SA filmmaker makes history at Venice Film Festival

Cape Town - The Endless River, the third film by award-winning South African director, Oliver Hermanus, made history on Wednesday when it was selected as the first ever South African film to compete for the top prize "The Golden Lion" award at the Venice International Film Festival.

The line-up for films at the 72nd Venice International Film Festival was announced at noon at an official press conference at the Excelsior Hotel in Rome.                                     

The Venice International Film Festival’s main competition selection is considered, each year, to represent the greatest in cinematic achievement from around the world.

A first for South Africa:

Hermanus, who also penned the screenplay, becomes the first ever South African director to be included in the illustrious competition which has formerly included some of the global entertainment industry’s most celebrated movies.

Last year Birdman, the 2014 Academy Award Best Picture winner competed for the coveted Golden Lion prize.

The Endless River stars South African actress, Crystal Donna Roberts, and French actor, Nicolas Duvauchelle.

A proudly South African story:

Set in the small town of Riviersonderend in the Overberg region, the human drama tells the story of a French expatriate and a small town waitress who form an unlikely bond after the brutal murder of his family on a farm.

"We are thrilled about this prestigious selection… it is a great achievement for Oliver, the entire team and the broader South African industry," commented producer, Genevieve Hofmeyr.

The Venice International Venice Film Festival is the oldest film festival in the world, and is regarded as the most distinguished. It is held on the Lido in Venice and is organised and hosted by La Biennale di Venezia.

The film will be released on the South African theatrical circuit by Black Sheep Films.

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