Nazaneen, a coming-of-age film about Nina, a 16-year-old Hazara Muslim refugee, who has resettled in outer Melbourne after a traumatic journey to Australia by boat. The filmmakers are casting authentically and working with the Hazara community to find the right actor, trained or untrained. This role is an opportunity for a young Hazara womanto tell a story that reflects a collective refugee experience.
NATIONAL SEARCH FOR TEENAGE HAZARA GIRL TO PLAY LEAD ROLE IN
NEW AUSTRALIAN REFUGEE FILM, NAZANEEN.
Award-winning director Damian McLindon (Breathe, The Secret) and co-writer Mira Robinson (Only The Brave, Head On) have combined forces to develop Nazaneen, a coming-of-age film about Nina, a 16-year-old Hazara Muslim refugee, who has resettled in outer Melbourne after a traumatic journey to Australia by boat.
Finding Nina – the lead role
The filmmakers are casting authentically and working with the Hazara community to find the right actor, trained or untrained. This role is an opportunity for a young Hazara womanto tell a story that reflects a collective refugee experience.
An authentic story
Integral to the film is the process of casting from the Hazara Muslim community, as well as involving members of the Hazara diaspora in the film making process. The script was developed in consultation with the Hazara community to authentically and respectfully explore the story’s complex themes and issues.
The filmmakers have joined with Hazara refugee and human rights advocate, Farkhonda Akbar, as a producer and cultural advisor on the film. Farkhonda grew up in Melbourne after escaping the terror of the Taliban in her war torn homeland Afghanistan. She has become a key voice for youth within the Hazara community both nationally and internationally through the United Nations.
Australia has told few stories about its newest residents. Nazaneen is a film designed to challenge the general public’s perception of refugees and asylum seekers – to ‘put the shoe on the other foot’ – and allow audiences to witness life through their eyes. At its core, Nazaneen promotes harmony and tolerance in an effort to offset the vilification ofrefugees and asylum seekers in our community.
Nazaneen follows 16-year-old Nina who lives with her younger brother and strict mother in the outer suburbs of Melbourne. Nina is caught between cultures, and now, just as she’s wanting to spread her wings with best friend Alice – hang out, go to parties, and tosimply fit in – her mother drops a bomb-shell: an arranged marriage with a second cousin she’s never met. At night, Nina is plagued by nightmares of drowning, while her mother is on the edge of physical collapse from over-work and doesn’t see how much Nina really needs her. When a boy asks Nina to the weekend party, it’s the spark that lights her rebellion. But things go horribly wrong and Nina finds herself catapulted back in time to the hidden trauma of the family’s flight to Australia.
Do you know our Nina?
We know she’s out there – we just need to find her.
To arrange an interview with Damian McLindon and Farkhonda Akbar, please contact: Producer: Emma Louise Pursey firstname.lastname@example.org 0438 769 673
Find out more about this movie: www.nazaneenmovie.com
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