Nom­i­nated film crew needs funds to get to Venice

CityPress - - News - GAR­RETH VAN NIEK­ERK gar­reth.van­niek­erk@city­press.co.za

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:

venice­fund­ing@gmail.com

Crys­talDonna Roberts and Oliver Her­manus

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