Nominated film crew needs funds to get to Venice
Award-winning Cape Town film maker Oliver Hermanus’ latest movie, The Endless River, is the first South African film to be nominated for a Golden Lion at the hugely prestigious Venice International Film Festival next month.
But critical crew members are being left behind because they cannot afford to go.
One member in particular, Theresa Ryan-van Graan, the celebrated producer responsible for getting productions like Hollywood blockbuster Homelands filmed in Cape Town, won’t be able to see the grand premiere in Venice unless money is found.
“Film makers don’t make movies alone; they make them with producers and actors, and lots and lots of other crew members. But Theresa was that person who was standing right next to me at five o’clock in the morning until seven o’clock at night for the duration of the shoot,” Hermanus told City Press this week.
“I think it just seems wholly unfair that she’s not going to be able to experience the red carpet.”
At this stage the Sydney Film Festival’s director, Nashen Moodley – who is the former director of the Durban International Film Festival – has made a contribution towards her travel costs, as has the film’s production company, Moonlighting Films.
But it’s not enough – and so Hermanus has sent a formal application to the mayor of the Cape Town, Patricia de Lille. However, he is also appealing to the public to help.
Meanwhile, the film’s leading lady, Crystal-Donna Roberts, will be in competition for the best actress award in Venice. She plays a small-town waitress opposite French star Nicolas Duvauchelle. In the film, he’s a French ex-pat and they form a bond when his family is caught up in a farm murder.
The film marks Hermanus’ return to the global circuit after his controversial Skoonheid (Beauty) won the award for the best gay film in Cannes in 2011.
When the news broke of the Venice nomination, he told City Press Roberts needed to find a red carpet outfit – preferably one created by a local designer.
This week Roberts said she would be wearing an outfit by local designer JJ Schoeman – the celebrity couturier famous for dressing beauty queens and high-profile businesswomen.
“What I like about him is, first, he contacted me to design a dress for me and, secondly, he has such a good name. He’s designed dresses for Miss South Africa and Bonang. It was quite a thing for me that JJ asked if he could make something for little old Crystal.” To contribute to the fund, email:
CrystalDonna Roberts and Oliver Hermanus