SA film to open Berlin festival

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BY BILLY SUTER

AFTER recently celebrating its selection to have its world premiere in competition at the Sundance Film festival in the US, the makers of the South African film, The Wound, have received news that the film has been selected to open the Berlin International Film Festival’s Panorama section in February.

Produced by Urucu Media, directed by John Trengove and co-written by Trengove, Thando Mgqolozana and Malusi Bengu, The Wound stars multi-talented musician and novelist, Nakhane Touré in his acting debut, with Bongile Mantsai and Niza Jay Ncoyini.

Publicist Sharlene Versfeld explains that the film tells the story of Xolani, a lonely Xhosa factory worker, who joins the men of his community in the mountains of the Eastern Cape to initiate a group of teenage boys into manhood. When a defiant initiate from the city discovers his best kept secret, Xolani’s entire existence begins to unravel.

Speaking from Cape Town, producer Elias Ribeiro said: “We could not have wished for a stronger start for The Wound. We will have the spotlight in the two top festivals in North America and Europe, and that bodes well for its future, as Pyramide, our International Sales Agents, will be representing the film at their booth inside the European Film Market in Berlin in February.”

the-wound
A scene from the South African film, The Wound.

The Berlin International Film Festival website describes the Panorama programme as a showcase of “new films by renowned directors, debut films and new discoveries. The selection of films provides insight on new directions in art house cinema. Traditionally, Auteur Films – movies with an individual signature – form the heart of the programme, and aims to take quality independent film out of its niche into the spotlight of the international market”.

“The fabrication of masculinity has long been a consistent theme in Panorama,” said the statement from the festival. “Producer Elias Ribeiro previously delighted festival audiences in Panorama 2015 with Necktie Youth.”

John Trengove commented: “I was interested in what happens when groups of men come together and organise themselves outside of society and the codes of their everyday lives.

“I wanted to show the intense emotional and physical exchanges that are possible in these spaces and how repressing strong feelings leads to a kind of toxicity and violence. As an outsider to this culture, it was important that I approach this story from the perspective of characters who are themselves outsiders, who struggle to conform to the status quo of which they are part.

The Wound is a co-production between South Africa, Germany, The Netherlands and France and was shot on location in the northern region of South Africa. The film was developed with the assistance of The Hubert Bals Fund and ARTE International Prize.

The Department of Trade and Industry and The National Film and Video Foundation , as well as The World Cinema Fund, supported the production, and the film pre-sold to broadcasters ARTE France and ZDF in Germany. The film’s intended release in South Africa is July 2017.

For more information about The Wound, visit www.urucumedia.com/thewound


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