Multicultural Film Festival 2023 - Film Summaries

Event Details

Tuesday, 29 August 2023
ACMI, Federation Square, Melbourne, VIC 3000

An Ode to My Demin Jacket

Directed by Christa Fiona Hill

Written and produced by Jill Sioson

Key cast: Gianna Alarcon, Mayen Estanero and Midel Santos-Stokes

After 14-year-old Aaliyah nags her Filo-immigrant parents into buying her an expensive denim jacket, her parents yield in hopes to give her a better life. It isn’t long until the family starts to struggle, leading Aaliyah to witness the heavy burden she has placed upon her family and to act upon her conviction.

Australian Mongrel

Directed by Rocco Fazzari and Belinda Lopez

Produced by Rocco Fazzari

Passengers on the Sydney Rail Network are asked "How did you get here?".

Beyond the Cut

Directed, written and produced by Daniel Guerrero

Key cast: Paul De Luca and VUSA

It was 1968 when a 14-year-old Italian, Paul De Luca, walked into a barber shop to ask for an apprenticeship. In 1973, he took over the shop and 54 years later he’s still in charge.

Despite the changes and challenges that come with time, Paul’s dedication, craftsmanship, and devotion remain unwavering.

This is the story of Brisbane's most iconic barber.


Directed, written and produced by Jonathon Charlie Copson-Pacal

Key cast: Jonathon Charlie Copson-Pacal

The short film ‘Burnout’ shows the childlike creativity that fuels our ideas and how that can turn sour quickly if expended in large bursts too fast.

The intention of the piece is also a homage to some of the artist’s favourite games of all time; the little big planet franchise, and wanted to share how they felt when they were immersed in that world as a child through their art.

There is also meaning placed into every ‘sticker’ floating in the film as they all relate to a particular emotion or image that may come to your mind as you create art as presented.


Directed and written by Joel Brown

Produced by Jodie Kirkbride

Key cast: Dylan Miller, Natasha Wanganeen and Ren Williams

Djaambi centres on Reg, a young Indigenous man, transitioning between past decisions, and the new. Made raw in the wake of the death of his close cousin, Tjarrah, Reg’s experiences with racism at the hands of his work colleague challenge his sense of identity, making him anxious. 

Embarking on a spiritual journey, reflecting on the past to reassure his present decisions, Tjarrah guides Reg through his grief. 

Djaambi touches on contemporary, and often unseen by the privileged, themes of racism and mental health, while navigating one’s place in Australian society, illustrating the impact of cultural overload and the aftermath of trauma.

Going Home – Về Nhà

Directed, written and produced by Han Nhi Ngo

Key cast: Kim Vy Ngo

The journey of a girl as she tried to find her way back home. Going Home –  Về Nhà explores the negotiation of identity as 2nd generation Vietnamese within Australian society.


Directed and written by Vee Shi

Produced by Nicholson Ren, Vee Shi and Taysha McFarland

Key cast: Sel Hiew, Tyler Jenkins and Peter Isaac Koh

Ming, a grieving Chinese mother, arrives in Australia to embark on a road trip with a young Caucasian man, Eric to remember her late son. But she soon discovers that Eric was in a romantic relationship with her son, which clashes with her conservative values.


Directed and written by Kaede Miyamura

Produced by Evangeline Parks

Key cast: Riya Mandrawa, Ava Rose Huban-Carter and Sharon Heywood

Surrounded by gibberish in a foreign schoolyard, Hina, a new immigrant, attempts to charm her way into friendships using an omamori (Japanese amulet) and broken English phrases. 

After one disastrous introduction, she retreats to her confidant Holly, a self-righteous sheep residing at a local petting farm, who teaches Hina English through wild imagination. 

But a human-sheep relationship can only last so long and when Holly cuts her ties, Hina must now fill the Holly-shaped void with a real human friend.


Directed by Kamil Domaradzki and Ali Zoghi

Written by Kamil Domaradzki

Produced by Ali Zoghi and Christie Heilig

Key cast: Saro Lepejian and Tyson Ibrahim

A Lebanese Australian teenager struggles with coming out to his childhood best friend and cousin on his sixteenth birthday. A coming-of-age drama about toxic masculinity, peer pressure,
friendship and being true to yourself.


