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The best short films from Semester 2's Who is Sydney? competition
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11 November 2019
Sharing student stories of culture and connection
From a strong field of 18 diverse films, a judging panel of academics and students has chosen the top three films of this semester's Who is Sydney? competition.

The competition invites domestic and international students to connect and collaborate together on a short (max two minutes) film that explores life as a student, in particular the cultural experiences of Sydney. Up for grabs was a prize pool totalling $15,000 for the top three films and seven more shortlist contenders.

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First place was awarded to 'Freedom is a home called Sydney' by Sota Maehara (Bachelor of Applied Science) and Martin Phabmixay (Bachelor of Commerce). The pair were inspired by the freedom to be who they wanted to be in Sydney.

"I wanted to showcase how Sydney is a place where you can come for a fresh start," said Martin. "I was born and raised in Sydney but it was only this year I started to really understand how great this city really is."

The second and third placed films showcased diverse styles and themes. Placing second was ‘積分 – a musical montage created by Daniel Merson (B Civil Eng/B Arts), Dandan Zhao (M Intl Law) and Fergus Martin (B Econ).

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Coming third was 'Homesick'  by Jiatong Wang, Wuruo Xu, and Xiangying Song – all Master of Moving Image students. It follows a Chinese student's experience of moving to Sydney and their journey to overcome homesickness to finally feel at home in their new country.

“The films were undoubtedly original and moving, showcasing the brilliant and varied voices of students in the University community,” said Georgia Tan, president of the International Revue Society and one of the competition's judges.

“It’s been most rewarding to see our students actively questioning and reconnecting with what identity and belonging means to them.”

"I was born and raised in Sydney but it was only this year I started to really understand how great this city really is."
Martin Phabmixay, semester 2 winner

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The Who is Sydney competition is supported by a generous gift from Mr John Wang, LLM(1994), Managing Director of the Australia China Investment Fund.