Cedar Boys was an assured debut from Serhat Caradee, a crime drama which starred Les Chantery as a young man at the centre of a story about middle eastern men from the outer suburbs getting caught up in the aspirational high life of the inner city of Sydney. It came off the back of the headlines surrounding the 2005 Cronulla riots, shining a light on the drama at the core of first generation middle eastern men trying to fit in and get ahead in the lucky country.
Despite the promise shown, and the film’s success, especially on DVD, neither Caradee or Chantery have been able to get another feature film up through the usual places, so they’ve turned to the people to raise finances for their project, A Lion Returns, which they co-wrote together.
With a script that was originally conceived as a one act play, and developed over the past two years, it follows a young Australian born Arab man (Tyler De Nawi from Here Come the Habibs!, pictured left) who disappears overseas for 18 months to fight with militants in Syria. Returning to Australia to see his terminally ill mother, he must confront his father, older brother, wife and young son about his motives, including, perhaps, the real reason for his return.
With that kind of premise, we can see why it would have been hard for A Lion Returns to get up through the usual funding channels in this country, and we cannot wait for the results. So much so, we pledged $25 already towards their campaign.
Check out the amusing video the team put together, with Chantery in the middle.