85th Academy Awards

Just under 8 hours to go to the 85th Academy Awards, and the Dobly Theatre is a hive of activity.

 

Preparations for the governers ball.
Preparations for the governers ball.

History

The Academy

The Academy is an artist-driven organization that advances the art and science of motion pictures. The Academy’s mission is to preserve the past, honor the present, and shape the future of film. It is composed of more than 6,000 members who are distinguished by their achievements in the movie industry.

The Academy is an artist-driven organization that advances the art and science of motion pictures. The Academy’s mission is to preserve the past, honor the present, and shape the future of film. It is composed of more than 6,000 members who are distinguished by their achievements in the movie industry.

The Award

Shortly after the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences was incorporated in 1927, a dinner was held in the Crystal Ballroom of the Biltmore Hotel in downtown Los Angeles to discuss the goals of the new organization. One of those goals was devising a method to honor outstanding achievements, thus encouraging higher levels of quality in all facets of motion picture production.

Once the decision had been made to institute an award, a major item of business was the creation of a trophy to symbolize film achievement. MGM art director Cedric Gibbons designed the statuette and Los Angeles sculptor George Stanley was selected to bring to three-dimensional form the figure of a knight standing on a reel of film, hands gripping a sword. The Academy’s world-renowned statuette was born.

Since the initial awards banquet on May 16, 1929, in the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel’s Blossom Room, 2,856 statuettes have been presented. Each January, additional new golden statuettes are cast, molded, polished and buffed by R.S. Owens & Company, the Chicago-based awards specialty company retained by the Academy since 1982.

“Each Oscar statuette is individually handcrafted,” says Scott Siegel, president of R.S. Owens. “This statuette is only a tiny portion of our overall business, but it makes us known all around the world. No other award is as universally recognized as the Oscar, and we treat it with the extra-special tender loving care that it deserves. We are extremely proud that the Academy has entrusted its manufacture to us.”

The Oscar statuette is the most recognized award in the world. Its success as a symbol of achievement in filmmaking would doubtless amaze those who attended that dinner more than 80 years ago, as well as its designer, Cedric Gibbons.

It stands today, as it has since 1929, without peer, on the mantels of the greatest filmmakers in history.

The Hosts

Seth MacFarlane will be hosting this year, with a long list of presenters:

  • Jack Nicholson
  • Dustin Hoffman
  • Kristen Stewart
  • Jane Fonda
  • Jennifer Garner
  • Kerry Washington
  • Michael Douglas
  • Jamie Foxx
  • Paul Rudd
  • Salma Hayek Pinault
  • Melissa Mccarthy
  • Liam Neeson
  • John Travolta
  • Ben Affleck
  • Jessica Chastain
  • Jennifer Lawrence
  • Halle Berry
  • Sandra Bullock
  • Nicole Kidman
  • Reese Witherspoon
  • The cast of Chicago — Renée Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Richard Gere and Queen Latifah
  • Charlize Theron (making a “special appearance”)
  • Channing Tatum (making a “special appearance”)
  • Joseph Gordon-Levitt (making a “special appearance”)
  • Daniel Radcliffe (making a “special appearance”)
  • Marvel’s The Avengers cast mates Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Samuel L. Jackson, Jeremy Renner and Mark Ruffalo
  • Meryl Streep
  • Jean Dujardin
  • Octavia Spencer
  • Christopher Plummer
  • Mark Wahlberg and his teddy bear co-star Ted
Mark Wahlberg and his teddy bear co-star “Ted” © Universal Pictures
Mark Wahlberg and his teddy bear co-star “Ted”
© Universal Pictures

The Nominees

The nomiations for the 85th Academy Awards were made on January 10 by host Seth MacFarlane and actress Emma Stone.

