SA film under Cannes spotlight

10 May 2005

South African film comes under the spotlight at this year's Cannes Film Festival, running from 11 to 22 May.

A new component, Tous les Cinémas du Monde (All the Cinemas of the World), has been added to the world's most prestigious film festival, and South Africa is among the first seven countries to be highlighted.

The showcase will run as a sidebar to the main festival, with a different country being highlighted each day. South Africa joins Morocco, Mexico, Austria, Peru, Sri Lanka and the Philippines at this year's event.

Productions selected for the festival's South Africa day - 15 May - include "Boy Called Twist", "u-Carmen eKhayelitsha" and "Born into Struggle".

Nine South African short films have also been selected, including five by students of the SA School of Motion Picture Medium and Live Performance (AFDA). "Box", "SA/X", "Through the Flight of the Feathers", "Four Days" and "Under the Rainbow" were all produced by third- and fourth-year students of the college.

Sharlton Copley's "Hell Week", Akin Omotoso's "Rifle Road", "Riding with Sugar" by Sunu Gonera, and "2001: A Space Oddity" by Sharlton Copley and Simon Hansen complete the SA short film selection.

According to The Star Tonight, Zola Maseko's "Drum" has been selected for the Cannes Critics Week, and will also be screened as the opening film at the 50th Anniversary of African Cinema on 14 May.

All the Cinemas of the World came out of a desire to promote "the diversity and richness of a whole country's cinematographic production", said festival president Gilles Jacob.

Festival general manager Veronique Cayla said the initiative aimed to "bring the attention of industry professionals from all over the world to creations that have not crossed over their national borders and yet which deserve to travel more.

"With this initiative we hope to open people's eyes to the richness and variety of cinematographic creation in these countries." reporter

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Pauline Malefane as Carmen in U-Carmen eKhayelitsha, an isiXhosa version of Bizet's famous opera set in Khayelitsha township

'Twist' tells the story of a Cape Town street kid, based on Dickens' classic Oliver Twist