SA makes presence felt at Cannes

22 May 2013

South Africa is making its presence felt at the 66th Cannes International Film Festival, where three SA features have been well received, the first image of the highly anticipated Nelson Mandela biopic has gone public, and crime thriller Zulu, set and filmed in SA, is due to close the festival.

Backed by the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF), three South African films receive market screenings at Cannes this week: Diprente Productions’ comedy Blitz Patrollie, Triggerfish Animation’s new feature Khumba, and Ten10Films ‘Black South Easter.

Speaking to the NFVF after the screening of Khumba, an animated story about a young zebra’s quest to “gain his stripes”, Australian attendee Veronique she said she was deeply touched.

“It’s an emotional, heart-warming story which will resonate with all the audiences. I also noticed that the stripes on all the zebras are uniquely different. Congratulations to South Africa on this beautiful story”.

Kirsten Barwise of producers Triggerfish said the attention that both Khumba and Adventures in Zambezia, the company’s first animated feature, were receiving in Cannes had been phenomenal. “Both the films have been bought by France, and Adventures in Zambezia will be releasing in France in August 2013,” Barwise told the NFVF.

Blitz Patrollie, for its part, has caught the attention of Germany, according to the NFVF. “This partnership comes as outstanding news, as South Africa and Germany have a co-production treaty, which could open doors to Diprente Production’s future co-production projects with Germany.”

South African company Videovision Entertainment, meanwhile, has had a busy week at Cannes. On Monday, the company released the first image of Idris Elba as Nelson Mandela in Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom, the highly anticipated big screen adaptation of Nelson Mandela’s autobiography.

The teaser poster, the first of a series of images that will be rolled out in the coming weeks, was released at an event at Cannes attended by producer Anant Singh and Harvey Weinstein, co-chairman of The Weinstein Company, which has acquired the film for distribution in the United States.

The film is due for release in South Africa later this year.

Videovision has also acquired, for distribution in South Africa, two films that are in competition at Cannes – The Immigrant and Only God Forgives – as well as Blood Ties, which is screening out of competition.

In February, Videovision also acquired distribution rights for the film selected to close this year’s festival, the crime thriller Zulu.

Starring Forest Whitaker and Orlando Bloom as two policemen called in to investigate the gruesome murder of a national rugby hero’s daughter in post-apartheid South Africa, Zulu was filmed on location in Cape Town.

SAinfo reporter