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Australia’s first Muslim film festival opens in Perth

Filmed in Perth and Fremantle, ‘Overcoat’ made its theatrical debut this weekend at the inaugural Muslim Film Festival in Perth.

According to rahyafte(the missionaries and converts website)  (Perth – Australia) – Organisers of an Islamic film festival which opened this weekend say they aim to bring greater diversity to the Australian film industry.

Three years ago, Fazal Subhani left Pakistan to study film in Australia.

“When I arrived here, when I went to the city for the first time, I saw so many people living on the streets, they were homeless,” Fazal says.

“My first thought was to make a documentary about it”.

Instead, Fazal decided to create a screenplay, and turned to a well-known Pakistani narrative to explore the issue of homelessness in Australia.

“I directed and wrote a short film, which is actually an adaptation of a novel which was written by a very famous Pakistani novelist. I adapted that screenplay and made an Aussie version out of it,” he says.

“It follows this character who in reality is homeless, but hides his poverty under a fancy coat. So the story is told from the viewpoint of a homeless person and how they see the world.”

Organisers say the festival is the first of its kind in Australia. Around 500 people are expected to attend screenings in Perth and Melbourne.

Like most of the films, Overcoat not about religion – but exploring life for Muslim societies in Australia and across the world.

Six of the featured filmmakers are Australians, both Muslim and non-Muslim, and explore issues as diverse as culture, relationships, Islamophobia and racism.

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