Skeem, the second feature film from South African director Tim Greene, won the Audience Choice Award at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival recently and will release in local cinemas this week.
Greene is best known as the film maker who convinced 1000 people to each invest R1,000 in his first feature film, Boy Called Twist which released in 2003 and went on to screen at Cannes and festivals around the world.
Skeem was selected to compete in the Showcase section of the Abu Dhabi festival, putting it in competition with films by such legendary directors as Martin Scorsese, Wim Wenders, George Clooney, Steven Soderbergh, Werner Hertzog and Terry Gilliam.
“It was such a great honour just to be included,’ says producer Zaheer Goodman-Bhyat. “To actually win the audience award is a dream come true. To think that our local comedy film can travel and can be relevant to a global audience and compete successfully with the best films in the world gives me hope for the future of South African films.’
Director Tim Greene is justifiably pleased: “If you look at the cast lists of the films we were competing against, they’re all A-list Hollywood celebs! It just makes me feel so proud of our local talent. To be recognized and honoured in this way is so humbling. I set out to make a film that people would want to see, and so to know that they enjoyed it is immensely gratifying.’
Skeem is a classic mile-a-minute caper movie and Greene milks plenty of madcap mayhem from this farce about a motley collection of small-time crooks and greedy holidaymakers at a rundown resort plotting against each other to get their hands on a cardboard box full of cash.
Propelled by a strong ensemble cast, Skeem gleefully runs roughshod over cultural hang-ups and knowingly depicts a multiracial nation behaving badly, amid slapstick, gunplay and plot twists.
Included on the bill are household names like Grant Swanby, Kenneth Nkosi, Rapulana Seiphemo, Casey B Dolan, Terence Bridgett, Zikhona Sodlaka, David Isaacs and Kurt Schoonraad.
Skeem will be released by United International Pictures in South African cinemas on 28 October 2011.