The star of the Videovision Entertainment’s The First Grader, Naomie Harris, who plays the lead role of Jane Obinchu in the multi award-winning film, has been cast in the new James Bond film, Skyfall, the 23rd film in the James Bond franchise. Harris will play one of the most famous and memorable roles of the Bond franchise, that of Miss Moneypenny. Harris, who gives a powerful performance in The First Grader, won the Best Actress Award at the Kenyan International Film Festival last week for her role in the film. She has also received international acclaim for this role at leading film festivals including Telluride, Toronto, London, Tribeca Doha and a host of others.
The First Grader, which has a strong South African association with Videovision Entertainment being one of the co-production partners as well as featuring well-known South African actors Vusi Kunene, Tony Kgoroge, Israel Makoe and Shoki Mokgapa, is written by South African born Emmy winner, Ann Peacock.
Last week, The First Grader scooped the main prizes at the Kenyan International Film Festival, winning the Best Actor (Oliver Litondo), Best Actress (Naomie Harris) and Best Film Awards. Among the awards the film has received are The DGB Trade Union Award – Audience Choice and The Bernhard Wicki Award – Best Film at the Emden International Film Festival; the Audience Award: Best Feature Film and Director’s Choice Award: Best Feature Film at the Sedona International Film Festival; the Audience Award at the Doha Tribeca Film Festival and the Pan African Film Festival; Best Film at the Palm Beach Film Festival and was runner-up to The King’s Speech for the People’s Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival as well as the Audience Prize at the Durban International Film Festival. Music Composer, Alex Heffes, won the Discovery of the Year prize for his work on The First Grader at the 2011 World Soundtrack Awards held at the 38th Ghent International Film Festival.
The First Grader is currently on release in South Africa and is scheduled to be released in Kenya and the rest of East Africa and West Africa in December 2011.
The First Grader is a BBC Films and UK Film Council production in association with Videovision Entertainment, Lipsync and ARTE France. It is a Sixth Sense / Origin Pictures production directed by Justin Chadwick and stars Naomie Harris, Oliver Litondo, Vusi Kunene, Tony Kgoroge and Israel Makoe. It is written by Ann Peacock, produced by David M. Thompson, Sam Feuer and Richard Harding and executive produced by Anant Singh, Helena Spring, Joe Oppeheimer and Norman Merry.