Best motion picture of the year:

“Amour” (Sony Pictures Classics)
A Les Films du Losange/X Filme Creative Pool/Wega Film Production
Nominees to be determined

“Argo” (Warner Bros.)
A Stage 16 Pictures Production
Grant Heslov, Ben Affleck and George Clooney, Producers

“Beasts of the Southern Wild” (Fox Searchlight)
A Cinereach and Court 13 Production
Dan Janvey, Josh Penn and Michael Gottwald, Producers

“Django Unchained” (The Weinstein Company)
A Weinstein Company and Columbia Pictures Production
Stacey Sher, Reginald Hudlin and Pilar Savone, Producers

“Les Misérables” (Universal)
A Universal Pictures and Working Title Production
Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Debra Hayward and Cameron Mackintosh, Producers

“Life of Pi” (20th Century Fox)
A Fox 2000 Pictures Production
Gil Netter, Ang Lee and David Womark, Producers

“Lincoln” (Walt Disney/20th Century Fox)
A DreamWorks Pictures/20th Century Fox Production
Steven Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy, Producers

“Silver Linings Playbook” (The Weinstein Company)
A Weinstein Company Production
Donna Gigliotti, Bruce Cohen and Jonathan Gordon, Producers

“Zero Dark Thirty” (Sony Pictures Releasing)
A Columbia Pictures Production
Mark Boal, Kathryn Bigelow and Megan Ellison, Producers

Best animated feature film of the year:

“Brave” (Walt Disney)
Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman

“Frankenweenie” (Walt Disney)
Tim Burton

“ParaNorman” (Focus Features)
Sam Fell and Chris Butler

“The Pirates! Band of Misfits” (Sony Pictures Releasing)
Peter Lord

“Wreck-It Ralph” (Walt Disney)
Rich Moore

Performance by an actor in a leading role:

Bradley Cooper in “Silver Linings Playbook” (The Weinstein Company)

Daniel Day-Lewis in “Lincoln” (Walt Disney/20th Century Fox)

Hugh Jackman in “Les Misérables” (Universal)

Joaquin Phoenix in “The Master” (The Weinstein Company)

Denzel Washington in “Flight” (Paramount)

Performance by an actor in a supporting role:

Alan Arkin in “Argo” (Warner Bros.)

Robert De Niro in “Silver Linings Playbook” (The Weinstein Company)

Philip Seymour Hoffman in “The Master” (The Weinstein Company)

Tommy Lee Jones in “Lincoln” (Walt Disney/20th Century Fox)

Christoph Waltz in “Django Unchained” (The Weinstein Company)

Performance by an actress in a leading role:

Jessica Chastain in “Zero Dark Thirty” (Sony Pictures Releasing)

Jennifer Lawrence in “Silver Linings Playbook” (The Weinstein Company)

Emmanuelle Riva in “Amour” (Sony Pictures Classics)

Quvenzhané Wallis in “Beasts of the Southern Wild” (Fox Searchlight)

Naomi Watts in “The Impossible” (Summit Entertainment and Mediaset España)

Performance by an actress in a supporting role:

Amy Adams in “The Master” (The Weinstein Company)

Sally Field in “Lincoln” (Walt Disney/20th Century Fox)

Anne Hathaway in “Les Misérables” (Universal)

Helen Hunt in “The Sessions” (Fox Searchlight)

Jacki Weaver in “Silver Linings Playbook” (The Weinstein Company)

Achievement in directing:

“Amour” (Sony Pictures Classics), Michael Haneke

“Beasts of the Southern Wild” (Fox Searchlight), Benh Zeitlin

“Life of Pi” (20th Century Fox), Ang Lee

“Lincoln” (Walt Disney/20th Century Fox), Steven Spielberg

“Silver Linings Playbook” (The Weinstein Company), David O. Russell

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (original score):

“Anna Karenina” (Focus Features), Dario Marianelli

“Argo” (Warner Bros.), Alexandre Desplat

“Life of Pi” (20th Century Fox), Mychael Danna

“Lincoln” (Walt Disney/20th Century Fox), John Williams

“Skyfall” (Sony Pictures Releasing and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer), Thomas Newman

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (original song):

“Before My Time” from “Chasing Ice” (Submarine Deluxe), J. Ralph

“Everybody Needs A Best Friend” from “Ted” (Universal), Walter Murphy and Seth MacFarlane

“Pi’s Lullaby” from “Life of Pi” (20th Century Fox), Mychael Danna and Bombay Jayashri

