MOOREBANK actor Franc Violi stars in the new feature film Convict, which will open at the Riverside Theatres and United Cinema next Tuesday, January 21.
The film was shot over four weeks inside Parramatta jail and had a budget of $2.5 million.
Mr Violi said the film was the story of an Australian war veteran who returns home from serving in Iraq.
"George Basha is the director, the writer and also the star of the show," he said.
"A few years ago he wrote The Combination and this is his second film.
"George plays the returned serviceman, and after having a tender moment with his fiancee down at Parramatta River, everything quickly turns to crap.
"The warden is played by the co-director, David Field.
"He is sort of corrupted and makes George's life miserable."
Mr Violi said the story was told through George's experiences of not knowing whom to trust and of coming to terms with the many tensions within the prison.
"I play a prison guard called Williams, but you have to watch the movie to see if I am good or bad," he said.
Mr Violi said he had to do some research before getting into character.
"You can research what a prison guard does, but it is all about how you as an actor interpret it," he said.
"They gave me an opportunity to bring my experience to the table and they respected me."
Mr Violi said he enjoyed the cultural mix of the characters.
"When we went out there we were all Aussies, and we put together all of our energy and experiences and we all clicked," he said.
"It was incredible and really uplifting for me as an actor."
Mr Violi said quite a few fledgling actors had been given a start in the film.
"There are a lot of talented people from our area as well," he said.
"I do a lot of mentoring and I know it is not an easy industry to get into, and I am very direct.
"You have to have perseverance and persistence."
Mr Violi said he viewed acting as a life passion.
"The thing about acting is you don't retire," he said.
"You just play different roles."