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Siembamba, aka The Lullaby receives eight nominations at AAMA 2018

Phoenix Films and Valhalla Productions recently announced that the South African horror film, Siembamba (The Lullaby) is nominated in eight categories at the annual AAMA 2018 (Africa Movie Academy Awards) set to take place on 22 September 2018 in Kigali, Rwanda. Earlier this year Siembamba received its much-anticipated red carpet premiere in Hollywood. The film stars the talented Reine Swart (Z Nation, Detour), Thandi Puren (The Furnace, Sober Companion), and Deànré Reiners (Mignon Mossie van Wyk, Dis Koue Kos, Skat and Seun).

Siembamba follows Chloe, a young girl returning to her home town, overwhelmed by the birth of her first child. Despite the care from her somewhat overbearing mother, Ruby, the baby’s incessant crying, and the growing sense of guilt and paranoia sends Chloe into a dark depression, with a heightened urge to protect her son. Distraught, she pays a visit to family psychologist Dr. Reed, who diagnoses her intrusive thoughts and anxiousness to a mild case of baby blues. Yet the thoughts grow worse and more violent. Chloe hears voices and the humming of a childhood lullaby. She sees a strange entity around her child. Convinced that the entity is real, she does everything in her power to protect her son. Desperate, Chloe finds solace in the arms of her childhood friend, Emile, who lives on the outer edge of town. The world around Chloe implodes and it becomes clear that she and her child are in imminent danger. But from what? Is this just a case of the baby blues? Or is it something more sinister?

Siembamba premiered on 1 March 2018 at the Laemmle Fine Arts Theatre in Beverly Hills. Following this, the film was released in over 150 cinemas in the USA, as well as in Japan, Canada, Vietnam and the United Arab Emirates. Siembamba is not only a breakthrough for Phoenix Films, but certainly for South African film as well. Siembamba was also nominated for two SAFTA awards and the Siembamba script is preserved at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Margaret Herrick Library for study purposes. It was also ranked by Rotten Tomatoes as the 17th Best Horror Movie for 2018.

Siembamba is nominated in the following categories:

  • 1. Best achievement in make-up: Mary Sue Morris
  • 2. Best achievement in soundtrack: Alun Richards
  • 3. Best achievement in visual effects
  • 4. Best achievement in cinematography: Justus de Jager
  • 5. Best achievement in editing: Leon Gerber
  • 6. Best actress in a leading role: Reine Swart
  • 7. Best director: Darrell Roodt
  • 8. Best Feature Film

Siembamba aka The Lullaby is proud to be nominated amongst other great feature films, it is a huge privilege and honour to be nominated for this prestigious awards ceremony,” concluded the press statement.

View the film trailer here.

The Lullaby premiers in Hollywood

In a night of glamour and prestige, The Lullaby, our proudly local horror film premiered at the Laemmle Theatre in Hollywood. The red-carpet event was attended by producers André and Samuel Frauenstein, as well as leading lady, Reine Swart, who was recently nominated for Best Actress at the South African Film and Television Awards (SAFTA) for her performance in this indie horror. Also in attendance was Alun Richards, who’s post-production studio helped The Lullaby take the SAFTA nomination for Best Sound Design as well. Among the glittering attendees were Zimbabwean actress Sibongile Mlambo, known best for her roles in Teen Wolf and Black Sails, as well as upcoming series Lost in Space. Hillary Barraford, known for Go for Sisters and United States of Tara was seen posing for photographers, as well as Isabel Oliver Marcus, known for her role in This is Us.

The Lullaby continues to make its way around the world, being invited to the 25th edition of Dead by Dawn, Scotland’s international horror film festival. The event, which stands at the UK’s longest running genre film festival, will take place from 19 to 22 April 2018.

Treurgrond nominated 5 times at the 2018 Amsterdam International Filmmaker of World Cinema

It has been almost three years since Treurgrond was released in South Africa in 2015. Yet still, the poignant drama continues to bring home accolades on an international level. Phoenix Films recently announce that Treurgrond has obtained five nominations from the Amsterdam International Filmmaker Festival of World Cinema, taking place from 12 to 14 August 2018.

Writer, Tarryn-Tanille Prinsloo, has been nominated for Best Original Screenplay of a Foreign Language Film. Oscar-nominated director, Darrell Roodt, is nominated for Best Director of a Foreign Language Film. Actress, Jana Strydom is nominated for Best Supporting Actress in a Foreign Language Film and Director of Photography, Pierre Smith, is nominated for Best Cinematography in a Foreign Language Film. Treurgrond itself is up for Best Foreign Language Film.

This follows the film’s four nominations at the RapidLion Film Festival, South Africa in 2017, and its win of Best Feature Film at the Richard Harris International Film Festival, Ireland in 2016. In the same year Jana Strydom and Shaleen Surtie-Richards were nominated at the South African Film and Television Awards (SAFTAs) for Best Lead Actress and Best Supporting Actress respectively. The year also held a nomination from Huisgenoot Tempo for Best Film of the Year. Before that, Treurgrond was showcased at the 2015 Silwerskerm Film Festival.

Treurgrond tells the painful story of a farming community dealing with the numerous farm attacks confronting South African farmers almost every day. These gruesome acts not only affect the farmers and their families but the community and country as a whole. The film stars household names Steve Hofmeyr, Shaleen Surtie-Richards, Jana Strydom, and Erica Wessels, as well as Boikie Pholo, Graeme Kriege, Richard Lunkunku, Barbara-Marié Immelman and André Frauenstein (Jr).

