Sunrise Productions, the team behind the award-winning feature length animated film, Legend of The Sky Kingdom, has just completed production on its live action feature, The Silent Fall, in Cape Town.
Backed by US-based executive producer Johan Sturm, and driven by award winning director/writer Roger Hawkins and writer/producer Phil Cunningham, The Silent Fall is about the brutal murder of a South African doctor who is on the brink of discovering a break through generic Aids drug.
If found to be successful, the cost-effective drug could cripple pharmaceutical giant, the Kingdom Corporation. The story explodes into a web of intrigue and danger as Kingdom’s role in the doctor’s death is brought into question. This, and a continent in the grips of a heartless pandemic, provides the dramatic backdrop against which heroine Dr Thandie Khumalo’s (played by US-based rising star Aaliyah Madyun) personal journey unfolds. Co-starring are Mathew Rutherford and Justin West.
Said Cunningham: “Film is without doubt the most powerful medium for telling stories and communicating across all cultural barriers. Our goal is to use the power of film responsibly and positively. To tell stories that inspire the human spirit. The Silent Fall is that kind of story.”
Sunrise Productions will be donating 10% of film profits to real-life heroes such as The Desmond Tutu HIV Aids Centre and other charitable Aids organisations.
Meanwhile, Sunrise Productions is in development with Seretse and Ruth – A great African love story. Seretse Khama was born a prince, became a man of conviction and was rewarded with exile and rejection. He withstood the criticism of his own family and the hatred of Western Powers, leading his people to freedom. The nation of Botswana is his legacy.
As the first president of Botswana, Khama’s political career is part of Southern African history. His love story is the saga of a young African prince and the English girl he fell in love with. Seretse and Ruth is their story and writers, Wilf and Trish Mbanga, have immersed themselves in their lives. Having married across the colour lines in racist Rhodesia, they have also lived through many of the Khama’s trials and their empathy resonates in their telling of the Khamas’ story.
Cunningham believes that Seretse and Ruth is a story that will fill the big screen in an unbelievable way. “Their story is one of Africa’s greatest. It captures the continent’s history through the eyes of one of its great leaders, and gives an insight into the heart of the man through the exceptional story of Ruth and Seretse’s romance.”
With the blessing of the Khama family, the Mbangas have worked together with Hawkins on a screenplay. The film is in development and director Sunu Gonera has signed on to direct and co produce. Gonera is currently living in LA working on two projects for Lions Gate.