First Afrikaans film selected for Cannes


Skoonheid (Beauty), the new Afrikaans-language feature film from award-winning South African director, Oliver Hermanus, has been invited to compete at the 64th Cannes Film Festival (11-22 May) in the Official Selection of the Un Certain Regard category. The film is the first to be produced under the South Africa-France co-production treaty, which was signed at last year’s Cannes Festival.

It is only the fifth South African film to be selected for competition in Cannes and the first in the Afrikaans language.

Skoonheid is the second film from 27-year old Hermanus, following his much acclaimed debut, Shirley Adams. Hermanus wrote the screenplay of the film while attending the 19th session of the Cannes Film Festival’s Cinefondation in Paris, from October 2009 to February 2010. 

The creative team behind Skoonheid comprises of a collection of young talents – 28- year old Jamie Ramsay is only the second South African DOP to have his work showcased in the Official Selection in Cannes. Thirty-three year-old South African co -producer Dylan Voogt,  27-year-old film composer, Ben Ludik, and 25 year old, actor, Charlie Keegan will all make their debut at Cannes.

The Un Certain Regard  section this year comprises of new works by well established filmmakers such as Gus Van Sant (Milk, Good Will Hunting & Elephant) , Bruno Dumont (29 Palms, Humanite) and the famous South Korean director Kim Ki – Duk (The Isle, 3-Iron).

Skoonheid tells the story of Francois van Heerden  a mid-forties, white, Afrikaans-speaking family man living in Bloemfontein, who has become devoid of any concern for his own happiness. He is totally unprepared for a chance encounter that unravels his well-controlled life.

Cape Town born Hermanus has a BA in Film, Media and Visual Studies from The University of Cape Town. He began his professional career as a press photographer for a national news agency and then received a private scholarship to attend The London Film School in 2006. His graduation film, Shirley Adams, premiered In Competition at The Locarno International Film Festival In 2009 .Hermanus was then selected to attend the Cannes Film Festival Cinefondation.

More on Skoonheid in the May issue of Screen Africa.


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