Internationally-famous comedian Akmal Saleh arrives in Parramatta on Thursday night direct from the Edinburgh Comedy Festival, where he will deliver his new documentary about the uprising in his home country of Egypt.
Pharaoh vs the Egyptians was filmed over two years and shows how ‘‘social media was used to break down a government’’, said John L Simpson.
Mr Simpson has the first screening rights here in Australia and will be showing the film as part of his three-day Indie Gems Film Festival at Riverside Theatres.
The film starts at 7.30pm on Thursday and will be followed by a Q&A opportunity with Mr Saleh.
In this video, Akmal Saleh describes why he chose Parramatta to show his new documentary:
The film outlines the events that led to millions of Egyptians, most of them under the age of 30, deciding to risk their lives in order to protest against decades of oppression and a brutal regime and is told by the young activists who were instrumental in co-ordinating the protests.
Watch the film trailer:
It will be repeated on Saturday at 6pm, also at Riverside Theatres.
‘‘It’s quite fascinating,’’ Mr Simpson, of North Rocks, said of the film.
He first met Saleh in Penrith, ‘‘when we were doing our acting degrees’’ and said he felt honoured to include it in Indie Gems, which aims to promote and celebrate independent films and film-makers — both local and international.
Mr Simpson described Gossip Nation as another highlight of the Parramatta festival.
The film centres on Kemi — an unemployed Nigerian teen with a penchant for gossip who unknowingly creates havoc in the community of African immigrants and refugees who have settled in Blacktown.
Nigerian-born producer and writer Daniel Okoduwa, of Blacktown, said he sought through this film to break down some of the misconceptions about Africans, particularly ‘‘that they are a violent people’’.
‘‘Whenever I make a film, I ask myself ‘where’s the social political in this?’,’’ said Mr Okoduwa, who has been recognised as one of the 100 most influential African-Australians for his work promoting African film and music by the Federation of Ethnic Communities Councils of Australia.
Indie Gems also features film awards, including one for an independent feature film by a western Sydney film-maker and best student film by a young western Sydney person or group.
There will also be networking opportunities with other indie filmmakers and key industry decision-makers throughout the festival.
■ The 4th annual Indie Gems Film Festival is on September 12-14 at Parramatta’s Riverside Theatres. Full program details are available here.