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  • Writer's pictureLydia Rui

The Australian: Making Waves with Concision

This one is several years late, but before I got back into narrative filmmaking, I turned my gaze to those who seemed more at home, and more Australian, than I was: the Yarra Wild Beasts, a predominantly South Sudanese basketball team based in Collingwood, VIC, who had the indomitable Nima Sobhani as their coach. Following several important figures in particular for almost two years — Riyadh Aden (Ethiopian background but had grown up in the same Collingwood flat all his life), Deng Dut (who has gone on to get American scholarships for college), Dut Dut (Deng's older brother and another active member of the community), and Akech Manyiel (the founder and OG Uncle of the team) — I was awakened to how basketball could really ignite a community and create a sense of belonging. It was also a way for me to experience how I could use my craft to serve others, and is still one of the most rewarding projects I've completed.

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