On the closing of Sithengi, the South African Film and Television Market, producer Anant Singh announced the acquisition of the movie rights to the book, Karoo Boy written by Troy Blacklaws after a serious bidding war. The deal was concluded by Helena Spring on behalf of Singh’s Videovision Entertainment and Julian Friedmann of Blake Friedmann Literary Agency who represent the author, Troy Blacklaws. Singh also announced that Karoo Boy will be directed by rising local director, Sunu Gonera.
Karoo Boy is an intensely personal story of a young man’s search for identity after the accidental death of his twin brother. Removed from an idyllic seaside existence and displaced into a small and arid Karoo town, his journey to maturity is marked by the conflicts of South Africa in the 70’s, sexual awakening in a repressed society and ultimately, the recognition of a devastating loss which sets him free to claim his future. Redolent in its South Africanness, the story of Douglas Marsden transcends its cultural setting and resonates with universal values.
“Karoo Boy is definitely hot property and we are thrilled to have acquired the movie rights to it,” said Anant Singh. “We immediately knew that it would make a compelling film and set out to acquire the rights. Karoo Boy is a story of grief and loss and about a special relationship between two individuals from vastly different backgrounds. It is a delicate, yet absorbing story and will translate well into film. We are also delighted to have Sunu Gonera attached as director. He is very talented and Karoo Boy will be his first feature film,” added Singh.
Book deals for Karoo Boy have just been concluded at the Frankfurt Book Fair. It has been sold to Harcourt in the United States, Duckworth in the United Kingdom, Flammarion in France and to Ambo Anthos in Holland.
Isobel Dixon, Troy Blacklaws’ agent commented, “I was struck from the first by Troy’s writing: visceral, memorable, shot through with sensuality and colour, with such a powerful visual sensibility. I knew I would secure book deals for Karoo Boy, and hoped for the passion of a discerning filmmaker who could bring the story to the screen. As someone from the Karoo myself, I am particularly thrilled that such a fine team, rooted in Southern Africa, has committed to the project.”