such as Leon Burchill (Stone Bros., Redfern Now), Alfred Coolwell (Redfern Now, Crocodile Dundee 2) and the iconic Uncle Max Eulo – the man whom national event organisers call upon to conduct ‘smoking’ ceremonies. Uncle Max has performed ceremonies where he blessed the Pope himself, Prince William, and Oprah Winfrey. First time actor Maureen Underwood, stars as the indigenous female, and other cast members include William Gabriel (Great Gatsby), Natalie Stathis, Yianni Mazis and Ali, the real life asylum seeker!

‘’No other issue in recent Australian life has dominated the political discourse and influenced the recent federal elections, more than asylum seekers arriving to Australia through unofficial channels; aka Boat People’’ says writer/director Kosta Nikas.

‘’Boat People’’ was filmed on historic locations, thanks to the approvals and support of The La Perouse Land Council, National Parks & Wildlife, and Sutherland Shire Council.

VoteBoatPeople

Because VOTING finishes July 31, if you want to support a fellow Greek and the project itself,
you can VOTE for it by LIKING it on the page: www.socialshorts.com.au/comedy where you can also view it.

GCT Team

This article was researched and written by a GCT team member.

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