PACKS IN THE CROWDS

Hundreds of peo­ple turn out to watch the screen­ing of a movie that cen­tres around a poor boy from Soweto who finds through ca­noe­ing

CityPress - - News - AVANTIKA SEETH avantika.seeth@city­press.co.za

The pre­screen­ing of the South African­pro­duced film Be­yond the River re­ceived roar­ing ap­plause from about 800 guests who turned up for the event on Wed­nes­day night at the Zone in Rose­bank. Based on the book Con­flu­ence by Piers Cruick­shanks, the film details the true events of two men from starkly dif­fer­ent back­grounds who over­come their personal chal­lenges to win gold in the 2014 Dusi Ca­noe Marathon.

True to the con­tent of the film, one of the dé­cor high­lights of this week’s event was a yellow ca­noe, po­si­tioned against a green screen backdrop, where photo-friendly guests could have their snaps taken while hold­ing pad­dles.

Lots of guests had fun par­tak­ing in the “staged” photo op, which had a sun­set background once the pho­tos were printed. Guests could also get the pho­tos emailed di­rectly to them al­most im­me­di­ately – a sure-fire way to keep them happy.

The event’s or­gan­is­ers live-streamed the ar­rivals on the red car­pet on Face­book, adding a touch of dig­i­tal flair, which is all the rage th­ese days. Wine flowed freely as guests in­dulged in fin­ger snacks. Some party-go­ers opted for the non­al­co­holic bev­er­age station, which served fresh fruit juice. Four cin­e­mas were used for the event to ac­com­mo­date the large turnout. At an in­for­mal me­dia brief­ing ahead of the screen­ing, the cast and crew shared some of their ex­pe­ri­ences while mak­ing the film. Vet­eran ac­tress Mary Twala looked fab­u­lous in a pur­ple full-length dress worn with a string of pearls.

Con­flu­ence author Cruick­shanks and Siseko Nton­dini, on whom the book is based, sat alongside the ac­tors who por­trayed them in the film.

Le­mogang Tsipa of When We Were Black fame plays Nton­dini, and Grant Swanby of Blood Diamond fame stars as Cruick­shanks.

Nton­dini said he was thrilled when he found out that Tsipa would be play­ing him be­cause he had, coin­ci­den­tally, seen him on TV the night be­fore.

This film is a hot­tie and well worth see­ing.

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