25 years at Cannes


Leading South African production company Videovision Entertainment (Yesterday, Cry, The Beloved Country) is attending the Cannes International Film Festival for the 25th consecutive time this year.

The company is promoting its latest productions at Cannes, namely Prey, Faith’s Corner, Mama Jack and Spoon. Prey is directed by Darrell James Roodt (Yesterday) and stars Bridget Moynahan (I Robot, Lord of War) and Peter Weller (24, RoboCop). Faith’s Corner is also written and directed by Darrell James Roodt and stars Yesterday’s Leleti Khumalo and is scored by multi-award-winning composer, Philip Glass. Leon Schuster’s blockbuster hit comedy, Mama Jack, SA’s highest box office earner last for the 2005/2006 period, will also be presented to international distributors at the Festival.

Spoon, currently shooting in Cape Town, is a sci-fi thriller with supernatural overtones, is the first feature of the writing/directing team of Simon Hansen and Sharlto Copley who are known for their short films, 2001: A Space Oddity and Hellweek.

Among Videovision Entertainment’s forthcoming productions being discussed is Long Walk To Freedom, the film version of Nelson Mandela’s autobiography. It will star Morgan Freeman and More Than Just A Game, which is the dramatic and little-known story of organised soccer played among inmates of the Robben Island prison.

The international productions that Videovision Entertainment is involved in are Kite and American East. Kite is a live action version of the Japanese anime cult classic which will be directed by Rob Cohen (XXX, The Fast And The Furious). Dubbed as the first Arab-American film since 9/11, American East examines long-held misunderstandings about Arab culture and puts a human face on a segment of this American population that is presently in the spotlight. The film, to begin principle photography in Los Angeles on 3 July, will be directed by Hesham Issawi and will star Tony Shalhoub, the Emmy-winning star of the hit series Monk; Kais Nashef, leading actor in the international hit and Oscar-nominated Palestinian film, Paradise Now; and Egyptian-American actor Sayed Badreya.

On a broader level, the SA film Iidustry will have a high profile at Cannes, with a delegation led by the Minister of Arts And Culture, Dr Z Pallo Jordan, officials of the National Film And Video Foundation (NFVF), Geoff Qhena and the Media And Motion Pictures Business Unit of the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), as well as other filmmakers. One of the highlights for South Africans this year is the student short film Ongeriewe which is in competition in the Best Short Film category of the Cannes Film Festival.


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