Videovision announces slate at Cannes

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At the opening of the 60th Cannes International Film Festival on 16 May, CEO of Videovision Entertainment Anant Singh announced a diverse slate of forthcoming films and the acquisition of two high profile films being presented at the Festival. Videovision Entertainment is one of the few South African companies that has attended Cannes consistently for more than 25 consecutive years.

Shooting in Cape Town is Videovision Entertainment’s “More Than Just A Game’, a feature length docu-drama which tells the dramatic and little-known story of organised soccer played among prisoners on Robben Island. Award-winning filmmaker Junaid Ahmed is directing a script co-written by himself and Mail & Guardian columnist, Tom Eaton while “Tsotsi’s’ Presley Chweneyagae stars.

The sci-fi supernatural thriller, “Spoon’ is currently in post-production. Written and Directed by Sharlto Copley and Simon Hansen and starring Darren Boyd and Rutger Hauer, “Spoon’ unveils the life of 28 year old Daniel Spoon who suffers from a medical condition which causes him to black out during moments of extreme stress. He subsequently undergoes a journey to discover his destiny while finding out the cause of his medical condition.

Currently in development is the sequel to the super-hit comedy “Mr. Bones’ to be partly shot on location in India as a co-production with an Indian production company. The film stars Leon Schuster while Gray Hofmeyr will direct a screenplay written by himself and Schuster. “Mr. Bones’ hold the record as the highest grossing South African film of alltime, earning more than R33 million at the box office.

“We are thrilled to be announcing this exciting slate of projects at the 60th edition of the Cannes Film Festival,’ said Anant Singh. “These are exciting times for us as we have a slate that goes across the genres of docu-drama, science fiction and comedy. What is even more exciting is that these movies will be done in South Africa and we are looking forward to our first co-production with India,’ added Singh.

On the distribution front, Sanjeev Singh, Head of Acquisition and Distribution for Videovision Entertainment announced that the company had secured the South African rights of two high profile films, “We Own The Night’ and “Talk To Me’ prior to them being premiered at Cannes.

“We Own The Night’, which is In Competition in the Official Selection, will premiere at the Festival on Friday, 25 May. The film, written and directed by James Gray, features a star-studded cast, among whom are Joaquin Phoenix, Mark Wahlberg, Robert Duvall and Eva Mendes. Set in New York in 1988, the film tracks a new breed of narcotics that sweeps the city, bringing with it a ferocious crime wave more terrifying than any in recent memory. Outmanned and outgunned by the new criminal order, the police find themselves burying one of their own at the rate of two a month. An all-out war rages threatening to engulf guilty and innocent alike.

“Talk To Me’, starring Academy Award nominee Don Cheadle and Chiwetel Ejiofor, is written by Michael Genet and Kasi Lemmons who also directs. This is the powerful real-life story of Ralph Waldo “Petey’ Green, an outspoken ex-con who talks his way into becoming an iconic 1960s Washington DC radio personality. Inspired by the era’s vibrant soul music and exploding sense of social consciousness, Petey actively stirs up controversy at a white-owned station. Relying on his producer, Dewey Hughes to mediate, Petey’s unprecedented “tell it like it is’ style gives voice and spirit to the community during an exciting and turbulent period in American history. “Talk To Me’ premiered in Cannes on 17 May.

“We are delighted to have scooped the rights to these two films prior to their Cannes premieres,’ commented Sanjeev Singh. “We believe that they will be critically acclaimed commercial films, hence our acquisition of these films for South Africa. “Talk To Me’ is a powerful film that speaks about social consciousness and the freedom of expression and is of special significance to South African audiences in our infant democracy.’

We Own The Night and Talk To Me will be released in South Africa by Videovision Entertainment through United International Pictures.

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