SA film Durban Poison to screen at Jozi Film Festival only?
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Wed, 19 Feb 2014 10:50
Durban Poison poster

This weekend’s screening of award-winning film Durban Poison at Jozi Film Festival (JFF) may be the only opportunity to see the highly-acclaimed production in a South African cinema as no local distribution has been confirmed by the film’s producers, the Karoo Film Company.

Durban Poison, written and directed by Andrew Worsdale, won Best South African Feature Film at the 34th Durban International Film Festival in 2013, and has screened at the Busan, London, Goa, Calabar and Dubai International Film Festivals. In March, it will be in competition at the Luxor African Film Festival in Egypt.

Worsdale says, “It’s a major challenge and expense to release any film, besides Hollywood products, in the South African marketplace. I hope we can raise the finance needed to allow a release, as the response from local audiences at our few screenings last year at Durban Film Fest and kykNET’s Silwerskermfees was phenomenal.

“The movie is distinctly South African, and a play on a genre moviegoers know so well but just haven’t ever really seen in the local context. People really liked it, but because it doesn’t fit into a demographic box for South African film – inspirational Karoo romance, Afrikaans teen comedy, racial slapstick going as rainbow fun, gangster films or political histories – the distributors and everybody else get cold feet and reckon maybe it’s just safer to skip a cinema release, where there’s no precedent for a so-called risky film like this.”

Concludes Worsdale: “Added to this is the local audience’s docile attitude to going out to see movies which in turn affects the speed that word of mouth can help the film. Often a movie just needs another week of positive word of mouth to allow it a run. If a local movie doesn’t leap out of the starting gate, it won’t see a second week.”

The film screens at JFF at 20h00 at Killarney Cine Centre where Worsdale and actor Brandon Auret will introduce the movie.

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