NEWS | NIKITA BYRNES
Open from 1 July to 31 October 2021, the Zen Tea Lounge Foundation’s student film and music competition is asking all secondary and tertiary students from Australia to foster raising awareness within their own communities about the destructive effects of domestic violence. The winning prize is AU $3,000.
The Australian not-for-profit organisation, based in Smithfield, NSW, provides a safe space for women and aims to promote community connections. The charity is dedicated to improving the lives of those affected by domestic violence, especially those from culturally and linguistically diverse communities. They operate a café in Smithfield to help fund its programs which help survivors of domestic violence re-enter the world and rebuild their lives.
Difficult as it is to think about, the COVID-19 pandemic has heightened the domestic violence epidemic internationally, and the worsened effects are of course being felt by individuals and communities here in NSW. The Zen Tea Lounge Foundation estimates that they are receiving 50% more calls from women with children seeking support – an increase in male callers has begun as well, seeking support to stop harming their families.
The Co-Founder of Zen Tea Lounge Foundation, Amy Nguyen, as well as local MP Chris Bowen (member for the Western Sydney electorate of McMahon) who is endorsing the campaign, are asking students from around the country to engage in this competition.
Nguyen says: “Eliminating domestic violence in Australia starts with young people. If our future leaders, parents and community members are taught to understand the impact of domestic violence and to have the emotional intelligence skills to be more aware of their own and other’s emotions, we’d have much lower rates of family violence.”
Students should create original short films or music videos centring on the topic of domestic violence to inspire domestic violence survivors to find their voice. Videos must be between 60-90 seconds in duration, and may include (but are not limited to) the following:
While the winner is set to win AU $3,000, prizes will also be presented for the following categories: Best Original Soundtrack, Best Cinematography, the Zen Tea’s Choice Award as awarded by Zen Tea’s CEO, and the Zen Tea’s Popular award as voted by the public.
Entries will be judged by a panel of high-profile personalities associated with the foundation. Prizes will be awarded to all winners during the Zen Tea Lounge Foundation’s “100 Women in Solidarity Event” in November, coinciding with National Domestic Violence week.
Don’t forget that entries close 31 October 2021! To enter the Zen Tea Lounge Foundation’s student film and music competition, visit: https://www.zentealoungefoundation.org.au/student-film-and-music-competition.
Want to learn more about the Zen Tea Lounge Foundation’s programs, events, or community? Visit: https://www.zentealoungefoundation.org.au/.