SYDNEY, 12 September 2019 – Sixteen days, 24 diverse films and over 4000 patrons to date and counting, the St.George Bank Lebanese Film Festival (LFF) in Sydney has come to a close with Paul Barakat’s ‘Kairos’ taking out the 2019 LFF Film of the Year Award.
Announced at the Closing Night event at HOYTS Bankstown on Saturday, 7 September, ‘Kairos’ was selected by LFF Film Judges from a strong pool of films, including 12 features, 11 shorts and one documentary, with five being Australian made, and 11 of which were directed by women.
‘Kairos’ superhero lead actor Chris Bunton, plays Danny, a man with Down Syndrome who is driven to overcome his obstacles through his ambition to be a boxer. The film challenges stereotypes and shines the light on a community deserving of more representation on screen.
LFF Co-Director, Jessica Khoury and LFF Film Judge, Ed Hanna said “Kairos is a remarkable film created by remarkable people with an inspirational cast that knows no bounds. They’ve not merely jumped over hurdles but leapt stratospherically over them. Paul Barakat’s ‘Kairos’ is a worthy winner made on a shoe string budget and imbued with lashings of love.”
Following announcement of the win, ‘Kairos’ director Paul Barakat said “as a proud Lebanese-Australian, I am deeply humbled by this award. ‘Kairos’ was a project made out of love and it is a call for empathy and compassion, for understanding and acceptance. I am grateful to have worked with an incredible cast, crew and family who embody these values. This award is a testament to their dedication and passion to help craft a meaningful story that shatters stereotypes”.
With Belmore’s Gymnastic Academy as one of the locations of the scenes filmed, ‘Kairos’ is a true Western Sydney film and grassroots project with the lead actor hailing from St. Clair and the editor from South-West Sydney, where majority of the film was cut, to name a few.
‘Kairos’ will continue on the Lebanese Film Festival circuit as it tours Australia, showing in Newcastle on Friday, 13 September at 7.00pm at Events Cinemas, Kotara, and at the Australian National University (ANU) Cultural Centre in Canberra on Friday, 4 October at 7.30pm.
Apart from its interstate and regional roadshow which runs until 16 November 2019, the St.George Lebanese Film Festival is also in the midst of its Schools Program. Covering six City of Canterbury Bankstown schools, the School’s Program reaches over 1000 students.
For tickets and more information, visit to www.lff.org.au/tickets.