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Award-winning student film shares challenges of migrants in Australia

SAE student film, Ek Din, which tells the story of the contrasting fortunes of two Indian migrants living in Melbourne, has been honoured with six official selections and awards at film festivals globally. Ek Din is playing in Melbourne’s Federation Square and on SBS On Demand now.
Ek Din migrants Melbourne

The film was written and produced by Marque La Brooy as part of his final student project for his film degree, and was inspired by Marque’s parents’ experiences on arriving in Australia.

Ek Din, which means ‘One Day’ in Hindi, is about Malik and Ashmitha, two Indian migrants who have faced contrasting fortunes in their lives. One night in Melbourne, they cross paths and challenge each other’s perceptions of the reality of life in Australia. Malik believes it is a place where your voice isn’t heard, whereas Ashmitha says “life isn’t always easy”, and you have to make the most of the opportunities available. The tone of the film shifts when Malik starts his night shift at an EzyMart, prompting a change in Ashmitha’s perception.

Dion Wheeler

The Scanlon Foundation reported that 18 per cent of Australians have said that they have experienced discrimination because of skin colour, ethnic origin or religion. The Australia Bureau of Statistics stated that 35 per cent of recent migrants said they faced hurdles in finding their first job.

Marque, whose parents originate from Sri Lanka, said coming to Australia was a “hard experience” for them: “It was challenging. Unless you’re from overseas, it’s difficult to understand the obstacles they’ve had to overcome.”

“Adapting to a new lifestyle was hard for my parents. They were always hopeful and optimistic, but at the same time there are experiences, which you see in Ek Din, which make it difficult for anyone coming from overseas to truly connect with a new culture.”

Ek Din was directed by fellow SAE film student, Dion Wheeler. Marque added that he was keen to work with Dion to create a “powerful” film that illustrated the realities of some migrants who live in Australia.

“Dion and the crew all come from multicultural backgrounds, so it ended up becoming a shared story that reflected the lives of friends and family who have had to overcome the same obstacles as Malik.”

SAE General Manager, Dr Luke McMillan congratulated Marque on the success of Ek Din, and the importance of diversity and inclusivity at SAE.

“I would like to praise the production team and cast on the fantastic success of Ek Din,” Dr McMillan said. “Students at SAE are encouraged to reflect on their own experiences, and create work that contributes to our ongoing view of the world.”

“SAE’s communities across Australia are an inclusive tapestry of multicultural backgrounds, which inspires a creative and collaborative culture – providing our students with a truly global outlook, once they graduate.”

To date, Ek Din has been selected at the following film festivals:

  • Melbourne Overlooked Film Festival – Audience choice award winner
  • Indian Film Festival of Melbourne – Official selection
  • Multicultural Film Festival – Honourable mention and official selection
  • Melbourne Lift Off Film Festival – Official selection
  • Sydney Lift Off Film Festival – Official selection
  • First Time Film Makers Film Festival, Pinewood Studios UK – Official selection

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