The inaugural South African Film Festival took place in Tehran this week where Videovision Entertainment�s Academy Award Nominated film, Yesterday opened the Festival at a gala screening hosted by the South African Ambassador in Iran, Mr Yusuf Saloojee. Producer, Anant Singh and director, Darrell James Roodt were in attendance and introduced their film the audience. The screening of Yesterday was very well received and garnered wide acclaim from the Iranian audience.
Afsoon Azami, Executive Assistant to the Ambassador in Tehran said, “I am deeply moved by Yesterday. It is the first film that I have seen in an African language, yet I felt its powerful message. The story of Yesterday is really touching.”
The South African Film Festival in Iran was attended by a strong contingent of South African filmmakers, among whom were Ian Gabriel (Forgiveness), Khalo Matabane (Conversations On A Sunday Afternoon), Francois Verster (The Mother�s House) and Munier Parker (Tamat).
Mr Yusuf Saloojee, the South African Ambassador to Iran commented, “We are pleased to have hosted the first South African Film Festival in Iran and to have had some of South Africa’s most talented filmmakers travel to here to attend this event. We are delighted to have initiated dialogue between filmmakers from Iran and South Africa through the Festival and it is our intention to make the South African Film Festival in Iran an Annual event. We are also thrilled to have had Yesterday open our festival with producer, Anant Singh and director Darrell James Roodt introducing the film and with the great response Yesterday received from the local audience here.”
The 11th International Film Festival of Kerala in Trivandrum, India will open tomorrow (8 December 2006) and will feature a retrospective of films produced by Anant Singh and Videovision Entertainment. Among the films featured in the retrospective are Sarafina!, The Stick, Yesterday, Paljas, Red Dust, The Long Run and Cry, The Beloved Country. Singh will be attending the Festival with director Darrell James Roodt who will serve on the jury of the festival.
“Iran has a very strong filmmaking community and it was an honour to be able to present Yesterday to an Iranian audience. We are also looking at collaborative partnerships to co-produce films, both in South Africa and in Iran. On the whole the South African Film Festival in Iran was a resounding success,” commented Anant Singh. “India is the largest filmmaking country in the world, and it is a special honour for me that the Kerala International Film Festival has decided to honour me and with a retrospective of films that I have produced. This is an accolade that is shared with the thousands of people that have worked on all these films, and the exceptional talents and commitment that went into getting them made. I am looking forward to watching some of the films again, like The Stick which I have not seen in many years,” continued Singh.