A 7-year-old Iranian asylum seeker sees his mother and siblings’ bodies floating in the water after their leaky boat sank on their way to Australia. His father swam him on his shoulders until they were rescued by Indonesian fisherman. They wish to live free and happy but life takes them to the most tragic and dark place. With his father, Hadi, still locked up in Villawood detention centre, Amirali has to live with his Aunty Sarah who is also caring for her paralysed husband and their teenage daughter. And the violence young Amirali has experienced has scratched his mind. His hands scratch and hit. But after the clouds of loss and nightmare the release of his father from detention brings the wind of change. Amirali and his father rediscover each other, working through their grief and find a way to renew their trust in the world. We accompany Amirali from nightmare to reconnection and the possibility of rebirth.
For more info and to donate:
Documentary Australia Foundation – Waiting for Dad
Director Bio: Saba Safefi
Saba Vasefi is an Iranian-Australian academic, feminist filmmaker, poet and human rights activist. She is the Director of Sydney International Women’s Poetry & Art Festival; an Ambassador for Asylum Seekers Centre; Refugee Council of Australia Ambassador for Refugee Week; Media & Program Officer at Mascara Literary Review; and Committee member of Bridge for Asylum Seekers Foundation. She was awarded Edna Ryan Award 2015 for her feminist community activism.
She was a committee member of Committee of Human Rights Reporters and worked as a journalist for the International Campaign for Human Rights. Saba’s Masters thesis in Feminist Literary Criticism received the highest grade possible and at the age of twenty-four she became a lecturer at the prestigious Shahid Beheshti University in Iran, however was later banned from teaching due to her activism against capital punishment. She holds a postgraduate degree in Documentary at the Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS) and is studying her second Masters degree in Feminist Cinema Studies at Macquarie University.
Saba made an underground documentary about child execution in Iran, titled Don’t Bury My Heart, which was screened by the BBC, the United Nations and at various film festivals. Her documentary, Symphony of Strange Water, the story of a young refugee girl, was launched at the UN and NSW Parliament House. Her story of a Muslim lesbian couple, Behind the Burqa, was shortlisted at Shark Island Institute for Best Social Impact Documentary. Saba’s film Beyond the Father’s Shadow, the story of Australia’s first female parliamentarian, Edith Cowan, was launched at NSW Parliament House.