The new feature film by Berlin-based, South African filmmaker, Pia Marais, which played in Main Competition at the recent Berlinale International Film Festival, won a JURY SPECIAL MENTION AWARD at the Awards Ceremony last Saturday night, 16th February.
This multi-country co-production, led by prolific German producer, Pandora Film Produktion, is co-produced by Dv8 Films and Spier Films of South Africa.
Jeremy Nathan of Dv8 said of the award for the film, “This is wonderful recognition for the film and the team. It was great just being in Main Competition, and we hope the award will help promote the film“.
Mike Auret of Spier Films says:
“It is wonderful news that such a unique South African story has been recognised at the highest level and we congratulate Pia Marais, Pandora and particularly Dv8 for their excellent work in achieving this. Spier Films was happy to play its role in the making of this film and delighted that it could be part of another film to win honours at this prestigious festival”.
After her first two award-winning features The Unpolished (Die Unerzogenen) and At Ellen’s Age (Im Alter von Ellen) , director Pia Marais has now turned to the genre of the classic suspense thriller for her third film, Layla Fourie, which sees her returning to South Africa, the place of her childhood.
The story centres on the title figure, the polygraphist Layla Fourie, who is given the opportunity of proper employment in a company specialising in lie-detection and security. As a single mother, Layla is forced to take her son Kane with her on the trip. However, as they head into the country and what Layla hopes will be the beginning of a real life, an accident occurs which will radically change their lives. A web of lies and deception become firmly wrapped around the young mother and her son and, as their trust is put to the test, it is perhaps just a matter of time before the truth will tear them apart…
“Layla Fourie is set in South Africa, a country that has gone through a complete upheaval“. Marais explains. “Firstly, it is a film about a young single mother and her son. Yet their relationship and how it evolves throughout the story reflects a certain atmosphere that prevails in this country. One of hope and yet shadowed by distrust.“
“We shot the film in more rural parts of South Africa, north of Durban and in Johannesburg, a very cinematic city,“ Marais adds about shooting in her home country. „Obviously, South Africa went through a major change since my childhood there, so, for me, it is also a rediscovery“.
Layla Fourie features South African actors Terry Norton, Rapulana Seiphemo and is a debut for the young 9 year old Rapule Hendricks. It also stars August Diehl, who starred in SALT and INGLORIOUS BASTERDS.
The film was produced with the support of the South African Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Gauteng Film Commission (GFC).
Layla Fourie will be released in South Africa in July 2013.