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Updated: Dec 1, 2022

Last night in Melbourne, Australia the sixth Byzanfest International Orthodox Christian Film Festival held its opening screening with the Australian première of A CROSS IN THE DESERT. It was a packed, sold-out red carpet event at the iconic, art-deco Sun Theatre in Yarraville. The audience included His Grace Bishop Evmenios of Kerasounta and Fr Demos Nicolaou whose parish of Saint Paraskevi in St Albans sponsored the screening. Several preview trailers for Orthodox features coming in 2023 were also screened.

A CROSS IN THE DESERT is about the life of St Paraskevi the New of Epivato. Directed by Hadzi-Aleksandar Djurovic and based on the bestselling novel “Petkana”, this epic feature was filmed in the Jordan Desert. Audiences at the première were astonished by the remarkable landscapes, strong acting and relatable story of St Paraskevi’s struggle to sainthood. The movie has been nominated for Best Film, Best Director and Best Cinematography. Its second screening scheduled for 5 November has nearly sold out.

For the next 10 days, Byzanfest will be screening 20 diverse Orthodox-inspired films in cinemas and halls across Melbourne, with many screenings already sold out. To see what is on offer and book tickets, go to

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