“Skyfall” from “Skyfall” (Sony Pictures Releasing and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer), Adele Adkins and Paul Epworth

“Suddenly” from “Les Misérables” (Universal), Claude-Michel Schönberg, Herbert Kretzmer and Alain Boublil

Adapted screenplay:

“Argo” (Warner Bros.), Screenplay by Chris Terrio

“Beasts of the Southern Wild” (Fox Searchlight), Screenplay by Lucy Alibar & Benh Zeitlin

“Life of Pi” (20th Century Fox), Screenplay by David Magee

“Lincoln” (Walt Disney/20th Century Fox), Screenplay by Tony Kushner

“Silver Linings Playbook” (The Weinstein Company), Screenplay by David O. Russell

Original screenplay:

“Amour” (Sony Pictures Classics), Written by Michael Haneke

“Django Unchained” (The Weinstein Company), Written by Quentin Tarantino

“Flight” (Paramount), Written by John Gatins

“MoonriseKingdom” (Focus Features), Written by Wes Anderson & Roman Coppola

“Zero Dark Thirty” (Sony Pictures Releasing), Written by Mark Boal

Best foreign language film of the year:

“Amour” Austria

“Kon-Tiki” Norway

“No” Chile

“A Royal Affair” Denmark

“War Witch” Canada

Nominees for the 85th Academy Awards Row 1 (L-R): Sam Fell, Rich Moore, Dan Hennah, Seamus McGarvey, Sari Gilman, Paco Delgado, Jacki Weaver, Donna Gigliotti, Ethan Van der Ryn, Pilar Savone, Quvenzhane Wallis, Bradley Cooper, Naomi Watts, Joanna Johnston, Paul N.J. Ottoson, Janusz Kaminski, David Womark, Jedd Wider, Karen Baker Landers, Malik Bendjelloul, David O. Russell Row 2: Gil Netter, Michael Kahn, David Gopman, Ronald Judkins, Philip Brennan, Chris Butler, David Clayton, Debra Hayward, Tim Squyres, Brenda Chapman, J Ralph, DM Hemphill, PES, Guillaume Rocheron, Jon Alpert, Ron Bartlett, Fodhla Cronin O'Reilly, Jim Erickson, Sam French, Michael Dawson Row 3: Nikolaj Arcel, Megan Ellison, Claudio Miranda, Scott Millan, Cedric Nicolas-Troyan, Tammi Lane, Sean Fine, Rick Carter, Dan Janvey, Erik Aadahl, Dan Sudick, Andy Nelson, Hugh Jackman, Jessica Chastain, Roman Coppola, Drew Kunin, Robin Honan, Mino Jarjoura, David Silverman, Tom Van Avermaet, Mychael Danna, Mark Paterson, David Magee, Reginald Hudlin, Helen Hunt, Steven Spielberg. Row 4: Joachim Ronning, Howard Gertler, Walter Murphy, Yan England, Eric Saindon, Ariel Nasr, Martin Hill, Andrea Nix Fine, Ellen De Waele, Benh Zeitlin, Jeff White, Josh Penn, David France, Mark Boal, Espen Sandberg, Timothy Reckart, Richard Stammers, John Kahrs, Wylie Stateman, Cori Shepherd Stern, Mink Yu Lee, Matthew O'Neill, Janek Sirrs, Philip Stockton, Alexandre Desplat, Crispin Struthers, Kathryn Bigelow, Robert De Niro. Row 5: Peter Montagna, Eugene Gearty, John Reitz, Dylan Tichenor, Eric Fellner, Jonathan Gordon, Kirby Dick, Tim Burton, Amy Adams, Per Hallberg, Joaquin Phoenix, Sally Field, Lucy Alibar, Eve Stewart, Guy Williams, Anne Hathaway, Neil Corbould, Mark Andrews, Michael Gottwald, Shawn Christensen, Donald Elliot, Jose Antonio Garcia, Ra Vincent, Brian Buckley, Guy Davidi, Kief Davidson, Katie Spencer, R. Christopher White, Kim Nguyen, Martin