ABC ME announces recipients selected for The Kaleidoscope Project

Rachel Choi, Ravi Chand, Mary Duong

ABC and Screen Australia have announced first recipients in The Kaleidoscope Project, which gives emerging Culturally and Linguistically Diverse filmmakers mentoring opportunities.

Lara Köse, Mary Duong, Rachel Choi, Taku Mbudzi and Ravi Chand will create a standalone film that reflects and captures the experience of young Australians from a CaLD person living in Australia today. The films will premiere on ABC ME and iview in March 2022 as part of Harmony Day.

Amanda Isdale, ABC Executive Producer says, “The ABC is thrilled to be supporting these talented creators to deliver their compelling, nuanced and unique stories to ABC audiences. These exciting films explore themes familiar to young Culturally and Linguistically Diverse people – identity, belonging, expectations, sense of agency and connection to culture – with heart, humour and authenticity. By helping to showcase and amplify the stories of these filmmakers, we hope our audience will relate, connect and be thoroughly entertained!”

Jenevieve Chang, Development Executive at Screen Australia says, “Each of these beautiful stories offer up a truth that is incredibly specific to the experience of displacement and at the same time, they are able to heal that chasm through the universal power of love, family and friendship. Representation is more than skin deep, and we’re committed to celebrating the creativity of storytellers who reflect the cultural richness of children and young people in Australia today. We look forward to bringing these stories to the screen in partnership with the ABC.”

Viv’s Silly Mango, a film by creators Mary Duong and Rachel Choi, offers an honest and playful insight into growing up as young people from migrant or refugee backgrounds in Brisbane through the perspectives of three Asian pre-teens – Viv, Esther, and Nikki – as they navigate the meaning of family and friendship in their discovery of riot grrrl music and most importantly, themselves.

Gugu naGogo, created by Taku Mbudzi, explores intergenerational and cultural relationships and struggles between daughter, mother, and grandmother, through the eyes of Gugu, a 12-year-old budding astronomer living in a small Australian town, far removed from Zimbabwe, where her Gogo lives.

Creator Ravi Chand draws on his experiences with Namaste Yoga, about Shiv, a 12-year-old Indian-Australian boy who hates being Indian. Shiv struggles with internalised oppression, whereas his 8-year-old sister Kaali is proud of her culture and immerses herself in it. Shiv experiences his culture being taken, commercialised and “taught” back to him, and learns to reclaim his culture on his own terms through his practice and connection with the true essence of yoga.

Yaz Queens, created by Lara Köse, explores the relationship dynamics between 10-year-old Yaz and her father after eight years of living apart in different countries, and how their cultural differences play a role in their struggle to relate, but ultimately, how their shared love of music helps bridge that divide and brings them closer together.

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