DV8: putting SA films on the map

20 October 2003

The emergence of new technologies and the creation of far-reaching distribution platforms have given rise to an increasing demand for films, particularly in Africa. South African film producers Jeremy Nathan and Joel Phiri have hatched an initiative to satisfy this growing demand.

The pair formed the film company DV8 out of their desire to develop, produce, market and distribute African feature films on the continent and throughout the rest of the world.

The company aims to facilitate the creation of a sustainable flow of films, not one-off events that become landmarks just for being made. Over the next three years, Dv8 plans to develop, produce and market 12 genuinely South African digital feature films.

A maximum of US$10 000 will be spent on the development of each project. It is up to each producer/partner to secure the rights to the project within this budget, as well as produce at least three drafts of the script.

The national broadcaster, SABC, will broadcast the films on southern African television. Should the films warrant a theatrical release, Ster-Kinekor will be responsible for release of the films in theatres, on DVD and video. First Hand Films, based in Zurich and Berlin, will handle the worldwide sales of the films.

The first film produced was Good Mourning Max, a hilarious, fast-paced comedy about a village boy who tackles the big city armed with only a goat and the amazing ability to cry on cue.

Production has started on the second film, Forgiveness, and a third film has already been selected.

Forgiveness is being shot on location in Paternoster and Cape Town. It is written by Greg Latter and directed by Ian Gabriel. Internationally recognised South African actor Arnold Vosloo takes the lead role of Tertius Coetzee, a former apartheid cop who is psychologically tormented by the atrocities he committed in his past.

Coetzee’s journey into Paternoster is the catalyst for a harrowing series of events that irrecoverably change the fate of the Grootboom family and the community in which they live.

The producers are still looking for young, exciting writers and filmmakers around South Africa for the nine remaining films.

SouthAfrica.info reporter