Samia Halabi gives Western Sydney women a new and exciting voice with her short film Tip of My Tongue
Tip of my Tongue will have its World Premiere in the Screenability Shorts program at Sydney Film Festival Thursday 14 June 6.30pm and 12.30pm Saturday 16 June at Events Entertainment Quarter, and Sunday 17 June 4.00pm (free) at Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre: https://bit.ly/2IRufrw
What does it mean to you to have your film screened as part of this year’s Screenability program at Sydney Film Festival?
It means a lot to me especially as it’s my very first project to be screened in Screenability Sydney Film Festival. This is my very first short film, it as a massive achievement to see it come this far.
The film tells the story of a Muslim woman overcoming a childhood speech impediment. Did you draw on your own experiences in making this film?
Tip of my Tongue is based on my own experience. As I was writing the script, I asked a few people about my idea and if they could relate to it. These people could relate to it, as they have gone through the same experience with their child and this encouraged me even more to tell the story.
How did you develop your protagonist Mia?
Mia is based on a real person, who goes through the daily issues of getting bullied, working at young age, and having a speech implement, so it was easy for me to develop her character. I tried to be as accurate and truthful to real person as I could.
What was it like to work with production company Arcadia, who were on board as executive producers of Tip of My Tongue?
It was a blessing to work with Arcadia, and I have learned so much from my Executive Producer, Lisa Shaunessy.
During the film’s production you were mentored by director Samantha Lang, what was that like?
It was a great honour to be able to work with Samantha Lang as she has been amazing mentor. It was a blessing to have her on board. I cannot wait to be able to work with her again in the future
Tip of My Tongue is part of a suite of film’s part of the Screenability Filmmakers Fund, why did you decide to apply for this funding.
It was a great opportunity for me to apply as I wanted to tell my story from Western Sydney and the struggles that I went through. I wrote the script, applied and hoped for the best.
What advice would you give filmmakers thinking of applying for this funding in the future?
My advice for the filmmakers is to apply and give it a shot as you never know if you don’t take a chance.
How has this opportunity from Create NSW helped you with the film?
Create NSW has given me a chance to be able to tell my story which I have been writing for a while. This story is part of a feature film I am working on. I have gone back to writing the feature and two more shorts films.
This is an amazing opportunity from Create NSW who believed in my story. I am a female director and writer from Western Sydney and our team is mainly from Western Sydney, with a few regional crew. It was amazing to get funding to create something to shoot in our area and tell our stories.
Growing up in Western Sydney there are not a lot of stories about our area, so I love making films about Western Sydney, so our voices are being heard.
What is important to the film industry to for a female?
As a female director and writer from Western Sydney it is really important to be in the industry. In the past we haven’t had much of an opportunity to share our voice but now the time is changing. As a female writer and director, I feel it is important for me to tell stories that reflect other woman and girls like me, who haven’t had a chance to see films with characters like them on the screen. More women should be able to do what they want in the film industry without being put down.