Treurgrond has also recently been sold to China through its international distributors Free Dolphin.



South Africa’s Phoenix Films strikes China TV deal

Phoenix Films has announced that they have sold three of their films:
Treurgrond, Mignon’Mossie’ Van Wyk and Trouvoete to
China. This deal was struck by producer Andre Frauenstein and international
distributors Free Dolphin, at the American Film Market (AFM) in Santa Monica which
took place from 1 to 8 November 2017.

The AFM is the largest film market in the world and has proved to be an invaluable
juncture of shoulder-rubbing with key figures in the industry for Mr Frauenstein.

Mignon “Mossie’ Van Wyk, is a touching coming-of-age story narrated by the
quiet but observant sister, starring Erica Wessels (Hatchet Hour, Alles Wat Mal Is),
Deanre Reiners (Dis Koue Kos,Skat, Verskietende Ster), and introduces
Tanika Fourie. The youth drama is achingly relatable to the way we recount our
teenage years.
Treurgrond tells the painful story of a farming community dealing with the
ongoing farm attacks and gruesome murders plaguing farmers in South Africa. The
moving tale stars Steve Hofmeyr (Platteland, Agter Elke Man), Erica Wessels,
Jana Strydom (Bram Fischer, Swartwater) and Shaleen Surtie-Richards (Fiela se
Kind, Vaselinetjie
Trouvoete is the hilarious romantic comedy starring Bouwer Bosch (Sy
Klink Soos Lente, Vuil Wasgoed
) and Erica Wessels in which a clueless doctor and
beautiful dreamer fall in love online. Their meeting gets complicated by the dramas of
weddings and Christmas time.

All three of these films were directed by the Oscar-nominated Darrell Roodt and
written by Tarryn-Tannille Prinsloo.

Mignon ‘Mossie’ van Wyk walks away with Best Feature Film award

Phoenix Films’ love story Mignon ‘Mossie’ Van Wyk, has won Best Feature
Film at the Richard Harris International Film Festival for 2017!

The producers, as well as Thandi Puren, represented Phoenix Films at the festival this
past weekend in the town of Limerick, Ireland, where both Mignon ‘Mossie’ van
as well as Phoenix Films’ latest psychological thriller, Siembamba
(starring Reine Swart and Thandi Puren), screened as nominees in the category of
Best Feature Film.

Mignon ‘Mossie’ Van Wyk, is a touching coming-of-age story narrated by the
quiet but observant sister, starring Erica Wessels (Hatchet Hour, Alles Wat Mal
), Deanre Reiners (Dis Koue Kos, Skat, Verskietende Ster), and
introduces Tanika Fourie.

This win follows that of Phoenix Films’ debut Treurgrond, which won Best
Feature Film at the Richard Harris International Film Festival in 2016.
Treurgrond, starring Steve Hofmeyr, in the moving story of a community of
farmers, families and investigators dealing with the ongoing epidemic murders seen in
South Africa.

Treurgrond, Mignon ‘Mossie’ van Wyk and Siembamba were
all directed by Oscar-nominated director Darrell Roodt, who also received the Lifetime
Achievement award from the festival this year.

Phoenix Films couldn’t be more proud, and would like to thank all our producers,
investors, cast and wonderful production teams for holding these films up to an
international standard for the world to see.

Phoenix Films presents two films at the 2017 Richard Harris International Film Festival

Phoenix Films and Valhalla Productions are excited to announce that two of their
proudly home-grown films will be screening at the renowned Richard Harris
International Film Festival in Ireland this month.

Mignon “Mossie’ Van Wyk, a treasured love story, and Siembamba,
the gripping psychological horror, will be gracing the big screens of Limerick during
the festival which plays off from 26 to 30 October 2017.
The rather dramatic contrast between these films reflects the vast diversity in which
the Richard Harris International Film Festival celebrates and welcomes entries from all
over the world.
Phoenix Films past involvement with the Festival earned them the 2016 Best Feature
Film for the film, Treurgrond, a drama surrounding farm murders in South

Mignon “Mossie’ Van Wyk, a touching coming-of-age story narrated by the
quiet but observant sister, stars Erica Wessels (Hatchet Hour, Alles Wat Mal
), Deanre Reiners (Dis Koue Kos, Skat, Verskietende Ster), and
introduces Tanika Fourie.
The youth drama is achingly relatable to the way we recount our teenage years. On
the other side of the spectrum, Siembamba plays on old South African folklore, as
experienced by a girl coming to terms with motherhood and her relationship with her
own mother, while undergoing serious postpartum psychosis – or is it something else?

The film stars Reine Swart (Detour, Dominion, Jamillah and Aladdin),
Thandi Puren (Racing Stripes, Dead Easy) and Brandon Auret (Elysium,
Chappie, District 9

Both films, as well as Treurgrond, were under the direction of the prominent
Oscar-nominated director, Darrell Roodt. Among many others, Roodt has directed
Sarafina!, Winnie Mandela, Yesterday, Little One and Cry, The Beloved
. This year he will be receiving the Lifetime Award from the Richard Harris
International Film Festival for his outstanding work. Also attending the trendy event
will be supporting actress for Siembamba, Thandi Puren, and producer Andre

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