By Gemma Kaczerepa

The short film, Lakemba, is due for limited release in mainstream cinemas, following screenings at the 2008 London Film Festival and a short run at Dendy Newtown cinemas last August.

The film is to be released only at Hoyts Bankstown from January 22 for two weeks; yet further Sydney-wide screenings are possible depending on its popularity at the box-office.

“If it goes well, they’ll consider three to four other locations,” director Platon Theodoris told INSIDEFILM.

The 30-minute drama centres on Muslim youths in the Lakemba area, in Sydney’s west, interweaving their love and creation of hip-hop music and the consequential struggle between their religion and artistic passion.

The contemporary issues facing Sydney’s Islamic community today constitute the majority of the characters’ hip-hop lyrics, exploring the racism and misunderstanding often shown towards them.

The film initially screened at Dendy Newtown in Sydney’s inner west, which prompted calls from audiences that the film screen closer to home.

“Certain audience members who saw the film in Newtown insisted Lakemba screen in their local area; in the area the film was set in. There was a lot of interest from locals keen to catch the film,” he said.

Hoyts’ decision to screen a short film as a standalone feature is one that comes somewhat unexpectedly, as it is a clear deviation from the feature-length box-office blockbusters that usually grace Hoyts’ screens.

“Hoyts have enthusiastically embraced Lakemba, and have been extremely supportive in bringing Lakemba to the Canterbury-Bankstown area,” Theodoris said.

Lakemba will screen at Hoyts Bankstown for two weeks from the 22nd of January, with screenings at 8.30pm and 9.30pm daily. Tickets are at a reduced price of $8.50

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