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CuriousWorks enables communities to tell their own stories: powerfully and sustainably. Our ultimate goal is redundancy.
Learn more.

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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.

[MEET] Another Australia: Or dig deeper and browse stories from a particular person or group – check out Curtis Taylor, Matta Media and Matt Sutton to get started!

[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.

Website Credits:
Build and Architecture: the Interaction Consortium
Key Assets Design: Cecelia Charlesworth
Design and Architecture: Shakthi Sivanathan

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Carriageworks and CuriousWorks presents Rizzy’s 18th Birthday Party, a new work born from the streets of Western Sydney.

Rizzy’s 18th Birthday Party
8pm, 1-4 October, Carriageworks
Click here to book your tickets.

Both a live music performance and multi-channel film screening, Rizzy’s 18th Birthday Party follows the story of Rizwan Kumar as he faces the daunting expectations of adulthood. Caught between his personal ambition and supporting his family and friends, Rizzy loses sight of his own values. His lies are catching up to him, but at what price?

Inspired by real life events and featuring an ensemble cast of young Western Sydney artists, this is a story about the fragility of friendship and the difficulty of forgiveness in the face of betrayal. It’s a story about the pressure we place on our leaders and the unease that follows when we must acknowledge their weaknesses.

The film component is co-written and co-directed by S. Shakthidharan and Guido Gonzalez and has emerged from a long-term collaboration between communities in South-Western Sydney and CuriousWorks.

The film stars Varun Fernando, Firdaws Adelpour, Henry Vo, Jamie Meyer-Williams, Patrick Uy, Sophie Hawkshaw, Anandavalli and Christobal Olguin.

The music is composed and performed by Kurinji, a collaboration between Aimée Falzon and S. Shakthidharan that kicked off with CuriousWorks’ acclaimed live art show “The Other Journey” in 2011.

Carriageworks and CuriousWorks presents Rizzy’s 18th Birthday Party, a new work born from the streets of South Western Sydney.

Rizzy’s 18th Birthday Party
8pm, 1-4 October, Carriageworks
Click here to book your tickets.

Both a live music performance and multi-channel film screening, Rizzy’s 18th Birthday Party follows the story of Rizwan Kumar as he faces the daunting expectations of adulthood. Caught between his personal ambition and supporting his family and friends, Rizzy loses sight of his own values. His lies are catching up to him, but at what price?

Inspired by real life events and featuring an ensemble cast of young Western Sydney artists, this is a story about the fragility of friendship and the difficulty of forgiveness in the face of betrayal. It’s a story about the pressure we place on our leaders and the unease that follows when we must acknowledge their weaknesses.

The film is co-written and co-directed by S. Shakthidharan and Guido Gonzalez and has emerged from a long-term collaboration between communities in South-Western Sydney and CuriousWorks. It stars Varun Fernando, Firdaws Adelpour, Henry Vo, Jamie Meyer-Williams, Patrick Uy, Sophie Hawkshaw, Anandavalli and Christobal Olguin.

The music is composed and performed by Kurinji, a collaboration between Aimée Falzon and S. Shakthidharan that kicked off with CuriousWorks’ acclaimed live art show “The Other Journey” in 2011.

Rizzy’s 18th Birthday Party is the first in a series of unique and interwoven works by Shakthidharan entitled Colony; a transmedia project connecting ancient and modern Australian migration stories.

Please note this work contains adult themes and frequent strong language, recommended for ages 15+.

Seating is limited so please book tickets to ensure a place!

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Rizzy’s 18th Birthday Party is inspired by a true story.

In the true story, a group of young boys from Western Sydney form a shared friendship stronger than family. Mates from different refugee and working class backgrounds, they come together to protect each other – to find strength as a group that has each other’s backs during a tough set of high school years.

One of these friends was a little different. He was the most helpful and compassionate, the one everyone looked up to and respected the most. He seemed special, destined for great things. But shortly after finishing school, he betrayed them all.

In reality, that friend who betrayed the others has never been seen again. He has never confessed to his betrayal, and his friends have never forgiven him.

Rizzy’s 18th Birthday Party however is very much work of fiction, and we have drifted somewhat from the true story that inspired it.

This article was originally posted at the Carriageworks Tumblr on 3 September 2014. Reposted with permission. All images are stills from the show’s visuals.

Rizzy’s 18th Birthday Party is inspired by a true story.

In the true story, a group of young boys from Western Sydney form a shared friendship stronger than family. Mates from different refugee and working class backgrounds, they come together to protect each other – to find strength as a group that has each other’s backs during a tough set of high school years.

One of these friends was a little different. He was the most helpful and compassionate, the one everyone looked up to and respected the most. He seemed special, destined for great things. But shortly after finishing school, he betrayed them all.

