Woodwind in competition at Cape Town International Film Festival
Mon, 04 Sep 2017 10:58
South African director Fin Manjoo’s debut feature film, Woodwind has been
selected in the official competition at the 10th Cape Town International Film Festival.
This year the festival moved from the Cape Winelands to Cape Town’s Waterfront and
will also boast an international film market.
Woodwind is nominated for the Grand Prix Best Film, Best Director, Best
Debut Film, as well as Best South African Film and is also in contention for other cast
and crew awards, to be determined by an international jury.
Woodwind’s international cast and crew hail from five continents. The drama
about a music composer, Bonifaz who goes to India to solve a mystery, stars
Argentine actor Leandro Taub, who’s also starring in Alejandro Jodorowsky’s
Endless Poetry (Poesia sin Fin) which is currently released across the United
States and Europe. An emotional Taub dubbed Woodwind his best
The lead actor
“My entire life has been preparing me for acting in Woodwind and be Bonifaz. I am
very happy to say today that I’ve met the Bonifaz in me. This film made me grow,”
After the World Premiere in Cape Town, Woodwind is expected to play in
cinemas around the world at film festivals in a circuit running until around July 2018.
Thereafter the usual cinema, television, DVD/Bluray and video rental distribution
channels will follow.
Writer-director Fin Manjoo graduated with an Honours Degree in Film from the
University of Cape Town in 2003. He lived in many countries, expanding and maturing
his understanding of the world, before jumping straight into a story project. The
intention was to create deep, thought-provoking films.
“Cinema always exhibited the potential for viewers to be involved beyond light
entertainment. With Woodwind our mind’s potential is far stronger than what
filmmakers have been able to tap into, or are even aware of. My intention was to push
these boundaries using age-old techniques that achieve this with sound (music) and
poetry with motion pictures,” said Manjoo.
The cinematographer Woodwind’s Swiss cinematographer Nicolas Joray‘s body of work spans over
four decades. He’s worked with Francesco Rosi and Pasqualino de Santis (Death in
Venice), and was the DOP on many films such as The Yellow Star, Bye Bye
Berlusconi and Baltic Storm. Having shot around the world, including
tough environments such as Chernobyl and with extensive experience in Africa, Joray
proved to be a strong choice to work under testing conditions in the Himalayas.
“I loved the room for multiple interpretation between the lines. The storyline itself has
a simple structure, but in a more metaphysical direction based on pure existentialism.
The searching of Bonifaz really opened a philosophical dimension,” said Joray.
In a film about a young composer’s personal and musical journey, Austrian composer
Stefan Fraunberger was the choice due to his art with unconventional instruments
such as dulcimers or baroque church organs. In his own words his music “reshapes
the liminal conditions of culture & perception, while evoking images of sonic
ambiguity.” His compositions mutate beyond the realm, “capturing otherworldly
Fraunberger has developed his music from the Vienna music schools to Romania,
Syria (before the war), Yemen, Central Asia, Iran, London, Belgium, Turkey, Pakistan
and India. With Woodwind telling us how the power of natural sound
transforms our sense of reality, it was essential for Fraunberger to not only compose
music, but also design the psychological soundscapes in Bonifaz’s world.
American actress, Jasmin Jandreau, won Best Actress at the 2013 Breckenridge
International Film Festival and the 2014 Texas Attic Film Festival in Austin, for the film
The Trail. Having studied singing, dance, ballet and acting, Jandreau has
acted in a number of features in Europe and America, and will star in the new screen
adaptation of Emily Bronte’s novel Wuthering Heights as Catherine Earnshaw.
In Woodwind Jandreau plays Agna, the woman who inspires Bonifaz to make
his first big leap to travel to India.
Germany based actress, Andrea Christina Furrer, also hails from a ballet, singing and
drama background, boasting dozens of performances from theatre to television in
Europe. She played Maria in the theatre version of Andrei Tarkovsky’s Offret
(Sacrifice), where she won the Ingmar Bergman Scholarship. Next she will be the
lead character in Tragači (2017). Now in Woodwind she plays
Bonifaz’s other half, Alina.
Produced by Fin Pictures, other than the Asian, European and American crew, there
were many key members from South Africa. Local member Marcel Duvenage was the
sound designer. In the acting department there’s Gopala Davies, known for his
performances in SA television series and theatre. Then there’s Cape Town musician
Naresh Chauhan (the son of Jamnadas Chauhan) who performed the sitar and tabla.
Woodwind trailerThe South African feature film begins at film festivals around the world this summer...