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Videovision Entertainment’s Four Films in Sithengi

On the eve of the opening of the South African Film And Television Market (Sithengi), producer Anant Singh announced the successful completion the films Red Dust, Yesterday, Faith’s Corner and Dollars & White Pipes, all of which were announced at the market last year. Of the four films, Red Dust and Yesterday will be screened as part of the Cape Town World Film Festival at Sithengi this year with Red Dust having its South African Premiere at Sithengi on Wednesday, 17 November while Yesterday will be screened on Friday, 19 November. The South African premiere of Red Dust at Sithengi will be attended by director Tom Hooper, its producers Anant Singh and Helena Spring and its stars Chiwetel Ejiofor, Jamie Bartlett, Nomhle Nkonyeni and Leslie Mongezi.

Red Dust which also stars Oscar Winner Hilary Swank, Ian Roberts and Marius Weyers had its World Premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September, received critical acclaim in Toronto 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 on location in Graaff-Reinet in the Eastern Cape and in Johannesburg.

Yesterday has received significant international acclaim and had gala screenings at the World AIDS Conference in Bangkok and the Venice and Toronto Film Festivals earlier this year and was also screened at the American Film Institute Festival last week. Yesterday has also been selected as South Africa’s Official Entry for Consideration for the 2005 Academy Awards in the category of Best Foreign Language Picture. The production of Yesterday saw key South African film industry players in Videovision Entertainment, M-Net and The National Film And Video Foundation, partnering with the Nelson Mandela Foundation to produce the first-ever commercial isiZulu feature film. Written and directed by veteran director Darrell James Roodt (Place Of Weeping, The Stick, Sarafina!, Cry, The Beloved Country) and produced by Anant Singh and Helena Spring, Yesterday stars Leleti Khumalo of Sarafina! fame, Kenneth Kambule (Backstage, Generations) and newcomer Lihle Mvelase.

Singh also announced the completion Faith’s Corner and Dollars & White Pipes which are currently in post-production.

Faith’s Corner directed by Darrell James Roodt and starring Leleti Khumalo follows Faith and her two young sons Siyabonga and Lucky who live on the streets of modern day Johannesburg. Faith works a busy street junction scrapping coins together by begging from passing motorists. With the little money she makes she tries to raise her children as best as she can though they often go to sleep hungry and scared. Faith must not only combat the apathy of the wealthy elite that pass her everyday but also the distrust and anger of the locals.

Dollars & White Pipes is based on the true life story of Bernard Baaitjies who grew up in Hanover Park, marks the first feature film of director, Donovan Marsh who is known for his television productions of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? and MTN Gladiators and the award-winning short film, Dead End. Marsh wrote the script in collaboration with Bernard Baaitjies. Dollars And White Pipes stars a host of Cape talent, among whom are Clint Brink (Generations), Joey Yusuf Rasdien, Shaun Arnolds, Genevieve Howard and Nikki Nelson. Dollars & White Pipes is a Videovision Entertainment production in association with M-Net. The film is produced by Anant Singh and Helena Spring, executive produced by Sanjeev Singh and Sudhir Pragjee, written by Donovan Marsh and Bernard Baaitjies and directed by Donovan Marsh.

“We are delighted to have completed production on all the films we announced at Sithengi last year,” said Anant Singh. “Sithengi is an important platform for the South African film industry and we are pleased to have been present at every market since its establishment in 1995. The market provides an opportunity for the South African film industry to network with key international players and introduce the benefits offered by our vibrant industry. Videovision Entertainment produced four films over the last year, while there were more than fifteen other films produced in the country over the same period. The support of the National Film and Video Foundation, the Industrial Development Corporation and M-Net has contributed greatly to the confidence in the South African film industry and we are certain that this spells more film production in the future,” continued Singh.

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