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Skoonheid director to tackle Judas next

2011-08-10 14:29
Cape Town – Skoonheid director Oliver Hermanus is already working on his third feature film. This time, he depicts a biblical tale that offers a glimpse of the life of Jesus as seen through the eyes of the man who betrayed him in The Gospel According to Judas.

"I wanted to shed light on a character that viewers think they know. Unlike Shiley Adams, who was so obviously a victim, or Francois in Skoonheid that the viewer gradually becomes acquainted with, it had to be someone that the viewer is already familiar with."

However, with Hermanus as director, the film is sure to be unique. "I’m letting it play out as a thriller. My research takes me on a long journey – there was never really peace in the Middle East. That is part of the investigation. The challenge also lies in portraying a time different from the present."

Cyclical career

Skoonheid which is currently showing nation wide in theatres was named Best South African film at the Durban Film Festival recently. The film was also singled out by the international jury at the festival where it competed against 22 international films.

"My career seems to be moving in cycles. It began at the film festival in Durban; that’s why it remains special to me. If you want to know what is happening in international cinema, you have to come here," Hermanus added.

Hermanus is especially excited about the current revival of Afrikaans cinema.

"Afrikaans audiences are cultured. Just look at the choices available to the Afrikaans speaking community from the brilliant Roepman to the comic drama Getroud met Rugby to musicals like Liefling."

Hermanus has never received government funding for his work. He is especially suspicious of film organisations.

"I don’t think a filmmaker should complete a course with his screenplay. Rather the film has to found in the filmmaker. We should also be wary against formulaic premises."

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