Parra in frame for western Sydney documentaries

Cameras will roll from Sunday on short documentaries crafted by western Sydney residents as part of a free film-making course at Parramatta.

Rosehill resident Leah Briers, 39, is among 11 fledgling filmmakers taking part in the 10-week ParraDocs course at the Information and Cultural Exchange until May 24.

Ms Briers said her as-yet untitled documentary would journey through Parramatta and surrounds to explore what people are doing in their communities to make them better places to live.

“It’s going to be done in kind of a travelogue style,” Ms Briers said.

“It’s on the theme of keeping our future liveable, keeping our earth liveable.”

The western Sydney youth worker by day said she had planned scenes at Lake Parramatta and Parramatta River and would explore ideas of environmental awareness and sustainability through interviews with community members for and against initiatives like permaculture, community gardens and seed saving.

Topics covered by the course include script development, interview skills, finance and budgeting, cinematography, dramatisations, editing and production.

Course co-ordinator Gary Paramanathan said projects like ParraDocs were important for western Sydney filmmakers, not only to develop skills but also to encourage them to create local stories.

“There is an expectation that not much happens in the suburbs, it’s where people go for a quite life,’’ he said.

‘‘But we want our participants to explore the depth and nuances of the suburbs and showcase stories that aren’t currently visible in the Australian film and TV scene.’’

Australian documentary-makers Tom Zubrycki and Martha Ansara will offer expertise to the ParraDocs participants during the course, as well as ICE’s resident trainer Ludwig El Haddad. 

Participants’ films will be shown at a June launch event.

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