Director Biography – Rendah Haj (HAYAT)

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Rendah Haj is an African-Australian filmmaker and director based in Melbourne. She has extensive history working in radio broadcast and curating social impact and youth mindful projects nationally. As a recent RMIT film graduate, her work now specifically focuses on documentaries that intimately and ethically explore social issues and human rights, with an emphasis on the subtlties of minority experiences and untold stories of the African diaspora.

Director Statement

In our current turbulent global climate, muslim migrants and refugees are continiously stigmatised due to the overall negative perceptions held by the ‘majority’ of Western societies. The journey to migrate and re-settle in a foreign place is met with great hardship and hostility, a struggle that further isolates families and individuals within their communities. HAYAT observes and subtly explores the difficulties Rahma faces as a single mother living in government housing, raising her four children in Melbourne, Australia. I felt it was important to share a very intimate story that brings to light a universal sense of love, compassion and tradition that is empowered by strength in family, faith and cultural identity, despite hardships. As a young second generation Australian with African migrant parents, many of my own experiences are reflected in the documentary. It is a true portrait that tells the story of Rahma’s family, my own family and that of many other migrant families around the world. ”

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