Red Dust, the gripping Truth and Reconciliation Commission suspense drama which stars Oscar Winner Hilary Swank (Boys Don’t Cry), will have its South African Premiere at the Cape Town World Cinema Festival at Sithengi on Wednesday, 17 November 2004 at 19h00 at the Main Theatre at ArtsCape. In attendance at the premiere will be the stars of the film, BAFTA nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor (Dirty Pretty Things), Jamie Bartlett and Nomhle Nkonyeni as well as its producers Anant Singh and Helena Spring. Also in attendance will be Gillian Slovo, the writer of the novel Red Dust on which the film is based.
Red Dust is an intense, suspense drama set during South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearings and explores its decisive struggle to heal the wounds of apartheid atrocities. The film masterfully blends powerful characters with serious political and ethical questions about oppression and healing. In the film, African National Congress Member of Parliament Alex Mpondo and human rights lawyer Sarah Barcant find their lives changed forever by a hearing in the small town of Smitsriver.
Red Dust had its World Premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September where it received a ten-minute standing ovation. The film also garnered rave reviews in Toronto, with Canada’s national daily newspaper, The Mail And Globe declaring, “Red Dust is a nuanced and engrossing court-room drama,” while the Hollywood Reporter said, “The film maintains a lively pace, and the story contains enough twists and turns to sustain interest.”
“Red Dust is a unique South African story and we are delighted to be having the South African premiere of Red Dust at Sithengi and to be presenting the film with the cast in attendance,” said producer, Anant Singh. “Red Dust represents the many thousands of hearings that took place across South Africa and this is one story of one such hearing. We are delighted to have produced the film as it reflects a very important part of our history. The film is enhanced by great performances of both the international actors and our local actors among whom are Marius Weyers, Ian Roberts, Jamie Bartlett and Nomhle Nkonyeni. We are pleased to have produced our first film with the Industrial Development Corporation and commend their proactive involvement in the film industry and their efforts in growing the industry,” added Singh.
Directed by Tom Hooper and written by Troy Kennedy-Martin (Italian Job, Bravo Two Zero), Red Dust is a Distant Horizon and BBC Films production in association with Videovision Entertainment and the Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa Ltd and is produced by Anant Singh, Helena Spring, David M. Thompson and Ruth Caleb. Red Dust was shot in South Africa on location in Graaff-Reinet in the Eastern Cape and in Johannesburg.