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AACTA’s New Initiative Aims To Support “Unsung” Chinese Australian Stories

Last month AACTA launched its new initiative to support of the Chinese Australian community, called “UNSUNG STORIES”. Its aim is to encourage re-connection between Australians of Chinese heritage and the rest of Australia – a connection which has suffered a lot in the last few years due to being wholly blamed for Covid. 

Engaging Chinese Australians of all ages and experiences, from children to great-grandparents, “UNSUNG STORIES” aims to bring their voices to the screen. We are looking for Chinese Australian storytellers with something important to say, who want to help unify our country by sharing a heartfelt, challenging or treasured story from their experience living here in Australia.

AACTA wants to hear your story, whether you have 1st, 2nd or 10th generation Chinese ancestry. They can be whatever kind of story you want to tell – funny, sad, heart-warming or heartbreaking. They just need to be an honest, authentic account of your life – or a moment from it – that speaks to the truth of your experience as a Chinese Australian.

Image provided by AACTA

Entrants don’t need to have any filmmaking experience. All you need to do is record yourself telling us your story directly to camera. It can just be you, or can include family or friends, as long as they are connected to the story. And make sure it’s under 10 minutes long.

“With over 1.3 million Australians identifying as having Chinese ancestry, AACTA is proud to present our first initiative specifically for this community,” said Sam Buckland, Director of Programming & International Engagement, AACTA

“We all have a story from our lives worth sharing – stories that can inspire, educate and enlighten the listener giving them a greater understanding of ourselves and our communities. We hope the stories shared help all of us to gain a deeper understanding of the experiences of Chinese Australians of all ages, and also uncover some wonderful new Australian storytellers!”

Once submitted, a selection of stories will be chosen by a diverse committee of prominent Australian writers, filmmakers, and cultural trailblazers. These storytellers will then be flown to Sydney for the 2023 Unsung Stories Gala event, where their stories will be presented in front of a live audience and streamed around Australia. A larger selection of stories will then be housed in the online public archives of the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts for future generations to be able to view, making their story a vital and enduring part of Australian history.

Image via AACTA website

Unsung Stories Committee member, writer, cook & TV presenter Adam Liaw talks to AACTA about how important this initiative is:

 “Chinese Australians have contributed hugely to the Australian story since even before the gold rush, but our own stories have often gone unsung – or even deliberately erased. Filmmaking is all about digging into the truth of our societies and ourselves through storytelling, and I’m extremely proud to be involved in this brilliant initiative between AACTA and NFACR to tell the real stories of Chinese Australians that are being told all around us, every day.”

More information can be found on the AACTA website at including useful tips on storytelling and a link to the entry form. Very interesting initiative and a great way to change the narrative in Australia!~

Submissions open September 29, 2022, and close on January 22, 2023 (Chinese/Lunar New Year).

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