A double take for Byron filmmaker

6th October 2017 10:00 AM
ON SCREEN: Artist Mbatha Nguta is the subject of the short Speaking with Colour by Byron Bay filmmaker Darius Devas. ON SCREEN: Artist Mbatha Nguta is the subject of the short Speaking with Colour by Byron Bay filmmaker Darius Devas. CONTRIBUTED

BYRON Shire-raised filmmaker Darius Devas won the Young Filmmaker of the Year Award in the first ever Byron Bay Film Festival, and this year the Suffolk Park resident has two documentaries in the official selection.

Devas said one of those films is called Speaking with Colour, a short film about a Kenyan-born disabled artist from the Northern Rivers, Mbatha Nguta.

"Speaking though Colour is about a young local artist who can't speak, so the film explores his relationship with colour and movement as a form of expression that becomes a form of language of his own," he said.

"As soon as I heard about Mbatha I knew he was going to be perfect for this fem because he is so emotionally connected and expressive."

Devas said the second film is called William Finnegan : Barbarian Days.

"It's a portrait of William Finnegan, who won the Pulitzer Prize 2016 for his memoir, Barbarian Days," he said.

"I filmed him for a day in Byron Bay as he went surfing with another surfer, Rusty Miller, and then I got William to narrate the film with excerpts from his book.

"Rather the tell his life story or do a first person account, I got him to read my favourite excerpts from the book."

"It came out wonderful, I am really happy with that film too."

Devas said it is never hard to find subjects for great films in the Northern Rivers.

"It's never hard to find the subjects, it's hard to find the money to make the films," he said.

"There is a million stories to be told, and I could do a film a day if I had the right budget and the right team.

He is currently working on a pilot for a surf documentary series to be pitched to an international streaming platform.

"It feels like all my skills are coming together in this project," he said.

Devas said some of his work is available on his Facebook and YouTube accounts.

  • William Finnegan: Barbarian Days screens at the Byron Theatre this Saturday from 5.30pm.
  • Speaking Through Colour screens at the Byron Theatre on Monday from 7pm.
  • Visit bbff.com.au for details and bookings.