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Cannes 2012 – South African Cinema Getting More Adventurous w/ Genres With “The Adventures Of Supermama”

Cannes 2012 - South African Cinema Getting More Adventurous w/ Genres With "The Adventures Of Supermama"

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 5 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, which we’ve already profiled.

Another one of those 12 “adventurous genre” feature films that caught my attention, starting with its title, is the action comedy The Adventures Of Supermama

The film asks the question: What if crime-ridden Johannesburg found its champion in a superhero with no superpowers, a hero who is an ordinary, overweight mama from Alexandra?

Synopsis reads:

Johannesburg, present day. Doris is a large, stubborn but charming woman in her mid 30’s. She dreams of being a crime fighter, but when confronted by crime in her community, she always causes more chaos than good. Doris’s life changes forever when she meets a belligerent Kung Fu master called Mr. Hung, who can catch bullets between his teeth. Mama convinces Mr. Hung to train her. Mama’s husband ‘Jubs’ is baffled by his wife’s new ‘occupation’, and he finds himself doing the dishes and cooking. Mama’s training is tough and unexpected encouragement arrives in the form of Tiny, the 10 year old boy who lives next door. Mama improves at Kung Fu, and finally manages to chop wood in half with her hand. Ignoring Mr. Hung, Mama declares herself ready to fight crime and sews up a homemade superhero costume. Was she maybe a bit hasty?

Directed by Karen Van Schalkwyk, from a script penned by Ben Tjibe, some digging revealed that the 90-minute film is an expansion of a short made in 2006 as a pilot for a trilogy of short films. 

It’s not entirely clear if the NFVF will be screening the completed feature at Cannes, or a piece of it, or the short film. The film’s Facebook page shows that, as of mid-March, casting had just begun, so I really doubt that the film is already complete, 2 months later. So it may just be a promo for it, to entice audiences.

Info is sparse, but it’s now on my watch-list.

I found the below promo poster on the film’s website, and not much else.

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