True West: Qisa Film

By Nisrine Amine, Mohammad Awad, Gabriel Faatau’uu-Satiu and James Elazzi

May 9, 2023

Content Tabs


Join us for an evening of short films from Western Sydney filmmakers, a panel with discussion, food and networking.

I believe short films are one of the most exciting mediums, as they can give me a specific snapshot of another person’s life, story or culture– elements that I have always found fascinating. Short films are also an accessible way for filmmakers with a small budget to freely express their visual perspectives without limitations or a  bureaucracy swaying them in a particular direction. The evening will also be unique as it will allow conversation with other creatives. ” James Elazzi – curator

Tuesday 9 May  from 6.30 pm

Filmmakers on the evening will include Gabriel Faatau’uu-Satiu,  Mohammad Awad and James Elazzi, curated by James Elazzi.
Panel moderated by Nola Bartolo.

True West Qisa (قصة – story) Film
Full Price: $15
Concession: $10Tickets are strictly limited and include screening, networking and catering.
Mature Themes. Children under 15 years must be accompanied by an adult.

Yannis (2022)
Written, Produced and Directed by James Elazzi (2022) 14mins (uncut version*)

Yannis, a first-generation Greek/ Lebanese Australian older teenager has been rejected by his family for being gay and now lives under a bridge, working the local beats as a sex-worker. Omar, his best friend, once in the same situation as Yannis, is now determined to better his life and begins to pull away.

— Lebanese Film Festival 2022
— Canberra Short Film Festival 2022
— Melbourne Queer Film Festival
— Lift Off Global Network First-Time Filmmakers Sessions Pinewood Studios 2022
— LGBTQIA+ Los Angeles Film Festival 2022
— Black Cat Award International Film Festival 2022
— Made In The West Film Festival Official Selection
— Lift Off Sydney Official Selection
— Omovie Film Festival Napoli 2022
— SydFest Independent Film Festival
— Flickerfest 2023 Official Selection
— Pride Queer Film Festival 2023
—Won Best Performance LGBTQ+Los Angeles Film Festival
— Made Out West Film Festival: Nominated for Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Lead Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Original Score, Best Cinematographer, Best Editor
— Won Best Film Runner Up in Made in The West Film Festival
— Won Best Lead Actor in Made in The West Film Festival

Set in the greater western Sydney, Breaking Bread (Fāgogo/Povi Masima) is a dark and ironic story set at a family to’ona’i, in which the matriarch of a large blended Sāmoan family reveals an alternative history of colonialism and its impact on eating habits.

Beauty Marks (2020)
Written and Directed by Mohammad Awad

A piece which dives into vulnerability, toxic masculinity, Eurocentric beauty standards, internalised homophobia and queer love.

The Messenger (2020)
Written and Directed by Mohammad Awad

A visual poem exploring the nuance of Queer, Arab and Muslim identity through the lens of prayer, ritual and returning to homeland.

Apricot (2017)
5 mins
Writer: Nisrine Amine
Director: Lara Del Arte
Flickerfest Kids 2017

10-year old Margaret Mary has a problem. A dentureless, dribbling problem to be exact. Will her efforts to get rid of her elderly grandmother pay off?


Nisrine Amine 

Nisrine Amine is an AWGIE-nominated, Lebanese-Australian actress, writer and director. She is known for her various stage and screen credits including Lady Tabouli, Home and Away, Amazing Grace, Mr Inbetween, and Frayed. She is the co-writer on the feature film Here Out West which will be the opening night film at the 2021 Sydney Film Festival. Nisrine is also the co-founder and creative director of Parramatta Actors Centre.

Mohammad Awad

Mohammad Awad is a Health and Psychology student working in mental health, striving to destigmatise mental health in diverse communities. A writer/artist/musician/poet who’s running out of ways to express himself. Published in an anthology series ‘Arab, Australian, Other’ among writers such as Sara Saleh and Randa Abdel-Fattah as well as The University of Sydney Student Anthology ‘Diversity’. He has been featured in the Daily Telegraph, Honi-Soit magazine, and is a Bankstown Poetry Grand Slam finalist for three consecutive years. Mohammad is a NSW State finalist in 2019s Australian Poetry Slam, taking first place in Western Sydney finals.

James Elazzi


James wrote, directed and produced his short film, YANNIS, which is officially selected by Canberra Short Film Festival, Black Cat Award International Film Festival, Melbourne Queer Film Festival, First-Time Filmmaker Sessions @ Pinewood Studios L.A, LGBTQ+ Los Angeles Film Festival and the Lebanese Film Festival. MIRIAM, James’ latest script, was shortlisted in the 2022 Silver Gull Playwriting Award. James’ SON OF BYBLOS, shortlisted in the 2020 Silver Gull Play Award (BNW/Belvoir St 25A)  and will be published by PlayLab. 2021 QUEEN FATIMA (National Theatre of Parramatta/2021 Sydney Festival) also shortlisted for the 2022 Nick Enright Prize for Playwriting at the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards. LADY TABOULI was shortlisted for the 2021 Nick Enright Prize for Playwriting at the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards and in 2020 (National Theatre of Parramatta/ 2020 Sydney Festival). James was named one of AMP’s 2021 Tomorrow Maker’s in Excellence to Screen/Stage Writing and awarded a grant to write a new script which is KARIM’S CELLO also shortlisted in the 2021 Rodney Seaborn shortlist 2019 OMAR AND DAWN (King Cross Theatre 2019/Green Door/Apocalypse).

Gabriel Faatau’uu-Satiu

Gabriel Faatau’uu-Satiu is proudly of Sāmoan heritage from western Sydney. He is the writer of the anthology series, Breaking Bread, which weaves traditional Pasifika modes of storytelling with contemporary screen arts storytelling. He directed Untitled: A Life In The Day Of…, with an all Sāmoan cast/crew and wrote the scripts to an 8x part digital series, The Kokos, for the Pasifika Education Centre for children to learn the basics of Sāmoan language. He is a member of the Black Friars Theatre Company and is the founder/creative director of his own independent production company, Satiu Studios – one of few Pasifika-led organisations in Australia that is dedicated to Pasifika stories screen, stage, online and print. In 2022, he completed an artist residency with the Parramatta Artist Studios and the Writing and Society Research Centre at Western Sydney University where he wrote the first draft of a full length theatre play – using stories inspired by a core team of First Nations and Pasifika creatives/communities from western Sydney. In late 2022, Gabriel launched a children’s book that was published titled, Where I’m From, a love letter dedicated to his nephews and nieces (of mixed Pacific heritage) to remind them about where they come from. He is now working fulltime as a Program Coordinator in Cinema and Digital, co-writing a feature film with other western Sydney filmmakers, and working on multiple screen projects as an extenstion of Sydney World Pride’s Klub Village and a few independent works.

Moderated by  Nola Bartolo

Nola is an Australian film and television actor of Lebanese descent whose heart belongs to the stage. As an avid theatre performer, who attended UNSW Bachelor of Arts majoring in Theatre and Film, Nola’s most recent stage show was SILENCED in 2022 at The Flight Path Theatre. She toured IN THEIR FOOTSTEPS to Canberra and Adelaide in 2022 and in 2021 at Chippen St Theatre.  Nola has played the lead roles in FURY (2018) and The Odd Couple (2019). She has a range of experience from film and television to directing and co-writing a short film, Possum62 in 2008. She featured in the short film Tea for Two – Directed by Jonas McLellan in 2004.