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CuriousWorks enables communities to tell their own stories: powerfully and sustainably.
We’re constantly innovating the connection between art, education and technology.
We’re steadily building a future where all Australians have regular access to self-directed, compelling stories from the margins of our society.
We do not document or represent those in the margins. We give them the tools and the training to speak for themselves.
We respectfully collaborate with communities to create innovative, acclaimed artistic product that celebrates their culture.
Step by step, we’re growing a new generation of storytellers by building cutting-edge arts and media capacity in the most under-resourced places in the country. Our process empowers – rather than exploits – those communities and brings long term, positive change to lives of our storytellers.
Our ultimate goal is redundancy. Learn more about our purpose and mission here.
So what does all that mean for you? It means that you have here a sea of fresh Australian stories to dive right in to; an array of folks fostering change in every corner of the continent to meet; and a spread of tricks and tips to become a new storyteller yourself.
[WATCH] Another Australia: To get started, dive into these beautiful bursts of cinema. This journey is a collection of our favourite CuriousWorks stories.
[BUILD] Another Australia: Ready to tell stories yourself? CuriousWorks provides training and production services in filmmaking, creative online media and innovative art events for your community. Our passion is to build your capacity to tell your own story in your own way. We’ve worked with schools, councils, non-profits, businesses and individuals of every age and background, throughout the country. Click here to learn more and start building the capacity of your community to fuse the ancient power of storytelling with the contemporary power of new technologies.
It’s less than three weeks until our debut feature film, Riz, screens at the Sydney Film Festival. Festival events often sell out beforehand so don’t leave it until the night to get your tickets. Click here to buy them online now.
Check out this trailer for a sneak preview of what to expect from this entertaining and thought-provoking coming-of-age story set in multicultural western Sydney.
Riz Sydney Film Festival screenings
Sat 6 June 8pm Dendy Opera Quays Cinema
Sun 7 June 7pm Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre
Mon 8 June 8pm Dendy Newtown Cinema
We’ve got some extra entertainment planned for the Casula screening, so come early and enjoy the bar, café and Kurinji playing live music in the foyer from the soundtrack they created for Riz. They will be joined by cast member Patrick Uy from the Dauntless MC crew demonstrating his breakdancing skills. And there will be a directors’ Q&A after the screening.
Get a group together and make a night of it!
It’s been an incredibly rewarding milestone year for our company, with many artistic and community highlights. For a snapshot summary, we’ve compressed 12 months of achievements into this three-minute video.
Watch, enjoy and be inspired!
If you have a bit more time, click here to read about it in more detail.
CuriousWorks recently committed to strengthening its links with existing communities and expanding its reach to new ones by making two key additions to the team.
We welcomed Caitlin Newton-Broad as our new Community Director and Gary Spink as our first Communications Director. Both bring extensive experience to their roles that will benefit our future plans at this exciting time in the company’s development.
Over the next three years, CuriousWorks will embark on its most ambitious ever program of high-profile artistic projects with leading Australian and international film, theatre and arts organisations. Apart from creating new ways to tell the stories and share the experiences of multicultural Australia, these partnerships will create exciting new opportunities for our ‘Curious Creators’ (the most talented and motivated young people from our Western Sydney training programs).
At the same time, we will start new grassroots programs in schools to discover and encourage the next generation of story-tellers and cultural leaders.
Caitlin is enthusiastic about driving the generation and expansion of our grassroots projects, and will be our key contact point with the communities we want to work with.
“I am thrilled to be joining Curiousworks at an exciting time, when the company is creating multi-platform fictions based on longstanding collaboration with communities in Western Sydney. I believe Curiousworks has a beautiful vision for telling Australian stories. Both the production process and the stories themselves are grounded in the development of young artists and community leaders and seek a new vernacular to reflect our communities.”
Caitlin Newton-Broad is a creative producer with an ongoing commitment to community cultural development, artistic adventure and access to the arts for everyone. She has worked across Australia, Europe and Asia supporting artwork that innovates in the public realm. She has worked for Blast Theory (UK), PACT, Urban Theatre Projects, Belvoir – Company B and Performance Space (AUS). She has an ongoing interest in innovative arts in education programs, including UK and Australian models. From 2011 to 2014 she was Co-Artistic Director at Shopfront Contemporary Arts, an arts co-operative owned by young people in suburban Sydney.
Caitlin will support local artists to tell stories of Western Sydney through film, performance, installation and writing and also holds responsibility to develop the grassroots program and Curious Classroom, building from the clear path set down by Elias Nohra and Mark Taylor.
Gary is charged with the responsibility for gaining greater recognition for CuriousWorks’ significant achievements and bringing our work to the attention of new audiences.
