The Hoyts Entertainment cinemas at the Entertainment Quarter hosted the world premiere of THE COMBINATION REDEMPTION.

I felt like I was attending a Lebanese wedding as cast, crew and community members glammed up for this event. It has been a long time  since I have attended a red carpet with such an array of dazzling and glittering formal wear.                    

Set in an outer western Sydney suburb this tale is at its heart a Romeo and Juliet romance but in this case it is a Christian Lebanese man who loves a Muslim woman.  Not only does the protagonist have to contend with this obstacle but he also has to protect himself from a neo Nazi group as well as a mafioso type villain who are all out to kill him. It is a gritty and violent cinematic metaphor of some of the problems  underprivileged communities face who are struggling to have a better way of life and a normal and peaceful existence.

In introducing the film  director and well known actor David Field claimed that his motivation for  participating in this film  was to get ‘some good tucker. This was based on the fact that Field directed a prequel to this movie a decade earlier. Both he and  producer and writer  and star George Basha paid tearful tribute to Aboriginal actor Tony Ryan who died shortly after the film’s completion. Tony Ryan had participated in all of George Basha’s films.

In another unique touch , there was a Welcome to Country by elder Uncle Greg. Thereafter, led by Tony’s son on didgeridoo an indigenous dance troupe performed brief dance excerpts of the ceremony held at Tony’s funeral.

It was a moving and unique start to an Australian film which garnered hopes that it can break through  the general viewing public’s indifference to a local content movie.

Featured image Johnny Nasser. All images by Ben Apfelbaum