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Film

SA Filmmakers Break The Global Mould

SA Filmmakers break the mould of territorial restrictions regarding independent films and get rewarded with North American distribution deal and global representation.

Director, writer Henk Pretorius and Producer Llewelynn Greeff’s new film THE UNFAMILIAR gets picked up for distribution by Lionsgate UK, Vertical Entertainment for North America and represented by – Scoundrel Media, the genre label of Myriad Pictures for worldwide sales.

Henk Pretorius: Photo Credit: Paul Harris / Copyright: Dark Matter Studios

THE UNFAMILIAR tells the story of a British Army doctor (Jemima West) who comes back from war, thinking she has PTSD, only to discover that there are malevolent spirits present at home, making the life that she knew unfamiliar.

Jamima West: Photo Credit: Fathom KeyArt Services / Copyright: Dark Matter Studios

“In the highly competitive world of filmmaking, a lot of people try to hold you down. The trick is not to listen to them, to focus on what you are authentically born to do and to keep pushing forward. Creating a film that will be seen by a global audience has been my vision since childhood.” – Henk Pretorius, Director/Writer.

Henk Pretorius wrote and directed Leading Lady, Fanie Fourie’s Lobola and Bakgat before leaving for the United Kingdom to write and direct: The Unfamiliar.

Myriad Pictures President and CEO Kirk D’Amico said: “We are excited to be handling international sales on this smart and timely horror thriller film in which director Henk Pretorius has gotten great performances from his cast, including the lead played by Jemima West. We are also delighted to start working with the talented people at Dark Matter Studios.”

Llewelynn Greeff, Producer, Dark Matter Studios said: “Being internationally represented by an industry icon, Kirk D’Amico’s of Scoundrel Media, has been an important milestone for Dark Matter Studios. The timing of the global release allows us to compete with major studios on a more even playing field.”

Llewelynn Greeff produced Leading Lady and Modder en Bloed (Blood and Glory) before producing The Unfamiliar with Producer Barend Kruger.

Dark Matter Studios is a British-based production house, co-founded by South Africans Henk Pretorius and Llewelynn Greeff, that specializes in creating bespoke feature films and television content for a global audience.

Scoundrel Media will premiere THE UNFAMILIAR at the Cannes Virtual Market.

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Film

Poppie Nongena Film To Launch On DStv BoxOffice

Poppie Nongena, the feature film based on one of the finest African novel of the twentieth century, is set to grace DStv BoxOffice screens in June. An inspiring story of courage and tenacity, the movie explores the brutal and tender journey of a single woman caught between two families. Replete with tumultuous twists and turns, Poppie Nongena is sure to capture the hearts of DStv viewers.

“I’m thrilled that Poppie Nongena will be launching on DStv BoxOffice, as it brings the film to a whole new audience,” said lead actress Clementine Mosimane (Soul City, The Wild, Black Tax). “Poppie became part of me as I walked this journey with the film. Her grace, courage and tenacity touched me and many people deeply.”

Anna-Mart van der Merwe (Die Storie van Klara Viljee, Kanarie) plays alongside Mosimane, and the two powerhouse actresses both took home SAFTAs in recognition of their sterling work. The remainder of the cast includes veterans Chris Gxalaba (Long Walk to Freedom, The Crown, ER, Mandela and De Klerk), Rolanda Marais (Trackers, Wolwe Dans in die Skemer, Binnelanders, Out on a Limb), David Minaar (Torings, Fiela se Kind, Nag van die 19de, 7de Laan, Amalia) and Lida Botha (Invictus, Susters, Windprint, Pad na jou Hart, Die Boekklub, Hollywood in my Huis, Susters). Nomsa Nene, who played the title role in the international theatre production of Poppie, plays Poppie’s mother.

Rounding out the rest of the star-studded team are award-winning screenwriter and playwright Christiaan Olwagen, who directed the film along with cinematographer Vicci Turpin. Olwagen’s previous work includes the critically acclaimed films Johnny is Nie Dood Nie, Die Seemeeu and Kanarie.

The SAFTA and Silwerksermfees award-winning film Poppie Nongena, will air on DStv BoxOffice from 21 June 2020. Films on DStv BoxOffice cost R 25 to rent and the platform is available online (which means you don’t need to be a DStv subscriber to access the service online).

