Chief Executive of Videovision Entertainment, Anant Singh announced today that the company’s recently completed films, Yesterday and Red Dust have been selected for the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival which takes place from 9 to 18 September 2004. Both films will be presented at special screenings at the Festival. This marks the first time that two South African films will be afforded high profile slots within the Festival programme.
The Toronto International Film Festival is widely recognized as the most important film festival after Cannes and the most successful public film festival in the world and showcases hundreds of films each year. It attracts thousands of film industry representatives from around the world, as well as a large contingent of international media. The Festival is also acknowledged as the gateway to the North American film market, and hosts over 700 of the world’s sales and acquisitions executives.
Yesterday, the first-ever isiZulu feature film, is written and directed by Darrell James Roodt and stars Kenneth Kambule (Backstage, Generations, I Dreamed Of Africa), Harriet Lehabe, Camilla Walker and child star Lihle Mvelase. It is a moving story of a young mother named Yesterday who falls ill and discovers that she is HIV positive. Her husband, a migrant mineworker, refuses to accept this and she is left to fend for herself and her young daughter, Beauty, hoping that she will survive long enough to see Beauty go to school. Yesterday is a Videovision Entertainment production in association with the Nelson Mandela Foundation, M-Net, The National Film And Video Foundation, Distant Horizon and Exciting Films. Yesterday is executive produced by Sudhir Pragjee and Sanjeev Singh, produced by Anant Singh and Helena Spring and written and directed by Darrell James Roodt.
Red Dust, the directorial debut from Tom Hooper, is based on Gillian Slovo’s novel of the same title, with the screenplay by Troy Kennedy-Martin (Italian Job, Bravo Two Zero) and stars Academy Award-winner Hilary Swank and BAFTA winner Chiwetel Ejiofor (Dirty Pretty Things), Jamie Bartlett, Marius Weyers and Ian Roberts. Red Dust is a moving and suspense-filled story that explores the effects of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Red Dust is a Distant Horizon and BBC Films production in association with Videovision Entertainment and the Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa Ltd, produced by Anant Singh, Helena Spring, David M. Thompson and Ruth Caleb.
“We are proud to be presenting Yesterday and Red Dust at the Toronto International Film Festival,” commented Anant Singh. “The Toronto Film Festival is one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world and we are delighted to have two of our films selected this year. Yesterday and Red Dust tell unique South African stories that underscore important issues facing the country and we are delighted that they have been given high profile slots in the Festival programme,” added Singh.
The selection of Yesterday and Red Dust for special screenings at the Toronto International Film Festival is fitting as the Festival will further celebrate South African cinema in the National Cinema programme, “South Africa: Ten Years Later”.