Add Sucker to the growing list of Australian films that will have event cinema screenings followed a month or so later by DVD and VOD release.

The producers and Madman Entertainment are counting on the sizable YouTube following of lead actor John Luc to help drive awareness of the comedy-drama which co-stars Timothy Spall and Lily Sullivan.

Directed by Ben Chessell, who co-wrote the screenplay with Lawrence Leung, the film will screen at Hoyts Cinemas in the mainland capitals early next month. Luc and Leung will attend the screenings.

Madman will release the title on VOD and DVD on January 13. "There will only be more and more attempts to innovate around release strategy for films which have audiences more broadly spread across various channels," a Madman spokesman said.

Luc plays Lawrence, an 18-year-old Chinese Australian who cheats in his high school final year exams and fails to get into medicine. Banished to stay with his uncle for the summer, Lawrence meets the Professor (Spall), an ageing conman.

Lawrence begins a road trip with the Professor and his daughter Sarah (Lily Sullivan) as the Professor teaches Lawrence the art of swindling and cheating, while from Sarah he learns a hard lesson in unrequited love.

As Lawrence and the Professor plan their biggest scam, the teenager and Sarah plan a swindle of their own, Lawrence is forced to make a choice between love, life and lies.

The screenplay is adapted from Leung's stage show which toured Australia, New Zealand and the UK in the early 2000s. The producers are Robyn Kershaw and Jason Byrne.

The Melbourne-based Luc has written, directed and performed in 200 short films which have more than 250 million YouTube views globally

Kill Me Three Times was the first Australian film to have an elevated VOD release with financial support from Screen Australia’s P&A Plus fund. Kriv Stenders’ comedy thriller had Q&A screenings in August and was released on home entertainment on September 9.

Sucker screenings:


HOYTS EASTLAND – Tuesday  December 1, 6:30pm

HOYTS MELBOURNE CENTRAL – Wednesday December 2, 6:30pm –


HOYTS BROADWAY – Thursday December 3, 6:30pm

HOYTS BLACKTOWN – Friday December 4, 6:30pm


HOYTS STAFFORD – Saturday December 5, 4:00pm


HOYTS CAROUSEL – Monday December 7, 6:30pm


HOYTS TEA TREEE PLAZA – Wednesday December 9, 6:30pm

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  1. Event screenings are the way to go.
    We toured ‘The Heckler’ for 8 weeks prior to our DVD/digital release last week.

    We didn’t have a distributor, so we used this cinema-on-demand platform to create our own theatrical run. It was a great success.
    The Heckler screened from Townsville to Hobart. See our run here:


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