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Oliver Hermanus readies biblical new film

2012-06-20 11:28
 
Cape Town - South African director Oliver Hermanus, whose most recent Afrikaans film Skoonheid debuted at Cannes' Un Certain Regard in 2011, has a new film of biblical proportions in the works.

The new movie, titled The Well, sees Hermanus reteam with Didier Costet, his French producer-distributor on Skoonheid, reports the major Hollywood trade publication Variety.

The Well boasts a $5m budget and is an English-language period film that will shed light on the complex relationship between Judas and Jesus.

According to Variety, Hermanus is in the process of polishing the script, which Costet describes as "fascinating, clever and well-researched".

'Extremely excited'

Hermanus, 28, told Channel24 that the new project will be on a larger scale than his two previous films, Skoonheid – which won the Queer Palm award in Cannes last year for its portrayal of a middle-aged South African man struggling with his latent homosexuality – and multi-Safta winning drama Shirley Adams.

"The challenge of bringing this story to the screen will be my most ambitious film project to date," said Hermanus.

"Never before have I had my future work 'announced' in the trades so it's definitely a new stage in my career. Needless to say we are extremely excited about this film!"

Hermanus also shared that the cast and crew of The Well will comprise of more international faces than his previous films, which featured acclaimed performances from South African actors such as Deon Lotz (Skoonheid) and Denise Newman (Shirley Adams).

"I hope to work with as many talented South African actors as possible. I also hope to bring well known artists and technicians to SA to see how we do things and plant our flag firmly on the film biz map," he told Channel24.

Filming on The Well is expected to start in autumn next year.

"I will be scouting South Africa soon and hopefully find all of the landscapes we need at home before looking abroad," said Hermanus.

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