Arts & Entertainment

AKONI – Local Film Premiere To Celebrate World Refugee Week

Over 100 million people are currently displaced worldwide due to conflict. The small award-winning Aussie independent film, Akoni, tells the story of one of these people – a homeless Nigerian refugee who struggles to find a path to happiness in Australia.

After a tragedy occurs in his war-ridden country Akoni is left destitute and homeless in Australia, until he is picked up off the streets by Violet, a young woman who is also suffering from her own demons.

Does Violet simply feel sorry for Akoni or is she vulnerable and hoping that he may fill the void left by the death of her boyfriend? Fate has brought them together but will love blossom?

Meticulous detail & remarkable performances

Akoni is an emotional experience which meticulously details the plight of the homeless. Kit Esuruoso delivers a remarkable performance in the titular role as the strong and silent man who through no fault of his own is a refugee in crisis.

He states, “Wild animals have been replaced by wild people in Nigeria” and he hopes that “one day his people can wake up without fear, mothers knowing they can raise their daughters safely to be nurses or lawyers.”

Low self-esteem amongst these communities is conveyed through brilliantly written dialogue such as when a homeless man remarks, “We’re throw-a-ways. Disposables. Members of society deemed unfit for this fancy new world!”

Picturesque landscapes in Nigeria are beautifully captured on film and many famous Sydney landmarks are notable in scenes filmed in Australia.

Live screening in Randwick

The purpose of this film is to spread awareness of the homeless and suggests that policies should be created worldwide for human rights.

The Sydney Akoni Premiere Gala will celebrate World Refugee Week. After the screening there will be conversations with human rights activist, Alison Battison, former sex slave and refugee Aminata Conteh-Biger and film maker Genna Chanelle Hayes.

★★★★

Jun 20. Randwick Ritz. $35. Tickets & Info: www.ritzcinemas.com.au/movies/akoni

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