The Blood of God gives film debut roles to three shire and St George actors

Faith versus religion and guilt versus innocence form the reality of a gritty independent drama from writer/director Davo Hardy which features actors from St George and Sutherland Shire.

The Blood of God follows a young man's inner battle to make peace with his religion, as he questions his faith amid exterior conflicts involving race, poverty and drug addiction.

For Euan Morris, the only child of a working-class widower father, the path to God has been a lifestyle, an unquestionable truth, until his life is changed in one horrific instant.

Starting with an assault and ending in a murder investigation, Euan is forced to question more than his faith and relationship with God; he must also reassess the value of his own life and those who love him.

Featuring a strong ensemble cast, with many in their feature film debut, this is a family drama of biblical proportions.

The Blood of God is Hardy's fourth feature film in as many years.

Hardy, 30, believes finding fresh talent is the key to a film's long-lasting success.

''At the time of a film's release, a famous name or two will definitely generate interest,'' Hardy said.

"But if you happen to debut a future star, then you've struck gold, because then that young career will always trace back to your project, for future generations.''

Hardy's first feature film, The Lives We Lead, was shot in and around the Sutherland Shire in 2015, sourcing mainly local talent. Since then, his edgy filmmaking style has been developed and refined with a steady pace of one film release per year.

His latest effort, The Blood of God, is steeped in controversial elements; from religion and racism to drug addiction and prostitution.

''I enjoyed defying conventions and writing sympathetic characters, despite their questionable motives and decision-making," Hardy said.

"For me, it was about exploring how characters with extremely different values might interpret the same situation... I'm not saying that I am God, but these characters are my creations and I can control their every thought.

"And yet I've designed them to defy me and the values that I hold close to my heart. But I still love them and want the best for them. I hope the audience does too.''

Among the diverse cast of characters in The Blood of God, are three actors from the St George and Sutherland Shire who shared their film debut with lead roles.

Meili Bookluck of Cronulla plays Lynda Hsu-Tariq.

''Australia needs more Davo Hardy's," Bookluck told the Leader.

''There are so many talented people right here in Australia, it's nice to know a film producer like Davo supports and creates amazing opportunities showcasing our rising stars. Australians need to do more to support home grown creatives.''

Ethan Taylor of Mortdale, who plays Mitchell Joliffe, felt the diversity of cast and crew in this film showcases the incredible hidden talent in the industry and is a massive step for film in general.

''Being on this film as a young Filipino LGBT actor of colour was a gratifying experience for me, it was an intensely rewarding experience allowing me to delve deep into an acting range I didn't even know I had, " Taylor said.

Kelly McRae of Caringbah, who plays Kirsty Dennison, was thankful for the opportunity.

''To work with such a diverse cast at just 15 and to be surrounded by actors local to Sydney for my first film work was truly a special and rewarding experience.''

The Blood of God has a sold-out premiere and a limited release at Dendy cinemas during July.

Bookings here