Fadia Abboud’s mission to create powerful Australian film
Born and bred in Parramatta, Fadia Abboud has been immersed in the diversity Sydney has to offer, using this to inspire many of her projects in film and community work.
After starting a degree in Media Arts and Production at the University of Technology Sydney, Fadia decided to work at the Information and Cultural Exchange (ICE), marking a significant point in her journey as a filmmaker and director.
“They were starting up a new section to provide access to equipment and courses for communities in Western Sydney to facilitate their own storytelling,” she explained.
We did digital storytelling, which were two-minute narrative pieces made by the person themselves and they were really personal stories.
“We also did short films with community groups, some of which went onto festivals, so I kept nurturing and honing in on my own filmmaking skills while I was there.”
These experiences led to Fadia’s proudest achievement; co-directing the Arab Film Festival Australia for ten years alongside Mouna Zaylah.
Launching in 2007, the Arab Film Festival Australia features films from the Arab world with the aim of breaking down mainstream representations of the people and cultures from the region.
I’m really proud of the Arab Film Festival and what we did with that, because it was really about bringing Arab films to a wide group of people who would never have normally seen these films.
“My own personal stuff is great as well and I’m so proud of that but on a broader level, I know the Arab Film Festival was something a lot of people really enjoyed, as did we,” Fadia said.
After ten years as co-directors, Fadia and Mouna decided to step down from their roles in the festival earlier this year, marking the start of more exciting projects for both.
Fadia hopes to continue to create more meaningful projects about her own community, while also aiming to contribute to the longevity of the Australian media industry.
“Not just positive stories, too, but also rich, detailed, complex stories about our community, and women,” she explained.
I also hope, even though people aren’t watching free TV as much anymore, that TV networks find ways to support local, diverse Australian stories, rather than keep buying content from overseas.
Currently, Fadia is working on a new live action children’s comedy set in Western Sydney called Hardball, showcasing the diversity and vibrancy of life in suburban Australia. Hardball is set to air on ABC ME next year.