Monday, 29 July 2013

Parrawood: Camera, lights, action

Hollywood, Bollywood, Nollywood. Now Parrawood - a hub of creative activity.?  Why not?
A newspaper story, in coining the word, Parrawood, told of the city being used as a setting for films made, in the main, by companies based elsewhere – not by a locally-based organisation.
The Information & Cultural Exchange (ICE) is doing just that.
ICE was formed 27 years ago promoting and developing cultural activities in the local area from a van. Today, it is situated in the evolving Parramatta Arts and Entertaining Precinct – a creative hub – in the CBD
Don’t let a nondescript two-storey building fool you; inside creative and experienced crews of camera operators, script writers, sound technicians and administrators etc. are at work in a high-tech space, where they have produced hundreds of digital stories, short films and a feature film for local, national and international audiences.
Feature film 
For example, Seeing the Elephant. Armin Palangi took short films by seven, young would-be filmmakers and blended them into a 90-minute feature film, which showcases life in Western Sydney.
Mr Palangi, of Palangi Productions, an established filmmaker, is engaged at ICE and currently producing Post Life, a six-part series filmed in Parramatta, which is part of Screen Transfusions, a program run by ICE.
Chatterbox TV, a monthly series produced in partnership with Aurora TV and broadcast in Australia and the UK, is another example, along with Sex in the West, a TV series featuring “women with attitude” .Both highlight life in Western Sydney.
These and other projects have created professional development pathways and employment opportunities for Western Sydney residents who have gone on to bigger and better things. Take Saber Baluch who progressed through an ICE in-house program to become a producer with SBS TV. He was presented with a 2012 Humanitarian Award in the media category.
ICE has been a successful entry point for artists, filmmakers, camera operators, photographers, scriptwriters and others pursuing a career in creative industries and has the potential to become acknowledged as the foundation of a local film industry
The creative expertise housed at ICE has been used by a range of companies and organisations, such as, Stockland Property Group, the Macquarie Legal Centre, the Textile, Clothing and Footwear Union, the Australian Immigrant and Refugee Women’s Alliance and local government authorities.
ICE seeks to broker such creative relationships and partnerships and offers fee-for-service consultancies and skills development initiatives, and the hiring of its equipment and studio space.

Parrawood?  Watch this space.


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