On 14 May South Africa’s National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) presented the following feature film projects at the Cannes Film Festival in France: Makeba, Otelo Burning, Whiplash, Spoon, Retribution, Whale, Khabzela, Supermama, Saving Sunnyshore, De Jong and the Rustlers, Crossroads, Four Corners, Stockholm, Zululand, Tin of Paint, The Consequence, Zambezia, Zizi & Boondogle and Roepman.
The documentaries Surfing Soweto, Rebirth, Dear Mandela and Short Films: Dirty Laundry, Umkhungo were also presented to international buyers, sales agents, distributors, festival programmers and financiers.
Following the presentation was the South African networking event which, according to the NFVF, has steadily become one of the most sought after invites at Cannes. The networking event provided an opportunity for South African delegates to network with key international decision makers. South Africa’s DJ Switch provided the guests with the best of home-brewed music.
A film by Hollywood-based South African director Mukunda Michael Dewil, Vehicle 19, starring Paul Walker (Fast and Furious) who is also executive producer, has been sold to Optimum Releasing for the UK and Kinowelt for Germany (both arms of StudioCanal). Produced by Peter Safran and the NFVF’s former head of New Ventures Ryan Haidarian, the film has also gone to Falcon in the Middle East. Vehicle 19 centres around an unsuspecting traveller in a foreign country who picks up the wrong rental car and becomes tangled in a web of corruption by the local police.
Another project that promises to leave Cannes with signed deals is Zambezia, directed by Wayne Thornley and produced by Stuart Forrest. Zambezia has been filling the screening rooms since its first promo screening on 12 May. This animated film is about a high-spirited young falcon determined to be independent of his stifling father. He ventures off into the magical world of Zambezia and discovers that no matter how fast and talented a flier he is, no bird is an island.
South Africa’s participation at the Cannes International Film Festival is facilitated by the NFVF, situated at the Village International no 121 at the Palais des Festivals in Cannes.