A former Armidale High School student has directed one of the films featured in this year's 2020 Melbourne Fringe Festival.
Emerging director, Gaden Sousa has just completed his Bachelor of Film, TV and Animation at Deakin University. He worked with Sophie McCrae directing her work Homesick which was chosen to be screened as part of this year's digital element of the annual independent arts festival.
Mr Sousa says Homesick is a bittersweet reverie of a birthday in the year that is 2020.
"Homesick is an invitation to the sad truth of the pandemic; that so many of us are alone or have felt alone," he said.
"But it does it in such a way that it isn't depressing, in fact our aim is for it to be affirming, heart-warming and uplifting.
"That's what makes me excited about Homesick; the chance to remind people honestly that they aren't alone in this crazy time."
The feeling of homesickness is universal Mr Sousa says.
"It's something everyone feels at some point, whether it be on their first sleepover as a 7-year-old or on school camp at 14.
"It's that feeling of longing for a place where you are safe, where things are simple, where there is love and comfort.
The first time Mr Sousa really felt the weight of missing his home was during his first year out from high school he says.
" I was living in Sydney and I realised that my parents weren't there to take care of me anymore.
"It was just me and it was only going to be more on me as time went on. The funny thing about being homesick and coming from the country is that there's always this beautiful, little bubble of the place you grew up that you can always go back to recharge.
It's always lovely for me to return to Armidale, my home, to cure that sickness.
"That's what really spoke to me in our show, this idea of wanting to return to some sort of normalcy, to these comforts from a bygone era or a place you can't get to right now. That feeling has only grown due to the limitations of travel and movement right now and I think that's what will speak to people about our shows.
"It's been a really tough year for so many people and what I love about this show is that it's about that feeling everyone's felt: being isolated and alone."
Homesick runs for 5 minutes and will be screened online at 8.30pm on November 20 and 26 at 8.30pm. and on November 21 and 28 at 4pm. To book tickets to watch click here