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Film online

Catch Cut-Out Girls On DStv Box Office

You can’t social distance in a theatre, but many of the latest movies are now streaming, giving us viewers an escape at home.

Among the best local films to watch from the comfort of your lounge on DStv’s BoxOffice is Cut-Out Girls, an important message movie from writer-director, Nicola Hanekom and actor-producer, Grant Swanby. The film is available now and can be downloaded with your PVR decoder and online.

Cut-Out Girls creates social awareness around gender violence issues. Based on Hanekom’s award-winning stage play, ‘Cut-Out Girls’ has been described as, “a small film with a big heart, that knows how to throw a punch”.

Kevin and Mike are young men trying to get ahead in the competitive world of tennis. When one of them discovers a dangerous key that can unlock their potential, things get out of hand. Their worlds become intertwined and spiral out of control. A small series of seemingly insignificant moments weave together with devastating consequences. The film delves deep into the notion that in every moment a choice exists.

“The frightening truth is that we all can turn into monsters, from ‘us’ into ‘them’. The trick, the prayer, the hope is that we won’t,” says Hanekom. “With the violence against women endemic in South Africa, ‘Cut-Out Girls’ is inspired by the #MeToo and #AmINext movements and is aimed at creating social change.”

Movie review platform SPL!NG said, “Hanekom is able to leverage the power of the message through: solid performances from a young cast; well-composed cinematography; capturing authentic moments; using her resources wisely and via an eclectic mix of shooting styles … ‘Cut-Out Girls’ remains a brave, important and respectable indie film. Considering the enormous challenge of adapting and bringing this indie drama to life, its sheer existence serves as an achievement in and of itself.”

Hanekom says she wants to tell stories that make a difference and make films that lead to positive change. “I am fascinated by how we all carry the potential for evil inside us, how we can incrementally shift and become unrecognisable to ourselves. We are what we think, say and do. Ultimately, our acts define us. But we can heal. We are not the sum total of what was done to us. We are the beauty we choose to find inside ourselves.”

‘Cut-Out Girls’ stars Joel Rosenblatt, Cody Mountain, Keziah Gabriel, Chloe Papademetriou, Meghan Oberholzer, Ashleigh van der Hoven and Atlanta Johnson.

The film was shot in and around Cape Town in 2017. A portion of the proceeds of the film will go to the non-profit organisation Rape Crisis. The film is produced by Act Cape Town Productions, in association with Haas & Kaas.

‘Cut-Out Girls’ is distributed in South Africa by Indigenous Film Distribution.

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Film online

Moffie Makes South Africa Proud And Tops Digital Sales In The United Kingdom

Following its incredibly successful digital release in South Africa, MOFFIE, has just been released for streaming on CURZON HOME CINEMA in the UK, where it has been met with an overwhelming positive critical response. The film was the most watched film on the Curzon Home Cinema platform in its opening weekend.

The film received 5-star reviews in The Times (5 stars), The Irish Times (5 stars), and major praise in The Guardian (4 stars), The Telegraph (4 stars), Empire Magazine (4 stars) and the Financial Times. Reviewers are calling the film “a breath-taking piece of cinema” and “horribly evocative.” The Guardian described director Oliver Hermanus as South Africa’s “most significant auteur in several generations” and renowned writer and critic, Peter Bradshaw, chose the film as this publication’s film of the week.

The film also blew up on social media when journalist Owen Jones described it as “one of the most stunning and harrowing films” that he has ever seen and actor Josh O’Connor (best known for his role as Prince Charles in The Crown) tweeted “This film is beautiful. I can’t tell you how much I love it”.

The film also blew up on social media when journalist Owen Jones described it as “one of the most stunning and harrowing films” that he has ever seen and actor Josh O’Connor (best known for his role as Prince Charles in The Crown) tweeted “This film is beautiful. I can’t tell you how much I love it”.

In response to this, rapturous response Hermanus said: “Our UK release of MOFFIE has been nothing short of amazing. Our film has been widely and enthusiastically celebrated by the UK press and it makes me, and I’m sure, everyone else who worked on MOFFIE, incredibly proud. We are putting South African cinema and cinema makers firmly on the global stage. It has been truly overwhelming.”

