05 Mar, 2015 Last updated: 08 Nov, 2018

Film project Meet+Eat, by award winning organization CuriousWorks, celebrates the extraordinary and culturally rich lives of Hume residents through the exhibition of a stunning collection of beautifully crafted and intimate films.

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The intercultural Meet+Eat documentaries encourage a deep and personal conversation about diversity in our communities. Each episode uses the act of sharing a meal as a way of getting people from different walks of life to sit down and have a yarn.

CuriousWorks creative producer Emma Macey-Storch explains: “This is the second part of the Meet+Eat series in collaboration with the community of Hume and another great opportunity for us all to get to know some inspiring and truly original Hume residents. Not only do the films give us a deeper understanding of diversity and what culture really means to everyday people, but also a quite surprising insight into what happens behind closed doors in the local neighbourhood. These films are testimony to the fact that we can learn so much from each other’s stories. I am sure people will be delighted with this year’s series.”

Each of the three films is set to exquisitely composed music by Hume local musician/composer David Osborne who has undertaken some stunning collaborations with Hume residents. The films visit issues of immigration, displacement, identity, inter-cultural exchange, personal history, undiscovered talent, dance, youth culture, traditional singing, cooking, eating, cultural diversity, neighbourhood stories and new friendship.

Wild at Heart documents how three elderly brothers who run the last dairy farm in Craigieburn are being forced off their land due to the development of new suburbs and the changing face of milk production. They MEET Nadia and Omar - musicians who fled Pakistan after their two-year-old son was abducted and held for ransom by extremists because Omar worked at a TV channel. What transpires is the tale of two families from two very different worlds who realise they have much, much more in common than they could ever imagine. CULTURE: Pakistan and fourth-generation Australian. FOOD: Pakistani chicken curry and home-baked ginger fluff cakes.

Fields of Dreams sees two Hume families - one from Sri Lanka and the other from India – MEET for the first time despite living only one street away and being geographical neighbours in their homelands. Dhamikka grew up on an Indian tea plantation without the opportunity to follow her dreams to dance. Now in Australia her daughter is learning traditional Sri Lankan dance via Skype. Her neighbour Nayana loves traditional Indian dancing and Bangra. Her story gives insight into how dance is key to communication in a culture that likes to use few words. Both stories highlight how immigrants use art forms to hold onto their cultural identity and how these two families are building communities in Hume through dance. CULTURE: Punjab Indian and Sri Lankan Sinhalese. FOOD: Traditional Sri Lankan Hoppers and Indian Brahman vegetarian curry. 

On The Line shows how Lebanese-born Hume photographer Ahmad and his wife Zahrah have made it their mission to document some of the most dangerous war zones and refugee camps around the world. Shot at, chased by militia and involved in dangerous high speed escapes via taxi, these two make every picture count as they cast a sensitive and moving view across war torn Gaza and the oldest refugee camps in Syria. They MEET Kevin “speed rapper” Spitfire. He’s an urban, cool kid who spits poetry at high speed to paint a picture of life growing up in Broadie, including breaking new ground educating teens by rapping his story to them in a language they understand. CULTURE: Lebanese, Burmese, Sri Lankan Berger/Australian. FOOD: Hummus, falafel, Lebanese barbecue and veal in mushroom sauce with salad.

VicHealth CEO Jerril Rechter said art is a powerful conduit for social change and has widely documented health and wellbeing benefits.

"Around 40 per cent of Victorians are born overseas or have a parent born overseas," Ms Rechter said. "VicHealth's research shows people from migrant and refugee backgrounds experience unacceptably high levels of discrimination, in turn affecting their health and wellbeing. Art is a great way to strengthen cultural understanding and build new friendships.

"These heart-warming documentaries tell fascinating stories that celebrate the differences of Hume locals and underline the value of cultural diversity."

Hume Mayor Cr Adem Atmaca said the project plays an important role in promoting cultural awareness and understanding in the community.

"It's no coincidence that the premiere is on Harmony Day, as part of council's "Lights of Culture" multicultural festival. These films celebrate the value of difference and cultural diversity in our community and highlight the wealth of creative talent we have in our midst."

An exhibition of the films will show at Craigieburn Gallery, Hume Global Learning Centre, 75-95 Central Park Ave, Craigieburn, from March 23 to May 3.
Meet+Eat Gala Film Premiere night with filmmakers and participants will be held at Hoyts Cinema Broadmeadows on March 21, 5.30pm to 9pm. The night will include film screenings, music and intercultural cuisine. A FREE event, but bookings essential at meeteat2.eventbrite.com.au
All six Meet+Eat films will screened on the Federation Square Big Screen & Forecourt on Sunday, April 26 at 3pm. FREE event.
For more information visit: http://www.curiousworks.com.au/projects/past-projects/meeteat/
Media: For images and to arrange interviews, please contact: Natalie Filmer, The Launch Box, on 0418 586 141 or [email protected].
Meet+Eat is an initiative of CuriousWorks, with the generous support of VicHealth, Scanlon Foundation, Australia Council for the Arts and Hume City Council’s Community Grants Program. Additional training for Cultural Leaders courtesy of EastWeb.