As we announced last week, the South African National Film & Video Foundation (NFVF) in association with the Department of Arts & Culture (DAC), is leading a South African delegation to the 65th Cannes Film Festival (which is currently underway, with about 4 days left until it ends).
Per the press release… This year's delegation is the highest compared to the previous years, with 130 filmmakers already confirmed as registered with the festival. The goal here is to demonstrate that South African cinema can compete on the international stage, and demonstrate that stories by South African filmmakers can resonate in the international market place.
Also, the initiaive's intent is to highlight a shift in the types of films currently being made in South Africa, getting "a lot more adventurous with genres," said Thandeka Zwana, Production & Development Executive at the Johannesburg-based (NFVF).
This year's showcase of South African films will include 20 projects – 12 feature films and 8 documentaries, including Otelo Burning, and the action comedy The Adventures Of Supermama, both we've already profiled.
Another one of those 12 "adventurous genre" feature films that caught my attention, is the heist film 31 Million Reasons, directed by John Barker.
Bollywood meets South African cinema is how it's being described.
A fictionalized heist film about corrupt cop Ronnie who has illusions of being above the criminal class, and who desperately wants to clean up his act. Ronnie is given the opportunity to go legit by a cash-in-transit guard… but only by orchestrating the biggest cash heist in South African history.
The film opened in South African in January, and is now available on DVD in that country. No indication that it's screened outside of South Africa… until now, with the Cannes initiative which might lead to international awareness and therefore, sales and distribution.
By the way, the film is based on a true story – thieves who made off with what they believed to be 1 Million rand, and discover that they'd in fact stolen 31 Million Rand, when they got back to their hideout.
Watch its trailer below: