Country continues to raise profile in international events
South Africa continues to raise its profile on the world film stage, and Cannes will host a number of events centered on the country’s biz.While Oliver Schmitz’s “Life Above All” unspools in Un Certain Regard, Lulu Xingwana, minister of the country’s Dept. of Arts and Culture, is expected to sign a South Africa-France co-production treaty. This will enable co-productions from both territories to qualify for the different local incentives, like the Dept. of Trade and Industry’s 35% rebate for the first $750,000 and 25% for the remainder of the qualifying South African expenditure. South Africa also has apavilion in the International Village. Today, the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) will host an event presenting 21 South African projects to international sales agents, financiers, distributors, co-production partners, buyers and festival programmers. Features include “State of Violence,” by Khalo Matabane, and Roy Zetisky’s “A Tin of Paint,” based on a Nicholl Fellowship semi-finalist screenplay by Paul Johnson. Short films include Bhekumuzi Sibiya’s “Father Christmas Doesn’t Come Here,” which won for narrative short at Tribeca this year, and Jan-Hendrik Beetge’s “Abyss Boys,” which won for short film at the African Movie Academy Awards. Documentaries include Liza Key’s “Rewind: A Cantata,” winner of the South African Film and Television Award for documentary, and “Surfing Soweto,” about township teenagers who ride on top of speeding trains. Steven Silver’s “The Bang Bang Club,” which revolves around a group of young photographers who captured the final bloody days of apartheid, will screen Saturday and Sunday as part of Perspective Canada. The film stars Ryan Philippe, Taylor Kitsch and Malin Akerman.