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Film message heard

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May 18, 2018

A scene from Joseph Russell's award-winning short film, Silent Man.

Filmmaker Joseph Russell is now based in Melbourne.

Former Shepparton resident Joseph Russell has received a major international award for his short film Silent Man.

Mr Russell said his film was created to entertain and also educate the audience and raise awareness of the plight of asylum seekers.

The film features a mute asylum seeker who is on a mission to find his daughter who escaped from an immigration detention centre.

The idea came about when Mr Russell read an article about a refugee in a detention camp who had sewn his mouth shut in a hunger strike.

‘‘That to me was a very strong, powerful image and I thought that would be an incredible superhero character for a film,’’ he said.

The film not only helped to raise awareness about refugees but also received the highest award in its category at WorldFest-Houston’s 51st Annual International Independent Film Festival in the United States.

Mr Russell said receiving the Platinum Remi award was a great stepping stone and a big accomplishment for him and the people involved in the making of the film.

He said it was also a good opportunity to hopefully receive funding attention for future projects.

Mr Russell said he planned to take a break for the rest of this year and would start working on a new film project next year, depending on opportunities arising from other festivals.

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