Australian comedy series Two Refugees and a Blonde to launch at Refugee Week

A new web series has been created by Iranian and Iraqi Australian refugee artists Shahin Shafaei and Osamah Sami and Australian actor and writer Rain Fuller.

The comedy investigates what happens when an outspoken blonde attempts to live with two erratic Muslim refugees.

Legendary news anchor George Donikian covers a breaking news story: radio host Zoe Hunter has made some blunt challenges to the Minister for Immigration. She proclaims LIVE ON AIR that she would offer refugees her spare room. Two Iraqi refugees arrive on her doorstep. Chaos ensues as the mismatched trio struggle to share her townhouse.

Two Refugees and a Blonde will launch during Refugee Week with events at Federation Square Melbourne (15 June) and a performance at Amnesty Refugee Network’s Festival of Hope on World Refugee Day (20 June), while simultaneously premiering globally online via YouTube.

A special benefit preview screening of Season One will occur on 24 June at Classic Cinemas Elsternwick Melbourne, with proceeds going to the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre. The benefit will include live entertainment and a chance to meet the cast and director. Tickets are available here.

Osamah Sami is an actor, writer and stand-up comedian born in war-torn Iran to Iraqi parents. His memoir, Good Muslim Boy, has recently been published by Hardie Grant and is available in bookstores Australia wide and globally via Booktopia and Amazon. He is recognised as a ‘notable Australian Muslim’ by the Commonwealth.

“Refugees have been filling our news feeds. For the wrong reasons. But not for long — we hope. This series aims to remove the sombre stigma synonymous with refugees and to replace it with a dose of laughter, Iraqi-style hip-hop, and the occasional traditionally cooked sheep’s head,” says Osamah.

With a BA in Communications and Anthropology, Rain Fuller has worked as an actor on stage and screen in India, California, New Zealand as well as her home country of Australia. She recently starred in indie dramedy, Pretty Good Friends, which had a cinema and VOD release this year.

“If we took the time to hear refugees’ stories we might discover how similar they are to us. I learnt this through working with refugee artists and asylum seekers, who have become real friends of mine,” says Rain.

Two Refugees and a Blonde Cinema Australia “We’re hoping our crazy comedy might play some small part in unhinging the culture of fear and mistrust around the world’s most vulnerable people.”

An acclaimed actor and playwright in his native home of Iran, Shahin Shafaei fled his country after having his work banned. He found his way to Australia in 2000 through Indonesia on a boat, and ended up spending 22 months at Curtin immigration detention centre in WA – 10 of those months in isolation.

Shahin continues his creative work in Australia and empowers others to share their own amazing stories through the arts, and has toured his own one-man show about his experience as an asylum seeker, which premiered at the Sydney Opera House. He is the director of Two Refugees and a Blonde.

“This show is all about giving a human face to Australian people who are trying to do good for refugees,” says Shahin.

“Because let’s face it; asylum seekers get a world of publicity, news headlines and front pages. But these decent human beings who have to swim against the current in order to validate refugees’ status, get nothing but the utter validation on their own puzzled status quo.”

Two Refugees and a Blonde stars Rain Fuller, Behrouz Harvasi and Osamah Sami.

Behrouz Harvasi is an award-winning comic actor and street theatre performer from Iran with strong Kurdish roots. Since arriving in Australia as a refugee in 2009, he has been active in promoting refugee rights. In 2012, he was the recipient of an Appreciation Award during Refugee Week. During his 15-month tenure in Manus Island, he formed a performing arts group for the asylum seekers to help them deal with the harsh conditions.


Tickets to the benefit screening:

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