It was an act of faith that launched Urban Theatre Projects‘ crowd funding campaign for their second documentary film One Day for Peace. They had already won a Western Sydney Arts Initiative grant funded by the Crown Resorts Foundation and Packer Family Foundation, but they needed a further $15,000. They began 22 days of filming, just as they launched their Pozible campaign. As filming finished on July 21, 76 supporters helped them reach their target. It was a great achievement and one warmly acknowledged by Rosie Dennis, UTP’s artistic director and the film’s director.
Just as this blog has grown out of our daily experience of western Sydney as a frontier society where we’re “working out the multicultural project day by day”, Rosie says, “One Day For Peace takes us on a journey across the suburbs of western Sydney to ask: what do you believe? We see everyday ritual combine with reflections on humanity, impermanence and social justice. An epic undertaking, One Day For Peace wrestles with some big (and not so big) questions inside homes, prayer houses and from the back seat of a taxi.
“During the making of One Day For Peace, Urban Theatre Projects collaborated with dozens of people of different faiths, beliefs and cultural backgrounds. The film aims to provide viewers with a deeper understanding about the role of faith as something greater than the individual, and look to the importance of belief in people’s daily lives. The work was also designed to be a compelling counterpoint to the perceived differences between cultures and religions, which are often inflated by the media.”
Exploration of difference, whether it be cultural, religious, art form or experience has long been a theme of arts projects and programs in western Sydney. It allows the opening up of dialogue between groups, the acceptance and understanding of difference and the discovery of commonalities. Just like One Day for Peace, it leads to opportunities for creative collaborations and a sharing of vision and inspiration. This is very much the theme of Sydney Sacred Music Festival, opening September 5, and I’m guessing, PYT’s Jump First, Ask Later, launched today at Fairfield. I’m looking forward to seeing it on Saturday.
One Day for Peace will be screened over two weeks in high pedestrian traffic locations across Western Sydney from 14–27 September, with the video work to be projected onto buildings, screens and in train stations in Auburn, Bankstown, Blacktown, Canley Heights, Liverpool, Mt Druitt and Parramatta. Click here for location details and times.