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Television / Documentary

The Naked Lentil

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Written, directed

Greg Williams 


Kylie Bryant

Executive Producer

Michael McMahon 


3 x 30 minutes 

Director of Photography

Jody Muston 


Bill Murphy 

Stills Photographer

Roger Ungers 

Production co & copyright

Moppet Mode Pty Ltd, SBS, Film Victoria and Screen Australia


Over ten years ago, charismatic Sri Lankan migrant Shanaka Fernando dropped out of law school to open ‘Lentil As Anything’, a crazy little restaurant in Melbourne where there are no prices, no cash registers, and no  rules – but where you can always get a great vegetarian meal even if you can’t pay a cent.  Today Shanaka runs a string of busy pay-as-u-feel venues staffed by over 100  migrants from all around the world, who rely on the organization for work, training, accommodation, driving lessons and a vital social network.  Shanaka even won the Australian of The Year Local Hero award in 2007! 

But while he may be a visionary, he’s certainly no business manager, and his quixotic creation has racked up a huge debt that’s threatening to sink the whole organization and pull everyone down with it.  Now the question is – can a place that relies solely on human generosity survive in this world; or will it be torn apart by competing egos, chronic chaos and crippling debt?


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