Two original short films that give voice to diverse groups and further the careers of their creators will premiere on streaming platform SBS On Demand in mid-2019, thanks to SBS and Film Victoria.

Currently in pre-production, the films are the work of Victorian-based creative teams from backgrounds currently underrepresented in the screen industry and are supported through the SBS/Film Victoria Scripted Short Initiative.

The initiative, which was developed to provide greater opportunities for creatives from underrepresented and diverse communities, called for ambitious, distinctive drama ideas that explore multiculturalism and diversity from fresh perspectives.

Arab Australian writer/director Fatima Mawas has teamed up with experienced producers Leanne Tonkes from Sense and Centsability and Ade Djajamihardja on The Wedding of the Century. It is the story of a 28-year-old Muslim woman with Down syndrome who is secretly planning the wedding of her dreams amidst her parents’ struggle with unwanted community attention, pressure and shame as a result of her disability. Being from a Muslim family, Ade brings a unique perspective to inclusive storytelling as a stroke survivor living with disability.

Fatima Mawas said: “The initiative’s hands on approach really helped me identify my strengths and weaknesses as a writer, and also provided the support, resources and time I needed to grow. And as an emerging filmmaker, the opportunity to have one-on-one conversations with a broadcaster gave me confidence in my own ability and in the future of Australian storytelling.”

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