In reality, that friend who betrayed the others has never been seen again. He has never confessed to his betrayal, and his friends have never forgiven him.

Rizzy’s 18th Birthday Party however is very much work of fiction, and we have drifted somewhat from the true story that inspired it.

Most starkly, our task in this fictional story was to figure out how forgiveness could happen. This imperative came from discussions with my film co-director, Guido Gonzalez (it is from his past this story hails). Guido felt that perhaps there was a way they could have all reconciled. If only they have found a way to confess, to forgive, they could all still be friends. In hindsight, he felt, it was clear how friendship was more important than pride. That was the story he wanted to tell.

This investigation raised a number of fascinating questions during script and concept development that continued into the shoot and then post-production. The questions continued because – as became clear – people find forgiveness hard. Damned hard. It comes easily to few.

These are the questions I’ve been thinking about – and leave with you to ponder. You’ll see our take on them if you come along to the show.

Is it fair to make a leader out of someone who never asked for the role? Do we punish this person’s betrayals all the more harshly for the gap between their actions and our hopes for them?

Why is it that the strongest of friendships can quickly crumble with betrayal? Is the present tyrannical? Is an error of the moment stronger than all the hope and loyalty engendered by the past?

Can we choose to relinquish opportunity because it takes us away from our sense of home – and choose instead loyalty, stability, place, community? Or must we become what we are capable of, no matter where it takes us? As if it is our fate to always change, grow and become what we best can be – even if we dearly want something else?

In terms of aesthetics, this was to us the perfect coming of age story. We wanted to show the kind of dream like stability that comes with being young – big groups of friends, moving in packs, drifting through forgotten sections of urban landscapes, celebrating endless long, drunken nights… and how that transforms into uncertainty as we navigate our way into adulthood; how individuals, groups, communities – what seems like whole worlds – start to come apart at the seams, and long held assumptions start to unravel.

We were inspired by classical Hollywood coming of age stories, but of course we wanted to do it our own way – Western Sydney style.

The form of the work also represents an interest in popular culture. Some of the most transcendent experiences I had as a teenager were live music concerts and long nights sharing music, film and other art with friends. These were times one could be alone with a story or song, yet part of a group, all of us pitched at the same emotional intensity.

Similarly, the staging and form of Rizzy combines the concert and cinematic experiences, but places them within a familiarly immersive, almost lounge room like environment. There is a live band, multiple projections, audience on all sides. This firmly situates the work at the intersection of popular and contemporary art, a long-term interest of mine.

I can’t wait to share this work with you – please do join us, and journey along the streets of Western Sydney with us.

Book tickets to Rizzy’s 18th Birthday Party

S. Shakthidharan is the inaugural Carriageworks Associate Artist. Carriageworks will support and collaborate with Shakthidharan over the next three years to undertake a diverse program of professional development and mentorship that will underpin the development of a series of new Australian works. Shakthidharan’s practice focuses on collaboration with some of Australia’s most marginalised communities and the telling of Australian stories from ancient to contemporary migration from South and South East Asia to Australia.

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Aimee Falzon and S. Shakthidharan recently spent two weeks at Carriageworks in a musical development period for Rizzy’s 18th Birthday Party (book your tickets here).

Here are some images taken by the artists from their time there.

Aimee Falzon and S. Shakthidharan recently spent two weeks at Carriageworks in a musical development period for Rizzy’s 18th Birthday Party (book your tickets here).

Here are some images taken by the artists from their time there.

Riz is borne from a long-term collaboration between communities in South Western Sydney and CuriousWorks.

Set in Western Sydney in 2001, the story is about friendship, betrayal and forgiveness between a group of close friends who’ve just finished high school.

Images from night shoot of Riz - CuriousWorks’ first feature film
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These photos are from the final night of shooting on Riz – CuriousWorks’ first feature film. Riz is borne from a long-term collaboration between communities in South Western Sydney and ...

These photos are from the final night of shooting on Riz – CuriousWorks’ first feature film.

Riz is borne from a long-term collaboration between communities in South Western Sydney and CuriousWorks.
Inspired by real events, the story centres around a group of South Western Sydney boys navigating their way into adulthood.

The work will premiere as a live audiovisual show this October at Carriageworks. Book your tickets now!

Photographs by Kristina Savic.
http://kristinashootspeople.tumblr.com


Camera Station


Costumes and Catering Station


Aimee Falzon, Production Designer (foreground) and S. Shakthidharan, Co-Writer and Director (background)


Guido Gonzalez, Co-Writer and Director


Vincent Tay, Cinematographer


Our second camera being manned by Adam Mcphilbin, a young filmmaker from our CuriousCreators community group


Rehearsal


Shooting


Shooting


Shooting


Shooting


Cast and Crew