Lebanese Film Festival: global & local talent

Guildford filmmaker George Basha at the Parramatta Correctional Centre. Picture: Geoff Jones.

Guildford filmmaker George Basha at the Parramatta Correctional Centre. Picture: Geoff Jones.

With its opening night on August 22, the third annual Lebanese Film Festival will showcase cinema from creatives from across the globe, including some local talent.

Among the 28 films on offer is Guildford filmmaker George Basha’s 2014 feature Convict, filmed at Parramatta prison.

‘‘Go out and see some new stories... Stories that you won’t see on the television and that you won’t be able to get from the video shop... This is an opportunity to have a look at the talent we have coming out of the Lebanese community.’’ - George Basha

Sent to prison for manslaughter, protagonist Ray is challenged physically and psychologically by a sadistic prison boss. Along the way, he rejects the Arabic prison gang and gang culture in general, which leaves him even further exposed.

Basha, who researched what life was like at the Parramatta jail by speaking to former inmates, encouraged everyone to attend the opening night at Bankstown tomorrow.

‘‘Go out and see some new stories,’’ Basha said. ‘‘Stories that you won’t see on the television and that you won’t be able to get from the video shop... This is an opportunity to have a look at the talent we have coming out of the Lebanese community.’’

Another filmic offering is 23-year-old Pendle Hill director Rushan Dissanayake’s comedy drama short One Hundred Degrees, co-produced by lead actor Akram Joseph, which includes scenes filmed at a North Parramatta apartment.

Dissanayake, 23, who was born in Westmead, grew up at Granville and spent his early childhood at Wentworthville, said the film was about family.

‘‘It’s about a lawyer who gets dragged into his cousin’s drug deal,’’ Mr Dissanayake said. ‘‘The underlying value of the film is, family should stick together.’’

This year’s festival will be screened at Bankstown’s Bryan Brown Theatre, Hoyts Cinema Bankstown, the Bankstown Arts Centre and at Hoyts Cinema Chatswood.

Tickets: http://bit.ly/1p00u5g

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