Samuel. Row 6: Erik-Jan De Boer, Dror Moreh, Tony Kushner, William Goldenberg, Bill Westenhofer, George Stevens Jr., Stacey Sher, Sarah Greenwood, Ben Affleck, John Gatins, Howard Berger, Colleen Atwood, Denzel Washington, Kathleen Kennedy, Jay Cassidy, Ang Lee, Thomas Newman, Jennifer Lawrence, Cynthia Wade, Alain Boublil, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Joe Letteri, Bruce Cohen, Christoph Waltz, Amy Ziering, Tommy Lee Jones, Hal Needham, Greg P. Russell, Emad Burnat, Gregg Rudloff, Simon Bright. Greg Harbaugh / ©A.M.P.A.S.
Nominees for the 85th Academy Awards
Row 1 (L-R): Sam Fell, Rich Moore, Dan Hennah, Seamus McGarvey, Sari Gilman, Paco Delgado, Jacki Weaver, Donna Gigliotti, Ethan Van der Ryn, Pilar Savone, Quvenzhane Wallis, Bradley Cooper, Naomi Watts, Joanna Johnston, Paul N.J. Ottoson, Janusz Kaminski, David Womark, Jedd Wider, Karen Baker Landers, Malik Bendjelloul, David O. Russell
Row 2: Gil Netter, Michael Kahn, David Gopman, Ronald Judkins, Philip Brennan, Chris Butler, David Clayton, Debra Hayward, Tim Squyres, Brenda Chapman, J Ralph, DM Hemphill, PES, Guillaume Rocheron, Jon Alpert, Ron Bartlett, Fodhla Cronin O’Reilly, Jim Erickson, Sam French, Michael Dawson
Row 3: Nikolaj Arcel, Megan Ellison, Claudio Miranda, Scott Millan, Cedric Nicolas-Troyan, Tammi Lane, Sean Fine, Rick Carter, Dan Janvey, Erik Aadahl, Dan Sudick, Andy Nelson, Hugh Jackman, Jessica Chastain, Roman Coppola, Drew Kunin, Robin Honan, Mino Jarjoura, David Silverman, Tom Van Avermaet, Mychael Danna, Mark Paterson, David Magee, Reginald Hudlin, Helen Hunt, Steven Spielberg.
Row 4: Joachim Ronning, Howard Gertler, Walter Murphy, Yan England, Eric Saindon, Ariel Nasr, Martin Hill, Andrea Nix Fine, Ellen De Waele, Benh Zeitlin, Jeff White, Josh Penn, David France, Mark Boal, Espen Sandberg, Timothy Reckart, Richard Stammers, John Kahrs, Wylie Stateman, Cori Shepherd Stern, Mink Yu Lee, Matthew O’Neill, Janek Sirrs, Philip Stockton, Alexandre Desplat, Crispin Struthers, Kathryn Bigelow, Robert De Niro.
Row 5: Peter Montagna, Eugene Gearty, John Reitz, Dylan Tichenor, Eric Fellner, Jonathan Gordon, Kirby Dick, Tim Burton, Amy Adams, Per Hallberg, Joaquin Phoenix, Sally Field, Lucy Alibar, Eve Stewart, Guy Williams, Anne Hathaway, Neil Corbould, Mark Andrews, Michael Gottwald, Shawn Christensen, Donald Elliot, Jose Antonio Garcia, Ra Vincent, Brian Buckley, Guy Davidi, Kief Davidson, Katie Spencer, R. Christopher White, Kim Nguyen, Martin Samuel.
Row 6: Erik-Jan De Boer, Dror Moreh, Tony Kushner, William Goldenberg, Bill Westenhofer, George Stevens Jr., Stacey Sher, Sarah Greenwood, Ben Affleck, John Gatins, Howard Berger, Colleen Atwood, Denzel Washington, Kathleen Kennedy, Jay Cassidy, Ang Lee, Thomas Newman, Jennifer Lawrence, Cynthia Wade, Alain Boublil, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Joe Letteri, Bruce Cohen, Christoph Waltz, Amy Ziering, Tommy Lee Jones, Hal Needham, Greg P. Russell, Emad Burnat, Gregg Rudloff, Simon Bright.
Greg Harbaugh / ©A.M.P.A.S.

