Showing Lakemba in a new light

Posted on Sunday, 2 April 2017

The suburb of Lakemba hasn’t always had the best of reputations in the media but a group of determined locals together with Canterbury City Community Centre are hoping to change that perception with their locally-produced short film.

Made possible by a $9,500 donation from Canterbury League Club, the short comedy drama follows investigative reporter “Pete” who is sent to Lakemba to uncover all of the suburb’s dangerous and dastardly secrets. However, along the way he meets a number of interesting, friendly people that challenge his myths and perceptions of Lakemba as dangerous and unsafe.

“Given the amount of negative media attention the suburb receives, the idea was to develop a film that would show the REAL Lakemba, as many people said they were tired of feeling ashamed and frustrated about how their suburb is portrayed on the television, radio and newspapers,” said Kate Maclean, Manager of Community Sector and Capacity Building at Canterbury City Community Centre.

“We advertised in the local community that we wanted to make a positive film about Lakemba and invited people that would like to learn more about the project to a dinner and an information session with the film makers and community centre. About 14 people attended and that’s where it all began.”

Participants were taught by professional film-makers ways to tell their stories and develop these into a script for the film. They were also trained in all aspects of film production including using the camera, sound and lighting equipment, as well as acting and starring on screen.

“Feedback from participants has been really positive, with participants feeling that the film accurately reflects their personal stories and the true face of Lakemba,” said Kate.

“Lakemba is a wonderful suburb full of diversity – you only need to walk along its main street, Haldon Street, to see different cultures and food all existing in one place. A project like this will go a long way to increase community harmony and cultural understanding,” said Dr George Peponis OAM, Chairman of Canterbury League Club.