Phillip Rolfe invites all to Parramasala!

Artistic Director Phillip Rolfe with singer Kamahl

By Neena Badhwar

Parramasala, South Asian Arts Festival, in its third year this year to be held from November 8 -11, is action packed as it starts with a Bollywood night Party and ends with free open air screening of Sholay movie. It is just before Diwali which falls on November 13 so it is time when people want to get out, eat, enjoy, dress and see the lighted Townhall Square and Chruch Street Mall full of activities, foodstalls and Indian wares.

TIDU talks to Phillip Rolfe, Parramasala’s Artistic Director, says he, “This year it is a very concentrated festival over four days designed for people to take part in events and shows with bigger Masala markets, lot more well chosen food stalls, fashion, art and craft with amazing performances lined up live on outdoor stage.”

How has the three-year journey been in terms of his own evolution, has Phillip been able to achieve what he set out to achieve and discover new artists, new ideas for himself, says Peter, “There are ticketed events at Riverside Theatre and Jubilee Hall,” says Peter that Parramasala has become very much a permanent feature with great response as he sees now large crowds who make up a happy and an enthusiastic audience.

“Most important is that we have made sure that it is of highest quality as this year we have classical artist Hari Prasad Chaurasia and our ”˜Film in Focus’ has some new films from different parts of Australia, New Zealand, South Asia showing content by new independent film makers who provide an interesting perspective and depth of film making.”

“It has been a great pleasure to continually discover things that are never ending and you need to refresh yourself every time and present it to the public. I am still discovering just how many good artists are out there working ”“ so many music and dance groups exist. We are always in constant search of finding new ways, new artists just in the South Asian art. Parramasala is concentrated on this region and with now Burma opening up to the world I would like to explore and present art forms from there too and the Burmese diaspora.

What about theatre, literature, Phillip says, “It will really be good to have literature, visual art and theatre as we grow. This third years’ festival of Parramasala is all indication of a bigger and better festival and a promise of a permanent fixture of Parramatta region though we have taken care in adding artists and programs that have broader appeal for wider Sydney audience.”

Phillip invites all from the Indian community to join in the fun ”“ come out in groups, families, children and explore possibilities of multicultural art from the region which provides them with a unique opportunity of what human beings happen to create. “I think everyone should come and participate and witness what is available ”“ free as well as ticketed ,” as he invites the local Indian subcontinent community to become a part of Parramasala starting with the great Bollywood night party for the opening night on November 8. TIDU is sure as many have already been exchanging emails and talking of meeting to see the Sholay which will be screened free outdoor on Novemebr 11. Do visit: to check out programs and activities.


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