 

AFDA Durban Officially Opens Its Doors

Last week, 63 promising young film-makers and live theatre practitioners gathered in a formal assembly with academic staff, industry guests, media and dignitaries as Mayor of eThekwini, James Nxumalo officially opened AFDA (The South African School of Motion Picture Medium and Live Performance), in Glen Anil, Durban.

Chairman of AFDA Garth Holmes with Mayor of Durban Cllr James Nxumalo who officially opened the AFDA Durban school.
Chairman of AFDA Garth Holmes with Mayor of Durban Cllr James Nxumalo who officially opened the AFDA Durban school.

This is the third AFDA school to open in South Africa. The first school opened in Johannesburg in 1994, followed by the Cape Town School in 2003, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year.  Founded and run by Bata Passchier (CEO), Garth Holmes (Chairman) and Deon Opperman, who has since left the school to work independently as a theatre producer.

With the opening of the Durban school, AFDA continues in its objectives to develop an institution that meaningfully contributes to South African nation-building and rewards all stakeholders by providing a stimulating and globally integrated tertiary learning experience.

Speaking at the opening Chairman and Co-Founder, Garth Holmes said “We have learnt that the youth have an inexplicable capacity and intuition to see far further into the future than we as an older generation are able to; particularly in a world that is experiencing rapid and exponential change; a world in which it is no longer the most intelligent person who is most likely to succeed, but rather the person who is most capable of dealing with change.”

“Part of this change is the shift in the definition and role of the artist in society. It has become evident that we no longer can rely on big corporates, multi-nationals and their accountants, lawyers, actuaries and financiers to solve the problems of the world – we need only look back to the recent events of the global recession and the impact that it has had on our society.  What has become evident to us at AFDA is that the skills, processes and character of the artist – whether performer, film maker or media maker, are well suited to the new cognitive, attitudinal, aesthetic and technical demands being made by the new world economy.”

Bata Passchier addressed the students about the role of art in society as they embark on their careers in what is globally considered to be the fastest growing industry. “In South Africa art is a vital part of us coming together as a nation as it allows us to see who we are and what we can be. Art enables us to ask the question “Who am I?” and our challenge is to confront that question, deeply, consistently and profoundly. The challenge of a meaningful life is to seek that meaning and give that introspection form, and through that humankind is able to move forward.”

The Mayor of eThekwini, Cllr James Nxumalo said, “The City salutes AFDA’s commitment to facilitate a learning environment that develops high-quality human and intellectual property amongst our youth with the relevant skills to deal with the rigors of a fast expanding and ever-changing industry.”

Toni Monty, of the Durban Film Office, was upbeat about the impact the school will have on the industry. “We are pleased that AFDA’s management has seen the potential for growth of the film and live performance industry in Durban. They have a track record of producing entrepreneurs who are hungry to create work, and it is this kind of pioneering spirit that helps to develop the industry.”

The Dean of the Durban Campus is experienced producer and film-maker Franco Human, who was, until recently, head of the producing department of AFDA Cape Town and the undergraduate course director.  “We have all been working long hours to ensure that the building is ready for the first year intake, and to ensure that the course work and curriculum are all in line with the school’s objectives.” said Human. “We are all ready to begin this exciting journey with the founding students and judging by last week’s orientation, we are in for a fabulously creative and stimulating ride.”

Heading up the Film School is award-winning, film director and producer Richard Green, with respected, multi-talented award-winning playwright, director and actor Rajesh Gopie heading up the Live Performance School and Janet van Eeden, an award-winning scriptwriter and educator is production course administrator and script writing lecturer.

Other core staff include lecturers Damien Tomaselli a performer, editor and producer, Stuart Strydom, an experienced video and sound editor and Sam Kelly, who has worked in production design for UK’s Channel 4 and BBC. Jessica Singh, is Co-ordinator and Administrative Assistant, while Marketing Officer Milena Gevers, an AFDA graduate, has been pivotal in the start up of the new school, having overseen the renovations of the building as well as the extensive recruitment drives that have been done over the past year.

