Australian-first in short movie with refugee-actors

Project SafeCom Inc.
P.O. Box 364
Western Australia 6312
Phone: 0417 090 130

Australian-first in short movie with refugee-actors

Media Release
Wednesday March 16 2005 07:30am WST
For Immediate Release
No Embargoes

Coming Saturday, 19 March, WA Refugee group Project SafeCom will host the premiere of a new movie by media students at Curtin University in Perth during a Forum with Webdiary host, author, social commentator and former Sydney Morning Herald CoS Margo Kingston and Intelligence whistle blower Andrew Wilkie.

The Forum, "Don't mention the Refugees" will explore the link between globalisation and the control of movement, warehousing and 'legal but unlawful' incarceration of refugees and other certain "less desirable" groups of the world population. The workshop is part of the Perth Social Forum, a weekend of workshops following the model of the World Social Forums, held regularly in various continents during the last decade.

For details about the Project SafeCom Forum as well as the Perth Social Forum, see

On its website, Project SafeCom states:

"From a collaboration between media students and refugees comes a sharply crafted short story of life in Australia's detention camps and its darkest side: lip stitching, drinking shampoo, the desparation of life inside and the dilemma of an escape, followed by the inevitable post-traumatic flashbacks."

"Spell Me Freedom is an amazing outcome of the truly felt emergency on the part of director Dean Israelite - a South African resident studying in Perth - with Australia's detention policies, and a sometimes raw and graphic capture of essential moments describing the horror of the camps."

"In the just seven minutes the movie itself almost becomes a series of flashbacks, and the director shows a highly skilled use of working within the limitations of a low budget."

"The fact that Israelite was successful in completing this project, which must include a mention of his success in completing the journey of collaboration with his production team as well as with refugees Ali Hussaini and Reza Sadiqi - with their respective roles as Imran and Samir's voice in the film, is itself remarkable: Spell Me Freedom signifies a first for an Australian movie where refugees as actors build, re-build and tell the story that should be told again and again to an Australian and international audience."

Fremantle Filmmaker Paul Roberts, who won a Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission (HREOC) Award for the TV production 'Land of the Little Kings', recently commented on the film:

"I think it is a terrific film. It moved me. It had a truth about it. The subject is so important - vitally important and nationally important because it exposes the fundamental sham of our "fair-go" democracy. I'm not sure, but I think it may well be the MAIN, the BIG issue."

The workshop will be held in the Fremantle Town Hall on Saturday 19 March from 11am to 1pm.

For more information:

Jack H Smit
Project SafeCom Inc.
[phone number posted]

Dean Israelite
Director, Spell Me Freedom
[phone number posted]

Online resources:

"Don't mention the Refugees" - forum:

"Spell Me Freedom" - the movie:

The Perth Social Forum website:

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