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Fest sets African premieres

World Brief

JOHANNESBURG — One of the biggest success stories of the annual Sithengi Southern African Film & Television Market, the Cape Town World Cinema Festival, is being held for the third time this year from Nov. 12-20 in conjunction with the 2004 market (Nov. 16-19).

This year’s festival, which has been planned around South Africa’s 10 Years of Freedom celebrations, has doubled in size since 2003 to feature more than 90 films from 25 countries in 195 screenings, with a focus on the themes of forgiveness and reconciliation.

The opening film will be the African premiere of Zola Maseko’s “Drum,” a feature based on the true story of the life of one of South Africa’s legendary folk heroes of the anti-apartheid struggle, the flamboyant, hard-drinking Drum magazine investigative journalist Henry Nxumalo (Taye Diggs).

Another anticipated South African title scheduled to have its world premiere at the festival is director Tim Greene’s “Boy Called Twist,” an adaptation of “Oliver Twist” featuring the street children and underbelly of Cape Town.

Greene’s debut feature has already gained attention for the way in which it was funded: He appealed to potential investors — at traffic intersections, on the Internet and on radio — to invest in the film project. To the surprise of many, he attracted 1,000 shareholder investors, from leading industry players to ordinary folk, to get the project off the ground.

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