For more information about AFDA contact Milena Gevers on  milenag@afda.co.za or call  031 569 2252

CFC & Department Of Home Affairs Meeting

The following letter to the industry from the CEO of the CFC (Cape Film Comission):

Dear Members

The Cape Film Commission and representatives of industry met with the Deputy Minister of Home Affairs and senior representatives of her Office last week.

At the meeting various proposals were discussed and, we believe, resolved.

We can confirm that the Department stated that there is no directive in place to
restrict the extension of an 11(2) permit by 90 days (visa exempt countries)
however only one extension is permissible.

There will also be an opportunity to motivate for longer work permits for specialist cast and crew working on longer-term projects. This will be useful for
productions running longer than 6 months, especially long term TV series and
long form shoots going into sequels etc.

The process for the above will involve a slightly more complex registration process with the CFC Membership. This will require the applicant, be it an individual or company, registering as a member of the CFC. It will also require the provision of a letter of support from the local production company and a copy of the employment contract or service agreement to be provided to the CFC. In turn we will submit this to Home Affairs with a letter of support for the permit to be issued.

Due to the more complex admin process required for these applications a flat rate annual administration fee of R500 will be charged for membership of the CFC for those applying for a permit with an additional fee of R350 for each permit application.

Should you have any challenges or queries in relation to this please contact us on info@capefilmcommission.co.za

Regards

Denis Lillie
CEO

Advanced Voice And The Actor

Participants move to an advanced level in their voice and speech training, through developing and applying vocal techniques to various performance projects.

Workshop will cover:

–       Vocal projection.
–       Sight reading.
–       Acting for radio.
–       Voice over

Venue:  Act Cape Town
Cost: R4950
(Every  Mon/Tues/Thur & Fri)

Participants will record a voice-over demo CD.
Entry Requirements: Foundation in voice training / equivalent in industry experience.
Please note: ACT reserves the right to change, without notice, the workshop structure and/or schedule and/or coach.

ACT Cape Town

Casting For Commercials

ACT Cape Town1 DAY WORKSHOP
Saturday, 2 March 2013
09h30  – 16h30
Cost:  R850

This workshop will provide participants with an in-depth look at the techniques required to prepare and cast successfully for all types of commercials.

Workshop will cover:

  • Where the actor / model fits in the commercial world.
  • Preparation for a casting.
  • Translate preparation into an on camera performance.
  • Handling the call back and meeting the client.

Workshop culminates in a mock casting for playback and review.

Entry Requirements: None.

Please note: ACT reserves the right to change, without notice, the workshop structure and/or schedule and/or coach.

Fanie Fourie’s Lobola Wins Audience Choice Award At Jozi Film Festival

Romantic comedy ‘Fanie Fourie’s Lobola’, which opens in cinemas on 1 March, has won the all-important Audience Choice Award at the second annual Jozi Film Festival held at the weekend. The awards ceremony was held on Sunday night at Villa Arcadia in Parktown, at an event hosted by John Vlismas.

Lobola

A total of 23 films were screened at three venues across Johannesburg – The Bioscope Independent Cinema in Fox Street, Villa Arcadia and Kliptown. ‘Fanie Fourie’s Lobola’, a funny and contemporary story about love and tradition, kicked off the festival at The Bioscope on Friday, 15 February and was sold out. The film tells the tale of what happens when an Afrikaans guy and a Zulu girl fall in love and have to navigate their way through the complicated process of lobola.

“The film was very well received by the audiences,” says Helen Kuun, CEO of Indigenous Film Distribution. “Cinemagoers were enthusiastic about both the comedy and the candour of the story. Winning the audience award at the Jozi Film Festival bodes well for the performance of the film when it is released in March and we are delighted that the film received such a special accolade. It’s an acknowledgment of how clever and contemporary the story is.”

Directed by Henk Pretorius (‘Bakgat!’, ‘Bakgat! 2’), and co-written by Pretorius and Janine Eser, ‘Fanie Fourie’s Lobola’ stars talented newcomer Zethu Dlomo as Dinky and film and comedy favourite, Eduan van Jaarsveld as the affable Fanie. The film is the first from Once Upon a Story, a script development initiative headed by veteran industry leader Paul Raleigh and Janine Eser, which aims to take great South African stories to the big screen and the world.