“CuriousWorks is an amazing organisation, achieving incredible things, but too few people have heard about us. I want the stories of multicultural Australia not just to be told, but that diversity to be embraced and celebrated,” Gary said.
He wants that to happen within the traditional Western Sydney communities we work with, and in the wider Australian population.
Gary brings us broad communications experience gained from a varied career that includes newspaper journalism, photography, teaching media and drama in Melbourne secondary schools and numerous senior PR roles for public organisations in Australia and Europe.
He had a 12-year stint in the UK that included media relations roles for two organisations (the Open University and London’s Natural History Museum) that worked in partnership with the BBC on long-term major projects.
Since returning to Sydney, he has been Communications Manager for the SCG and the Sydney Football Stadium, a role he continues part-time while working for us. Variety is the spice of life as they say.
I look forward to what CuriousWorks can achieve with Gary and Caitlin’s enormous experience and genuine passion for what we do. These are exciting times!
Riz is premiering at the Sydney Film festival
Sat 6 Jun 8:00PM Dendy Opera Quays Cinema
Sun 7 Jun 7:00PM Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre
Mon 8 Jun 8:05PM Dendy Newtown Cinema
Book your tickets here.
Life growing up in Sydney’s multicultural western suburbs will feature alongside the best and most innovative world cinema after our debut feature film, Riz, was selected for the prestigious 2015 Sydney Film Festival.
Riz is a western Sydney success story. Not only is our first feature film set in the area, it takes our mission to share the largely untold stories of the region’s multicultural communities to new audiences.
It has been made on a $75,000 shoestring budget, using local debut actors and a crew that included young aspiring film-makers who have been developing their skills through the CuriousWorks’ training programs for western suburbs youth. These ‘Curious Creators’ gained unprecedented feature film production experience with important crew roles.
Riz was also the narrative feature debut for co-writers and directors Guido Gonzalez (one of our Cultural Leaders who trained the Curious Creators) and S. Shakthidharan (CuriousWorks Artistic Director).
Riz is based on Guido’s real life experiences growing up in Cabramatta.
“This is just amazing recognition,” said Shakthi, who made it his artistic mission to “reveal another Australia” when he founded CuriousWorks ten years ago.
“We’re telling the stories of western Sydney, and taking them to new audiences. For a debut film with unknown actors and a crew filled with our trainee ‘Curious Creators’ to be accepted into the Sydney Film Festival is incredible.”
The film is a unique Australian coming-of-age story. The central character, Riz, is a leader among a group of teenage boys. He excels at school, becomes the first in his Indian family to be offered a university place and seems destined for great things.
His bond with mates from different refugee and working class backgrounds is stronger than family. As an 18th birthday present, they film stories of how Riz has supported them through a maze of social problems they’ve encountered during high school years. He’s kept them off the streets and away from crime.
But Riz now faces betraying his closest friends as he struggles to maintain a secret second life and a future at odds with his cultural and social background.
His middle-class girlfriend, Kylie, has never met his family or friends. They don’t know she exists. He has lied to her about where he lives. She doesn’t know he has doubts about going to university or on their planned gap-year. He creates two worlds and the conflicting expectations of each gradually overwhelm him.
The film is a moving, sometimes funny, portrayal of life for young people in western Sydney, but one that also lays bare the rarely-crossed divide between it and the city’s more affluent suburbs, according to Guido.
“Kylie’s comfortable upbringing and carefree attitude to university are alien concepts for Riz, who feels the pressure to ‘start earning’. To him a gap year is a fantasy,” Guido said.
“Riz’s issues are real issues for many young people in the west. The film is a personal story of friendship and betrayal but it also illustrates the social division we have in Sydney and the tension and barriers to opportunity that creates.”
Shakthi believes another strength of the film is that it features culturally diverse actors, but in roles as normal everyday people.
“It’s a strange thing to say in 2015, but it’s still the case in so many Australian productions that the Indian or Sri Lankan characters will be doctors or small shop owners, or the Muslim is a terrorist. That’s not the reality you see when you walk around communities in western Sydney,” he said.
“Australian films and TV, even so-called documentaries, still don’t tell the story of western Sydney without resorting to stereotypes. Riz shows an economically-poor and culturally-diverse Sydney, not the narrow travelogue vision of beautiful beaches and blond surfers that so often gets presented to the world,” Shakthi said.
Riz will have three screenings at next month’s Sydney Film Festival:
Saturday 6 June – Dendy Opera Quays at 8pm
Sunday 7 June – Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre at 7pm
Monday 8 June – Dendy Newtown at 8.05pm
Book your tickets here.
More information here.
Riz is presented by CuriousWorks in association with Carriageworks and Australia Council for the Arts.