Oliver Hermanus’s “Moffie” invited to premiere at Venice International Film Festival

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Artsvark Presser

Artsvark Presser is directly connected to the South African Arts Community, and spits out press releases and other news as passed on by community members.
Artsvark Presser

MOFFIE (Poster)Oliver Hermanus and Portobello Productions are delighted to confirm that their new film, MOFFIE, will have its World Premiere in the official selection of the 76th Venice Film Festival which starts on August 28, 2019.  MOFFIE was made in association with Hermanus’ Cape Town-based Penzance Films with the support of the Department of Trade and Industry South Africa.

This is the second film by Hermanus and only the fourth South African film to receive an official invitation to Venice in the 76 years of the festival. Hermanus’ previous film The Endless River (2015) was the first South African film to compete for the Golden Lion. MOFFIE will premiere in the Orizzonti (Horizons) Competition. Hermanus’ film SKOONHEID (BEAUTY) won the Queer Palm at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival and his first film SHIRLEY ADAMS was nominated for the Golden Leopard at the Locarno International Film Festival in 2009.

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MOFFIE is produced by Fugard Theatre founder South African born Eric Abraham who produced the Academy award-winning films  – Pawel Pawlikowski’s IDA (2014) and Jan Sverak’s KOLYA (1996) and Jack Sidey of Portobello Productions. It is based on the memoir, Moffie, by André-Carl van der Merwe and tells the story of a conscript who embarks on his military service in 1981 South Africa.

A still from the new film MOFFIE (photo credit Jamie D Ramsay)
A still from the new film MOFFIE (photo credit Jamie D Ramsay)

The film stars Kai Luke Brummer in his first film lead performance as well as a cast of sixteen young actors, many of whom make their feature film debut.

In 2018 the producers of the film along with casting director Jaci Cheiman hosted a nationwide casting call for the film’s lead and for the other conscripts. Kai Luke Brummer attended no less than eight individual castings before bagging the leading role of Nicholas.  Two of the near thousand hopefuls who responded to a Facebook and press campaign and consequently attended the casting sessions in Johannesburg, Matthew Vey and Rikus Terblanche, landed other principal parts in the film. They are both still in high school.

The creative team behind MOFFIE are Hermanus regulars, working on what is their third collaboration with the director and they include SAFTA award-winning production designer, Franz Lewis, renowned costumer Reza Levy and director of photography, Jamie D Ramsay.  The original score is composed by Braam du Toit and the film is co-produced by another Hermanus collaborator, Thérèsa Ryan – van Graan. The film was shot last summer in various Western Cape locations.

Hermanus had this to say: ’I am so honoured to return to Venice. The head of the festival, Alberto Barbera, has been such a wonderful champion of my work and I in turn am extremely proud of the cast and crew that have been a part of this return to Venice. We really became one big family making this film and it will be a crowning moment to present the film to them in the context of such prestigious occasion like Venice, not to mention the audience of over a thousand people. What a trip!’

Every year The Venice Film Festival is a highlight of the international film calendar, welcoming only the best in the cinematic arts and plays host to celebrity-filled premieres and film events.  It takes place from 28 August to 7 September on the Lido in Venice, forms part of the Venice Biennale and is the oldest film festival in the world.

MOFFIE will be released in South Africa later this year.

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