Lobola on SAMDB

South African Film “Layla Fourie“ Wins Recognition At Berlinale

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“.

Layla Fourie

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”.

Layla Fourie

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.

Layla Fourie

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.

South African And German Artists Read Between The Lines

Michaelis Galleries in partnership with the Gordon Institute for Performing and Creative Arts (GIPCA) presents the exhibition Between the Lines, featuring artwork by German and South African art students, from 1 to 20 March 2013.

Forging a dialogue in the exploration ofthe potentialofa< /span>rt for radical mediation, Between the Lines is a meeting point between German and South African art students. The works are chosen by Candice Breitz and Nadja Daehnke, featuring 10 students each from the Hochschule für Bildende Künste and from the Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town. The exhibition opens on Friday 1 March at 18:00, and will run until Wednesday 20 March.

Probing cross-cultural communication and the capacity of art to function as a tool of social translation; Between the Lines includes paintings, photography, installations, video-work and performances by Fine Art and Art Theory students – those in their third and fourth year of study, as well as students from current Masters programmes.

“When two cultures encounter one another, tools of translation are essential in the building of a sustainable relationship. In terms of striving towards a greater mutual understanding of the specific pasts, presents and futures of Germany and South Africa; contemporary artists can offer a range of translation strategies. What tools might be used to translate German experience into South African experience or vice versa?” comments Michaelis Galleries Curator Nadja Daehnke.

The Between the Lines exhibition is part of a wider exchange project, which includes two high profile public conferences at the Michaelis School of Fine Art (25 to 28 February 2013) and the Hochschule für Bildende Künste Braunschweig respectively. These will explore ideas and strategies relevant to the role of art in translating experience and creating mutual understanding across international borders. For more information, please visit www.betweenlines.co.za.

The Between the Lines exhibition will open on Friday 1 March at 18:00 and close on Wednesday 20 March 2013. A public walkabout will take place on Tuesday 5 March from 13:00 – 14:00. For more information, please contact Nadja Daehnke on 021 480 7170, 0823165272 or nadja.daehnke@uct.ac.za. Michaelis Galleries are on the University of Cape Town’s Hiddingh Campus, 31-37 Orange Street, Cape Town. Opening hours: Tuesday – Friday 11:00 to 16:00, Saturday 10:00 to 13:00, or by appointment.

Writing Studio Workshops

The ABC of Writing A Screenplay

Turn fantastic ideas into big screen spectacle!  Calling all storytellers who would like to write for a visual medium, this motivational and inspirational workshop explores the art of visual narrative and the fundamentals of successful storytelling.  The workshop takes place at the studio in Green Point, Cape Town, on four Saturday afternoons from 2pm until 5pm on March 2, 9, 16 and April 6. Only 5 spaces are available for this uniquely interactive workshop, so it is advisable to register in advance. Read more about the workshop and how to register: http://www.writngstudio.co.za/page908.html
or email info@writingstudio.co.za

The Writing Studio will present a unique workshop for aspiring Xhosa
storytellers
. It will on at The Writing Studio on Saturday mornings from
10am until 1pm on April 6, 13, 20 and May 4. Read more: http://www.writingstudio.co.za/page1753.html

The Write Agency

The Writing Studio’s exclusive agency for writers is developing screenplays, manuscripts and stories, turning words into action and uniting storytellers and storymakers. Writers who are looking for representation or producers looking for original and unique stories from South African writers can email agency@writingstudio.co.za or visit http://www.writingstudio.co.za/page424.html

Gritty Comedy-Drama, BENCH Runs At Alexander Theatre

Popular writer, actor and comedian, Brent Palmer, presents his latest play, Bench, at Alexander Theatre from 13th to the 16th of March 2013.

Inspired by the story of two small time crooks, Bench is a gritty, compelling comedy-drama that examines a day in the life of two hustlers.  Brent also performs in the production alongside acclaimed actor Adrian Collins, and the show, which enjoyed a successful reading at the Baxter Theatre earlier this year, is directed by Michael Kirch.

