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10 Jun 2015

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Local Southbank filmmaker Omrane Khuder said he had always aimed to tell stories, which inspire regular people to do exceptional things.

And the Dorcas St resident has made a habit out of doing just that, with an extraordinary catalogue of short-films, which focus on stories about ordinary people facing extremely extraordinary situations.

He said for as long as he could remember he had always wanted to combine his passion for making films and helping people.

“I didn’t know which career to decide on, whether to go with the philanthropy or film so I decided to just combine them both especially with my short films,” he said.

“Feature films are going to have that aspect as well, more so short films because they’re short and sweet and they can basically tie into any kind of event.”

Omrane’s passion for helping shed light on a range of important issues has certainly snowballed, as he revealed to Southbank Local News that he was currently working on a staggering 18 projects.

Some of his most recent work has included Heed, a short film dedicated to Cancer Council Victoria, which is currently being transformed into a TV show by an Australian broadcaster and I Used To Exist, a short film dedicated to Angel’s Hope Global Kids and their mission to create awareness of the effects of bullying.

Perhaps his most major project to date, Antiquated Kilter; another short film dedicated to Victorian Aged Care Services and caring for the elderly, received a letter of acknowledgment from the Victorian Premier and positive reviews in the United States.

He said his success in providing inspiration through storytelling was something everyone could relate to and benefit from.

“I think that’s where the gold is,” he said. “I think people like having their story told.”

“I think when people watch a film and look at the characters to identify with a particular character, for me they either want to be the character or they are that character.”

“I aim to entertain and inspire, personally I find it a better thought for someone to come up to me and tap me on the shoulder and say hey I watched your film – it gave me real options, good options, tangible options.”

The issues he is looking to tackle next in his huge workload include both short and feature films about same-sex marriage and equality, dementia, youth empowerment, children of divorce, homelessness, depression and bullying.

Working with many admired Australian independent film notables, he said he and his collaborators were constantly striving to shed light on the important issues.

“These are real issues that we read about everyday that we see everyday that affect our family members and our community,” he said.

“These are things that I want to bring to light because things like family values or caring for the elderly are things we should be talking about.”

With all money raised from event screenings going back to the relevant cause, Omrane is changing the world one movie at a time.

He said he loved working with the organisations and people who dedicate their lives to these causes.

“I love working with these guys because I love them and what they do,” he said. “In fact I find myself quite jealous of them sometimes because I wish I could do that – they’re all volunteers out there.”

“If I could afford to be a volunteer I would. I do this film stuff in my spare time and I fund it all myself all through crowd funding campaigns so a lot of what I do is community driven and is backed by the community.”

Despite being born and raised in Sydney, the now two-year Southbank resident said he could never imagine leaving.

He said being able to ply his trade in the home of art and culture and in amongst a community that has embraced his passion was simply too good to ever leave behind.

“I absolutely love it and I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else to tell you the truth,” he said.

“I always thought that where I grew up in Sydney was great and I’m a rugby league boy and I can only talk to a few people here about rugby league and it breaks my heart!”

“But I don’t think I could ever leave, I love Southbank and South Melbourne. The people here are just so creative and open minded and welcoming of any and all types of ideas and feelings and art.”

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