SEPTEMBER 2, 2021
AUS | 11 minutes | 2018
Drama short film directed by Abhi Parasher
Starring David Lam, Elizabeth Pham
Colours in the Dark
Two lost souls. A lonely writer and an expat musician meet in a bar as they struggle to find their place in the world.
CineAsian Films (CAF): What was the inspiration behind exploring a story like Colours in the Dark?
Thavy Thongkham (writer/producer): I had spent some time working in Tokyo as an English tutor. During my time there I spent many nights in bars and mingling with a lot of interesting people. I moved back to Australia and decided to study film and for my first film I decided to mix some personal experience as well as inspiration from Wong Kar Wai and Richard Linklater films.
Abhi Parasher (director): I think the idea of two people who don’t belong meeting and connecting with each other in a foreign city really sparked my interest. I, like most people, have had my tragedies and triumphs with connection and exploration that was the inspiration behind my direction of the film. Especially two people who come from different traumas connecting.
CAF: What were some of the biggest challenges you faced during production?
Thongkham: In terms of logistic challenges, the team and I were new to the filmmaking world. Not knowing the avenues well, I spent several weeks searching for Asian leads as they are relatively scarce in Australia. Though we were lucky to come across the talent and still remain collaborators and good friends to this day. As a student project the criteria stated that I was allowed to produce but not direct. I was wary to give away a quite personal script and I hesitated to have this idea as a first project. But I was lucky to have a passionate team of people and a great director behind the creative helm.
Parasher: Well we shot this in film school so the understandable lack of experience was an issue but also one of the best things. We went in with youthful curiosity and that allowed us to enjoy the experience immensely, even through the tough times like shooting on St Kilda Pier at 2 in the morning.
CAF: The story touches on many important themes. What do you hope people can take away from watching this film?
Thongkham: I hope that people will feel a little less lonely wherever they find themselves in the world and that you have a place and a worth. Whether it is on your doorstep or thousands of miles away, people come from different backgrounds, cultures and ideals but that we are connected by humanity and that we may not be so different.
Parasher: I hope people walk away from this film with an eagerness to connect in a deeper way with the people closest to them, and hope they have the courage to seek deep connections elsewhere.
CAF: Are you working on anything new right now?
Thongkham: I am currently in final post production for an upcoming short film Swallow and Magpie which I wrote and directed. As well as another 2 yet to be named shorts that are planned to be shot later within the year.
Parasher: I am currently completing my Masters in Directing at AFTRS, so just working on whatever comes with that.
Colours in the Dark is one of the many great projects shared with CineAsian Films through our submissions process. If you’d like to join them, submit your film.
Director: Abhi Parasher
Writer, Producer: Thavy Thongkham
Producer: Dion Wheeler
Cinematographer: Daniel Faizan
Editor: Nelly Kalla