Tinning Street was made to be a platform for the voices of asylum seekers and refugees who had to endure Melbourne's arduous coronavirus lockdowns in a way no one else did. They had to face these lockdowns whilst carrying an immense amount of trauma and pain from their home country and journey to Australia, as well as the burden of everything else that comes with seeking asylum in a strange, new country. Through the film, I want audiences to at least develop more of an awareness and empathy towards these people that they share space with in our large cities – often without knowing – and have an idea of what organisations like The Salvation Army are already doing to help. At best I'd hope it would encourage people to welcome asylum seekers earnestly, and to advocate for systems and supports that make the process of settling in our country easier for them. As our cities and states come out of lockdown and we begin to enjoy our freedoms, those seeking asylum in our country will still be living out each day with the same immense burden and fear they carried before COVID-19. I don't want us to forget about them.
Samuel Kostevc is a cinematographer (and sometimes director) based in Melbourne, Australia. His work specializes in intimate, human stories often told through the format of documentary or commercial.