Four times, as a refugee, Khadim Dai tried to get on a boat from Indonesia to Australia. His last attempt was on the day Australia 'stopped the boats'.
This week he travels from Los Angeles on an official Australian visa to join the screening of The Staging Post at Warrawong Gala Cinema on Tuesday, June 19.
The Australian feature documentary follows Afghan Hazara refugees Muzafar and Khadim.
Stuck in Indonesia after Australia 'stopped the boats' and facing many years in limbo, they built a community and started the school which is at the centre of the film, and that inspired a refugee education revolution.
The Refugee Action Collective Illawarra is screening The Staging Post as part of Refugee Week 2018 celebrations.
RAC Illawarra spokesman Stephen Spencer said The Staging Post was a real-life, real-time story of courage, connection, and the power of the community.
He said there were now around 1500 refugees learning at over 10 refugee-managed learning centres in Indonesia.
Fellow RAC Illawarra spokesperson Marion Jacka said “this marvellous film demonstrates the huge resilience and initiative of refugees and the contribution they can make to countries such as our own, Australia.”
Dai, who now works in Hollywood, said he gained a lot from the filming process.
“When I met Muzafar I couldn't even write an email. Filming The Staging Post, and my life as a refugee, was a journey of learning. It opened doors for me and now I am working in Hollywood,” he said.
Film director Jolyon Hoff and stars Muzafar Ali and Khadim Dai, will participate in a Q&A session after the June 19 screening at Warrawong Gala Cinema.
The film starts at 6.30pm. Tickets available from the RAC Illawarra Facebook page.