SA filmmaker talks about his debut at Cannes

By admin
10 May 2011

The South African film Skoonheid (Beauty) has been selected for the Un Certain Regard section at the 64th Cannes International Film Festival which starts tomorrow.

It is only the fifth South African film to be selected for competition in Cannes and the first in Afrikaans.

YOU asked the director of the film, Oliver Hermanus, a Capetonian, some questions before the festival kicks off in Cannes, France.

The festival starts tomorrow. Are you in Cannes already?  

I will arrive this weekend and stay for a week. The film will premiere next Tuesday night on the Promenade de la Croisette.

What were you doing when you heard the news that Skoonheid had been selected for the Un Certain Regard section at the 64th Cannes International Film Festival?

I was actually in Paris. At the very moment when the phone rang, I was in the office of our producer, Didier Costet.

He called me into his office and said that someone wanted to speak to me on the phone. I picked up the receiver, it was Christian Jeune on the line from Cannes, and he was very excited to tell that Skoonheid was in!

It took about two days for the news to sink in completely. It still feels like a bit of a dream.

What does it mean for you to see your film at this prestigious festival? 

For me it’s a huge personal achievement. I really wanted Skoonheid to have its premiere there. For me Cannes was a mirage growing up, something that seemed impossible to reach. It really is unbelievable.

When will we see Skoonheid in South Arica? 

Skoonheid will hopefully be out in South Africa in August this year.

What is the film all about? 

The film is about the main character, Francois,  who lives a skillfully controlled, well managed life, in Bloemfontein, South Africa. Father of two daughters and a devoted husband, he is wholly unprepared when a chance encounter unravels his clean and ordered existence.

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