The film – which was nominated for three British Independent Film Awards – is being distributed in the UK by Curzon Artificial Eye. MOFFIE was due to have its theatrical release in the UK on 24 April, but due to the outbreak of COVID-19 the film was released digitally on their Home Cinema service first and will have its theatrical release as soon as cinemas reopen.

Since premiering at the Venice International Film Festival last September, the film has been lauded globally and has created a number of international opportunities for the South African cast and crew involved in the film.

Both Hermanus and the film’s lead actor, Kai Luke Brümmer (Nicholas van der Swart) were snapped up for international representation, and Hermanus has been in talks with a number of US and UK producers about upcoming projects.

MOFFIE has been available for streaming in South Africa since 31 March and was made available for streaming in Namibia on 28 April due to public demand. The film is set for release in other global markets in the course of 2020.

Local distributor, Penzance Films, has been blown away by the incredible response from South African audiences. With the outbreak of the coronavirus they had to quickly make a plan to release the film online and according to co-producer Theresa Ryan – van Graan, the success of the streaming service has surpassed all their expectations. “Both the local and international response has been incredible. MOFFIE has placed South African cinema centre stage”.

MOFFIE is available for streaming in South Africa and Namibia: bit.ly/MoffieSA

And in the UK at bit.ly/MoffieUK

Read more reviews here: www.moffiefilm.com/reviews

MOFFIE is directed by Oliver Hermanus and stars Kai Luke Brümmer, Hilton Pelser, Matthew Vey, Stefan Vermaak, and Ryan de Villliers. It is produced by Eric Abraham, Jack Sidey and co-produced by Theresa Ryan- van Graan.

MOFFIE is produced by Portobello Productions and Penzance Films.

Read the SAMDB review of Moffie.

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Film online

Moffie Now Available To View Online In Namibia As Well!

The critically acclaimed film, MOFFIE, the story of a young conscript who battles to survive compulsory military service in apartheid-South Africa while coming to terms with his sexual orientation, started streaming online in South Africa on 31 March 2020.

A short while before Covid19 hit, the movie’s producer, Eric Abraham, as well as director Oliver Hermanus, started a process of creating a Plan B as an alternative means for people to watch the critically acclaimed film at home. Therefore, when the global call for social distancing to slow down the spread of Covid-19 came and now through the lockdown period while production companies worldwide are seeking alternative means to distribute recently released and upcoming films – team

Moffie were ready to offer their audience the opportunity to watch the film in the comfort and safety of their homes. Due to public demand the film will now also be available to stream online in Namibia as from Tuesday, 28 April 2020.

According to Hermanus, Abraham suggested a back-up plan for the film’s release and distribution well before the spread of the virus started to pick up speed in Southern Africa. “I am very excited that we will be extending our streaming service of MOFFIE to include our Namibian audience. We are doing so as a response to the public interest. I journeyed through Namibia before making the film to experience the landscape as part of our research for MOFFIE and am so pleased that we get to share the finished film with Namibians of all walks of life” says Hermanus. “You may be stuck indoors, so hopefully we can keep you entertained.”

here are a few things to take note of prior to your purchase of a ticket to stream the film online:

  • Tickets cost R150 per viewing, and are valid to use for 24 hours from the time of purchasing. The film can only be watched once from start to finish – but you can press pause at any time during the 24-hour period. However, if you navigate away from the current viewing (e.g. close the tab or browser, refresh the page, restart your computer) your session will be lost, and your ticket invalid.
  • To stream the film a minimum line speed of 8MBps is recommended, though a faster line speed of 10MBps is preferred. If your line speed is slower than 8MBps, the film will keep buffering, and you’ll have a stop-start viewing experience.
  • We apologise in advance for any other unforeseen hiccups – we’re still figuring out the kinks but trying our best to give you the best viewing experience. Reach out to us on our social media pages for assistance. 
  • For any assistance / enquiries you can send an e-mail to support@penzancefilms.com

Visit www.moffiefilm.com/stream to stream the film now.

MOFFIE stars Kai Luke Brümmer, Hilton Pelser, Matthew Vey, Stefan Vermaak, and Ryan de Villliers. It is produced by Eric Abraham, Jack Sidey and co-produced by Theresa Ryan- van Graan.

MOFFIE is produced by Portobello Productions and Penzance Films.

Read the SAMDB review of Moffie.