Directed and written by Sheena Reyes

Produced by Erin Davoren Lewis

Key cast: Nicole Tabuena, Sheena Reyes, Jason Burch, Kelsey Lampard, Trevor Major, Miles Paras and Alfred Nicdao

Fixated on her body image, 17-year-old Filipino-Australian Cleo wants to be liked by others. However, she struggles to like what she sees in the mirror, pressured by the beauty standards she sees on her social media feed. 

With dyed white-blonde hair and fake blue contact lenses, she posts content with the hope of attracting ‘likes’ – but does engagement online lead to self-acceptance?


Directed and produced by Ji LI, Wanshu Li, Mingyang Yao

Key cast: Jeff He

When Jeff He went to a park to share mandarins with strangers, an awkward but lovely conversation started. Jeff He is from China and currently lives in Melbourne. 

After experiencing COVID-19 lockdown, he felt more lonely, so he tried to use dating apps to connect with others. But the virtual world didn’t satisfy him, and he eventually decided to be on the streets to connect with people by sharing mandarins. 

Mandarin is a 5-minute documentary that depicts a young man with a diverse background, who lives alone in the modern society, and wants to break out of his little world to make connections with others.

Mei-Mei, Speak More Chinese

Directed by Joanne Tindale

Written and produced by Bon-Wai Chou

Key cast: Bon-Wai Chou

Born in Chicago and raised in Hong Kong, Bon-Wai’s family has roots in Far North Queensland dating back to the gold rush. ‘Mei-Mei, speak more Chinese’ is her first short film as writer/producer. 

The story explores her complex Australian Chinese heritage, including her relationship with her mother and her journey as a blended fourth-generation Australian Chinese migrant.

Melbourne Busker Pop Singer Frankie 33888 Does A Documentary

Directed by Ruairi Walsh

Produced by Chad Aizicowitz

Key cast: Frankie Lee

Melbourne icon Frankie Lee retired from his toy importing business, and now, at 75 years of age, performs pop hits on the streets of Melbourne, to crowds of adoring fans. His sharp fashion sense and love for performing makes people stop and take note, as Frankie builds bigger crowds throughout the night.


Directed and written by Kiko Wayne Jr

Produced by Dave Kelman and Bluebird Foundation

Key cast: Kiko Wayne Jr, Thalual Khat Marwang, Gatdoar Mach and Duol Yang

Recently arrived in Australia, Ran wants to get ahead, but frustrated by a lack of opportunity he finds himself drawn into a world of crime and violence. ‘Ran’ provides an insight into the issues facing many young people in the Australian African community.


Directed by Juno Shean

Written by Jason Baker

Key cast: Jason Baker

A young man tries to find comfort in the contrastingly different environments that surround him.

The Choice to Love

Directed, written and produced by Anna Dvorak

Key cast: Diana McLean, Gennie Nevinson, Meagan Caratti and Tabitha Law

An Australian high school teacher is offered a job promotion while caring for her elderly Czech mother, and so must decide whether she will pursue doing what she loves or remain looking after the one she loves.

Town Common

Directed by Vince Lovecchio

Key cast: Anita Johnson

A short film about the Town Common in Wellington NSW. Local Elder, Aunty Anita Johnson, takes us on a journey through the Town Common, where she grew up as a child. Bridging the present with the past.

Two Dollars

Directed and written by Natalia Cricri

Produced by Natalia Cricri and Luke Smith

Key cast: Violeta Machado, Cooper Alexis and Tiang Lim

When Olivia moves to a new country, not only does she have to learn to adapt and overcome the barriers of a new culture, but also the sly tactics of a school bully. In the process, Olivia rises to the challenge and learns what it takes to become her own hero.

Yiayia Mou (My Grandmother)

Directed, written and produced by Koraly Dimitriadis

Key cast: Koraly Dimitriadis

Australian-born poet Koraly Dimitriadis recounts her Cypriot grandmother's story. Set in the ancient Paphos Theatre that has not seen a performance in over a thousand years, this epic poem echoes the heartache of the migrant experience across three generations of women.

Join us as we congratulate the MFF Official Selection and announce the winners for 2023. The evening will also include a screening of the winners and honourable mentions. Public ticket sales are now live!