Beyond Christmas Island
Ali Mousawi, an award-winning journalist and filmmaker, unflinchingly tackles tough themes such as censorship, persecution and Australia’s treatment of asylum seekers. His documentary film Beyond Christmas Island takes us straight into the lives and challenges faced by artists making a life in Australia. “My film will tell the story of artists who have sought asylum in the Australia. It will focus on the artist’s practice, shot in an observational style, and will be narrated by the artist him/herself.”
Diverse Screens filmmaker Ali Mousawi
Ali Mousawi is a filmmaker and photojournalist living in Sydney, Australia. He has made three documentaries in Ahwaz and three films in Australia including Man in the Mirror which premiered at the Arab Film Festival, Scourge in Darkness and The Journey of Fire. He told us a little about his experience working on the Diverse Screens project.
What drew you to this project?
The topic is still in the media as the situation for asylum seekers still lives with them, as it is so difficult. I could understand as I am still living through it myself.
Did the experience of working on this project change how you thought about your subject matter?
Not really much as I am from one of the asylum seeker’s family so I could understand where they are coming from.
What is your filmmaking background?
Filmmaker and photographer from Ahwaz (South of Iran), I have directed few short documentary series which premiered in the Arab Film Festival. As I now work as a cinematographer and photographer, my plans now and for the future are making many films and documentaries.
Anything else you’d like to share?
I have found that [Australian authorities believe] asylum seekers are divided into two groups. The first group is real people who are seeking asylum and I call them real asylum seekers. The second group is the people who come to Australia for no reason. I have filmed the first group who are asylum seekers.