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Penguin Films is one of the premiere film and television production companies in South Africa, having achieved success both locally and internationally in the fields of feature film, long form television drama ,comedy and reality series.

Krotoa heads to Beijing

Local historical drama, Krotoa, has been invited to attend the eighth Beijing International Film Festival, from 15 to 22 April 2018, to compete for a prestigious Tiantan Award! Winners will be selected from ten categories, including Best Feature Film, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Music and Best Special Effects.

The news of the film’s inclusion in the festival, follows closely on the heels of the success of leading lady, Crystal-Donna Roberts, who has just won a SAFTA for Best Actress for her captivating portrayal of this forgotten heroin and who will also be attending the eventin Beijing. Roberts, who is currently starring in kykNET’s brand new sitcom, Mense Mense, comments: “It is amazing to get recognition for my craft, especially considering the controversy surrounding this film. It is a story about a woman who few people know about and whose contribution to our country is barely recognised. Although the film won international awards, it just means so much for her memory that it has now also received a local award. Hopefully this will lead to the discovery of many similar stories in the future.”

Armand Aucamp, who plays the role of Jan van Riebeeck, as well as Roeline Daneel (Maria van Riebeeck), Ernest St. Clair (Doman) and award-winning director and producer, Roberta Durrant, will also be attending the festival in Beijing. “We are very excited for this award and thrilled that the organisers of the festival offered to fly and accommodate four cast members and the director to Beijing. The continued interest in Krotoa is remarkable and it is very encouraging that her story continues to travel the globe via these festivals,” shares Roberta Durrant, about this latest accolade. “It is so exciting because the movie has been featured at various international film festivals, but we have never had the opportunity to attend until now. I am looking forward to experiencing, first-hand, the reaction of international audiences to the film,” Crystal-Donna adds.

Written by Kaye Ann Williams and Margaret Goldsmid, this impressive drama tells the true story of a brave Khoi princess, who is removed from her close-knit Khoi tribe to serve Jan van Riebeeck, her uncle’s trading partner. She is brought into the first Fort, established by the Dutch East India Company in 1652. There she grows into a visionary young woman, who assimilates the Dutch language and culture so well that she rises to become an influential interpreter for van Riebeeck, who became the first Governor of the Cape Colony. Krotoa ends up being rejected by her own Khoi people and destroyed by the Dutch, when she tries to find the middle way between the two cultures.

Aside from its exceptional local achievements, the movie has won eight international awards and has received numerous selections from various film festivals. It has also been selected as the gala opening night film at the Toronto South African Film Festival in October 2017.

Krotoa was produced by the SAFTA Award-winning film company, Penguin Films, in association with kykNET, the NFVF and the Department of Trade and Industry and was locally distributed by Ster-Kinekor Entertainment.

 

Krotoa impresses at local box office

“Roberta Durrant tells the story of Krotoa with impeccable direction and provides a fresh, new take on an untold story, now told for the first time. Definitely something that should not be missed!,’ says film expert, Leon van Nierop, about this historical hit, which performed so well during its opening weekend. The film recently launched at twenty five cinemas across the country and has already been seen by about 7 500 viewers, earning nearly half a million at the box office. It has also made its debut onto the Top 10 of the national movie charts. This is an exceptional achievement for a South African drama.

This remarkable drama tells the story of a feisty, bright, young eleven-year old girl (Charis Williams), who is removed from her close-knit Khoi tribe to serve Jan van Riebeeck (Armand Aucamp), her uncle’s trading partner. She is brought into the first Fort, established by the Dutch East India Company in 1652. There she grows into a visionary young woman, who assimilates the Dutch language and culture so well that she rises to become an influential interpreter for van Riebeeck, who became the first Governor of the Cape Colony. Krotoa (Crystal-Donna Roberts) ends up being rejected by her own Khoi people and destroyed by the Dutch, when she tries to find the middle way between the two cultures. She loses everything to give birth to the great nation we all share today.

The film, written by Kaye Ann Williams and Margaret Goldsmid, was created by a dynamic team of women, with acclaimed filmmaker Roberta Durrant as director and producer. “We are very encouraged by the opening weekend of Krotoa – we had wonderful reviews from Media24, Rapport, Daily Sun, The Star, Bioskoop and City Press. The film was given a four star rating, with all the media encouraging South Africans to step out and see the film. We are pleased about this because, as a period piece, it is advantageous to see the film on the big screen. It is clear to us from the feedback from the opening weekend that the film has a wide appeal to all South Africans,’ says Durrant. Scriptwriter, Kaye Ann Williams, who previously worked on a documentary about Krotoa’s life, is equally excited about how the film was received: “I am thrilled about the opening weekend, but especially thrilled about the discourse the film has opened up around the important subject of KROTOA and her contribution to our history.’

“Although I usually regard it as a cliche when someone says that a movie is “on international standard’ “or’ that it “looks just like an international production’, I often caught myself thinking the very same thing while watching this film. There is something about the clarity of the images, the quality of the sound design and the way in which the shots were planned – that is on a completely different level,’ says Bioskoop’s Anna-Marie Jansen van Vuuren. “Krotoa is a thought provoking film that will stay with you long after the credits roll. This film is a must-see for all South Africans and hopefully it will start a dialogue about the untold history of indigenous people,’ Channel24’s Leandra Engelbrecht concludes.

Krotoa was produced by the SAFTA Award-winning film company, Penguin Films, in association with kykNET. It also features impressive performances by actors such as deur Jacques Bessenger, Deon Lotz, Marcel van Heerden, Roeline Daneel, Brendan Daniels en Ernest St Clair. The film can currently be seen at cinemas, nationwide, and is distributed by Ster-Kinekor Entertainment.

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