Bench tells the story of two local petty thieves, Hendry and Dwain, who are sat on a park bench, about to embark on their most daring job to date. This is the job they believe is going to change their lives and make them wealthy beyond their wildest dreams. When one of them gets a crisis of conscience and begins to question the job, the planning takes an interesting turn with surprising and unexpected results.

Brent Palmer’s inspiration:

“I was inspired by the story of two small time crooks, and curious about what motivated them,” says Brent. “I wondered, what would these two hustlers speak about? What makes them laugh or cry? I was interested in their humanity; not just in our views of them as crooks.  I wanted to peel back the layers to reveal two absorbing characters, who, despite what they do, are able to hold up the mirror to all of us and reflect some of our own humanity; our aspirations and our disappointments. Of course, with a healthy dose of comedy thrown in!”

Biographies:

Adrian Collins:

Adrian Collins’ extensive theatre work includes Hamlet, directed by Janet Suzman at the Baxter and Swan theatre in Stratford upon Avon, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Birthday Party, for which he received a Fleur de Cap nomination.  Adrian is a member of The Mechanicals theatre collective and most recently played the role of Edmund in King Lear.

Michael Kirch:

Michael Kirch holds a Masters degree in directing from UCT.   Credits include directing a production of The Wizard of Oz for an all-Japanese audience, when, since English is not widely spoken there, the script was reduced to an absolute minimum, and Toto the dog became a Japanese speaking narrator who cleverly linked the show from one song to another. The Japanese national broadcaster NHK was so impressed they filmed the production and gave each of the cast members a video copy to take home.

Other projects include an adaptation of Dario Fo’s One was Nude and One wore Tails, called Nude/Tails.  Michael again took on a challenge and translated the play from its original Italian context and localised it in a contemporary South African political and cultural setting.  At this point he realised that he had a knack for the politics of comedy, as well as the comedy of politics, and has since worked with various Cape Town comedians to develop their shows.

Brent Palmer:

Brent Palmer is a London trained actor who has enjoyed an illustrious career locally and internationally in theatre, film, TV and stand-up comedy.  He has performed on stage in numerous Shakespearean and modern productions, while his international film credits include, The Flood, The Triangle and Mercenary for Justice with Steven Seagal and Leon Shuster’s Shucks Tshabalala.  Brent performs regularly as a stand-up comedian, and has also written and performed two one-man comedy shows, Credit Crunch and Corner Hope & Vrede. He has directed all of Nik Rabinowitz’ comedy shows over the past seven years, including “Stand and Deliver”. Brent has most recently directed award winning comedian Siv Ngesi in his hit show “Race Card” which can be seen at the Baxter in October.

To meet Brent’s character Hendry, visit, http://www.brentpalmer.co.za/wordpress/project/interviews/

Here is what the press had to say:

Cape Argus ‘Funny and surprisingly poignant,  four stars’

Cape Times “Palmer is a joy to watch, while Collins brings an almost visceral energy to his performance. Bench is a worthwhile contribution to local theatre. It is stimulating and, at the same time, entertaining.”

Die Burger – Die interaksie tussen die twee sorg vir puik komedie

Encore online ‘an emotional and clever journey between comedic and serious moments; a must see’

Broadway World  ‘a script that is stand-up sharp’

The Next 48hours – ‘It’s that great  combination of strong script, spot-on acting and sound direction – the type of all-round winner that you always hope to stumble across’

Sunday Independent – ‘One of the most unique and funny theatre offerings Cape Town audiences will experience this year’

Megans Head  ‘the characters are absolutely classic….absolutely kak funny.’

Writing Studio   ‘…superb….hilarous…Invest time and effort to see Bench. The reward is great. It will be a sinful crime to miss this fresh and entertaining production that makes going to the theatre a pleasure and also serves as a reminder of how great is it to be on the other side of the bench. ’

Monday Missile ‘one of the best performances of the 2012 season to date’

Bookings:

Bench will be performed from Wednesday the 13th through to Saturday the 16th. Performances start at 7pm.

TICKET PRICES:  R80

To book visit: http://alexanderbar.co.za/show/bench/

Or call: 021 300 1652

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