Diverse Encounters on Screen Launch

Diverse Screens Sydney

16 May 6:00 pm — 16 May 2019 7:30 pm

Filmmakers Pearl Tan and Sarinah Masukor launch their short films at AFTRS on 16 May 2019. Their films bring new insights, stimulate discussion and generate ideas around cultural diversity, equity, access and inclusion in the arts and creative industries. Sarinah and Pearl are the latest filmmakers of the Diverse Screens series, which places the arts as advocacy, and artists as advocates.

Join us for the launch of these thought provoking films, followed by a panel discussion and Q&A with the filmmakers.

Diverse Screens films have previously been showcased at Made in the West Film Festival, Joy House Film Festival, World Film Fair in New York, Zlatna International Ethnographic Film Festival, Real Film Festival Newcastle, Wollongong Film Festival, Lift-Off Film Fest and the Urban Screens network.

Launched by

Lena Nahlous CEO, Diversity Arts Australia

Lena became Executive Director of Diversity Arts Australia in 2016. She has over 20 years’ experience in arts, cultural and media organisations, and has managed screen and digital media–based initiatives that have engaged thousands of people, particularly women, refugees, migrants and young people.

Lena was formerly the Executive Director of Information and Cultural Exchange (ICE) in Western Sydney for over 10 years. Under Lena’s leadership ICE grew tenfold financially and in terms of projects and scope. Lena established Artfiles, an employment and engagement program for artists, the Switch Digital Arts Centre and co-founded the Arab Film Festival. Other roles include Manager of Auburn Community Development Network and Social History and Exhibitions Curator at Fairfield City Museum and Gallery.

In 2006 she was a recipient of an Asialink Arts Fellowship to Hong Kong and in 2008 completed the Asialink Leadership program. She has sat on the NSW Government Arts Advisory Committee, participated in the Australia 2020 Summit, was a finalist in the CEO of the Year Awards (2008), and was named as one of Sydney’s 100 Creative Catalysts by Creative Sydney/VIVID (2007). Lena has taught at South West Sydney Institute of TAFE and was a special consultant on the Culture Beats program for the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority and the City of Sydney. She also sits on the board of the Sydney Writers’ Festival.


Panel Facilitator

Sheila Ngoc Pham Director

Sheila Ngoc Pham has a multi-disciplinary background as a writer, editor, producer, radio maker and communications professional in Australia, the UK and Thailand. She has more than 15 years of experience across a range of sectors including the arts, media, government and public health. She currently serves on the City of Canterbury-Bankstown’s Arts & Cultural Reference Group.

Sheila has held digital and editorial roles with the ABC, and continues to produce for ABC Radio National. She has facilitated and produced events for Vivid Sydney, Writing NSW, Africultures and Inner West Council, among others. She was a curator for TEDxSydney 2012 and 2013, and directed the first TEDx in Chiang Mai in 2011. Her writing has been widely published in Australian and international publications, and staged at Carriageworks, Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre and Sydney Festival.

Sheila has undergraduate degrees in psychology and linguistics and postgraduate degrees in public health and bioethics. She is currently undertaking a PhD at the Australian Institute of Health Innovation and lectures in public health ethics at Macquarie University.


Gary Paramanathan Creative Consultant

Gary Paramanathan is an arts and cultural worker based in Western Sydney. Gary has worked for Information and Cultural Exchange (ICE) and collaborated with a number of arts and diversity related organisations. Gary Paramanathan was born in Sri Lanka. His foray into arts comes after completing his university studies (Bachelor of Commerce, The University of Sydney), and finding nothing amusing about a nine to five job. Gary is the founder and director Colourfest Film Festival (founded 2010). Gary holds a Masters of International Communication from Macquarie University and also writes for the South Asian Australian blog southerncrossings.com.au

Pearl Tan Filmmaker, Diverse Encounters on Screen Sydney
Sarinah Masukor Filmmaker, Diverse Encounters on Screen Sydney

Sarinah Masukor: Polychromatic

Still from Polychromatic

Sarinah Masukor is a writer and filmmaker living in Sydney. Her work explores how it feels to live in the 21st century. In 2018 her short screenplay Cut and Thrust was performed in the inaugural Equity Diversity Showcase. She has been published in Frieze and The Lifted Brow and currently reviews films for ABC Arts. Between 2017 and -2018 she served on the board of Runway Australian Experimental Art where she co-edited an issue celebrating the work of diverse female filmmakers.


Pearl Tan: Minority Box

Still from Minority Box

Pearl Tan is the founder of Pearly Productions, a filmmaking boutique with a focus on
diverse stories. She is the Senior Lecturer in Directing at AFTRS. She was Co-Founder
and Co-Chair of the Equity Diversity Committee within MEAA. She currently holds
positions on the MEAA Board, the National Performers Committee for Actors Equity,
and the AFTRS Council. She is the Chapter Head for NSW for the Australian Directors
Guild. In 2016, Pearl was named a Woman of Influence by the Australian
Financial Review and Westpac. In 2017, she delivered a TEDx talk entitled Reimagining



Auslan interpreting will be provided. Venue is wheelchair accessible.

Please inform us of any additional accessibility needs, including interpreting in languages other than English, which we will seek to meet.