SA film director honoured at Sundance

2012-01-27 14:53

South African filmmaker Ettiene Kallos is one of four people awarded the 2012 Sundance Institute’s Mahindra Global Filmmaking Award.

The award, given in recognition and support of emerging independent filmmakers around the world, was presented to him during the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah in US, on Tuesday.

Kallos, who is currently working on the film Vrystaat, received $10 000 (about R79 000), year-round mentoring from staff at the Sundance Institute and other creative advises, and participation in a feature film programme laboratory.

The other recipients were Australian Ariel Kleiman for his film Partisan, Dominga Sotomayor of Chile (Late To Die Young) and Shonali Bose from India (Margarita, With A Straw).

Kallos’s new film Vrystaat is set during the yearly maize harvest in Free State, and explores the rites of passage into manhood for a new generation as they navigate identity and sexuality.

Unique perspective
Developed at the Cannes Cinefondation Residence programme in Paris, France, the film is the New York-based filmmaker’s latest offering and follows his award-winning Eersgeborene, the first Afrikaans-language film to be awarded a Lion for Best Short Film at the 2009 Venice Film Festival.

Eersgeborene, Afrikaans for “firstborn”, was his thesis project for his Masters degree in film directing at Tisch School of the Arts at New York University.

Eersgeborene tells the story of incestuous brothers on a remote ostrich farm, who descend into matricide and madness.
Another of his short films, Doorman, was screened at the Cannes Film Festival in 2006 to critical acclaim.

Kallos frames much of his work around his unique perspective as a Greek from South Africa, as well as the exploration of sexuality and masculine identity.


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