By Alesha Capone
Film-maker Pongky Nataatmaja says that cutting two days’ worth of footage down to the “most powerful five minutes” is a creative challenge.
Mr Nataatmaja, who works in the media department of Al-Tawqa College in Truganina, has entered a short documentary in the annual Focus on Ability Short Film Festival.
The doco, titled Hamimi’s Resolve, focuses on Abdulah Hamimi, 31, who became wheelchair-bound after a car accident.
Mr Hamimi, who came to Australia as a child with his parents to escape war-torn Afghanistan, does a lot of volunteer and community work.
Mr Nataatmaja said that after he started filming the documentary, the pandemic lockdown restrictions were introduced, meaning he could not travel to Melbourne’s south-east – where Mr Hamimi lives – to shoot scenes.
“That was a huge challenge for me and I even questioned whether I should continue with the project or not because it wouldn’t have all the scenes that I had planned,” Mr Nataatmaja said.
However, he persevered, using stock video and photos Mr Hamimi had on an “old, malfunctioning laptop” to fill in the gaps.
Mr Nataatmaja said he had two goals in making the short film, including “to inspire the viewers that no matter what hardships they have, whether it be a physical disability or otherwise, that they have the power to overcome it and even thrive despite it”.
“It shouldn’t stop you from achieving what you want out of life,” he said.
“The second goal was to raise awareness about people with disability in general – that they are still normal people that should be viewed and treated as such, just like you and me.”
Hamimi’s Resolve has been viewed more than 9000 times online. Details: www.focusonability.com.au/FOA/films/2159.html