Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Shore Break for Durban International Film Festival 2015

The documentary 'The Shore Break' by Riley Grunenwald just won the prestigious Backsberg Audience Choice Award at Encounters South African International Documentary Festival for best South African Film.

This documentary follows the dilemma faced by a rural community on South Africa's Wild Coast as to whether to support or resist a proposed titanium mining project and a national tolled highway. 

Nonhle Mbuthuma - Where the river meets the sea - a still from 'The Shore Break'

Director Grunenwald says she is thrilled with the award.

Director of 'The Shore Break' Ryley Grunenwald

'The Shore Break' which was a project in the 2013 Durban FilmMart will have its co-premiere at the 36th Durban International Film Festival on July 18, 2015 with four screenings during the festival which runs from July 16 to 26.

For more info on the film visit: www.theshorebreakmovie.com

Durban Film Festival: www.durbanfilmfestival.co.za

Article by Fred Felton
Twitter @fredfelton 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Interview with Eddie Edwards - Director and Producer of Durban Beach Rescue

This week I was invited to the Media Launch of the new show 'Durban Beach Rescue' a new reality type documentary set along the Durban shoreline.

An image from 'Durban Beach Rescue'

The show is a 10 part series set in Durban and follows Durban lifeguards and  their daily routines. From saving distressed bathers to dealing with verbal abuse, each day is an adventure.

I sat down with the Director of the show, Eddie Edwards and asked him about what it takes to shoot a documentary:

How big was your crew?

25 people.  We had 5 teams of crew members going out spread along the coastline following the lifeguards.

Talk about the KZN Film Commission, Durban Film Office and The City of Durban?

The KZN Film Commission were great, they helped us out with some funding, they also helped us out with all of the procedures of working on this project in Durban.
The Durban Film Office helped us out with dealing with the City.
The City of Durban were great in allowing us access all over and helping us film on the beaches.

Advice for aspiring filmmakers?

It's not the end of the world when you are turned down.  A project has a life.

How long did this show take to develop?

This took two and a half years to develop.

Durban Beach Rescue Premieres Saturday July 4th at 8pm Travel Channel DStv Channnel 179

The executive producer of the show is Bronwyn Berry from Ruby Rocket Media.
For more info visit their website: http://rubyrocket.tv/

Article by Fred Felton
Twitter @fredfelton

Monday, June 15, 2015

SA Film 'Ayanda' announced as DIFF's opening night film

The highly anticipated South African film Ayanda, directed by Sara Blecher and produced by Real Eyes in association with Leading Lady Productions, has been announced as the opening night film of the 36th The Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) which takes place from 16 to 26 July this year.

Set in the vibrant, Afropolitan community of Johannesburg’s Yeoville, Ayanda is a coming-of-age story of a twenty-one year old Afro-hipster, who embarks on a journey of self-discovery when she has to fight to save her late father’s legacy – a motor repair shop - when it is threatened with closure. She’s thrown into a world of greasy overalls, gender stereotypes and abandoned vintage cars once loved, now in need of a young woman’s re-inventive touch to bring them back to life again.

The film stars Fulu Mugovhani (of Scandal fame) and Nigerian actor OC Ukeje, with a star South African cast including Ntathi Moshesh, Kenneth Nkosi, Jafta Mamabola, Thomas Gumede, Sihle Xaba and veteran star of stage and screen Vanessa Cooke.

“We are pleased that this feel-good film will open this year’s festival,” says Pedro Pimenta, Director of the DIFF. “The opening film of this, the most prestigious international film event in SA, needs to reflect a clear priority established by the festival to reach and develop local audiences.”

“The recently published NFVF report on audiences in this country, is very informative and revealing in that while the industry has been successfully structured and supported from all quarters to allow a regular flow of SA content, much still needs to be done for this content to reach local audiences. By once again opening the DIFF with a strong SA film, we endorse this objective.”

This is the second opening night film at DIFF for director Sara Blecher. Her film Otelo Burning opened the 2011 edition of DIFF to critical acclaim. “We are very proud of Ayanda and are thrilled to have it selected as the opening film at this year’s festival.    The film had a very successful screening in Cannes last month and we look forward to screening it to festival-goers in Durban,” says Blecher.

Ayanda offers an interesting and positive convergence of talents style , resources and distribution potential for the film market.” says Pimenta. “There is a real sense that reaching an audience has been the most important motivation equally shared by the filmmakers and their financiers in its creation.”

“Ayanda celebrates the diversity of our country and revels in the fact that we are a multi-cultural, colourful and exciting melting pot of Africa,” says co-producer Terry Pheto.  “With this film we have tried to capture the Afropolitan nature of our country and the energy of its people.”

“What is also particularly encouraging in terms of the South African film industry is that the film, originally titled, Andani and the Mechanic, was a project in the 2013 Durban FilmMart, the co-production and finance forum of the DIFF and the Durban Film Office.”  says Pimenta. “The film is one of five titles that have been part of the DFM process over the years that will be screened this year at DIFF.”

The festival includes more than 200 theatrical screenings and a full seminar and workshop programme, as well as the Wavescapes Film Festival, and various industry initiatives, including the 8th Talents Durban (presented in cooperation with the Berlinale Talents) and the 6thDurban FilmMart co-production market (presented in partnership with the Durban Film Office).  For more information go to www.durbanfilmfest.co.za.