THE ARTISTIC PHEMOMEN IN MOUNT DRUITT THAT GRABBED THE ATTENTION OF FILM-MAKERS
During the creation of the feature film "Streets of Colour", which was filmed in Western Sydney earlier this year, local filmmakers discovered the abundance of talent in the area. Throughout production, and now during post-production, the amount of highly talented musicians and artists that came to the attention of the filmmakers astounded them.
When Director Ronnie S. Riskalla, started writing the film back in June 2016, he already knew there was a lot of talented musicians from the area and always had a plan to include their music in his film.
But when they were looking for a graffiti artist to paint a wall for their opening title sequence, we discovered that there was a wide plethora of untapped and hidden talents in the Western Sydney region.
"We discovered that there was a vast number of actors, filmmakers, and even more musicians then we first realised. We also came across a talented athlete, mostly those who represent the bike and skate culture" says Producer Yolandi Franken.
Filmed in Mt Druitt, Blacktown and Penrith, "Streets of Colour" is a film written and directed by local filmmaker, Ronnie S. Riskalla who grew up in Mt Druitt. The film is about racism, culture, friendship and hope. It aims to create awareness about some pressing issues around these topics, but also to promote the diversity and magnitude of talent coming out of these areas.
"It couldn't be more serendipitous that the film's title "Streets of Colour", was carefully chosen to reflect the great artists that the film will shine a spotlight on. We now have the opportunity to promote the area and its people in such a positive way says Writer and Director, Ronnie S. Riskalla.
It has surely become a project of the area, by the area and for the area. The goal was always to give a voice to the local people, but that voice has grown bigger than they ever expected. It is important for the filmmakers to give back to the community by creating a platform for these talented individuals to promote their work and to be seen by the world. Many have already made big names overseas such as Australia's first rap drill group ONE FOUR, but there is still a lot of hidden talent yet to be discovered.
People often think of suburbs such as Surry Hills, Paddington or Alexandria to be artistic, but to these filmmakers, most of the hidden gems were found in none other than their local areas of Western Sydney. They feel that they have a responsibility to share this discovery with the rest of the Australia and the rest of the world. The truth is Western Sydney doesn't always have the resources or even get the recognition that other parts of Sydney enjoy. The sheer number of musicians alone coming out of Western Sydney probably outweighs the rest of Sydney, just have a look on YouTube and you would be astonished.
Streets of Colour follows the journey of a young man "Tez", played by AACTA and Logie nominated Rahel Romahn, as he overcomes the struggles of growing up as a Middle Eastern boy in a low socio-economic area, riddled with racism and a cultural divide. The film explores what every child and teen grow up facing, learning to fit in, and learning about self-identity and self-acceptance, whether it be your race, culture, religion or gender.
Rahel Romahn is a Western Sydney local, growing up and living in Parramatta. The experiences and personal struggles he faced growing up is not that different from the character he is playing. But he also acknowledges that all of life's trials and tribulations resulted in some great character building and strengths. For him, he found solace in his acting and he might not have been the successful and talented AACTA and Logie Award-nominated actor that he is today if he didn't have such deep experiences to reference during his performances. Already making waves in Australian Theatre as part of the Sydney Theatre Company and having many fleshy roles in a variety of TV Shows and Films, he is certainly an example of great talent from the area and Australia overall.
Just like the characters in the film, "Streets of Colour" might just be the platform that everyone involved needed in order to bring their immense talent to the forefront. Some of the best talent in the world never gets seen purely because they never had that one opportunity or that platform. Skycross Entertainment, the production company behind this film hopes to be that production company that promotes opportunity for diversity. The team consists of Ronnie S Riskalla, Yolandi Franken, Drew Pearson and Nenif David.