Johannesburg - The controversial, award-winning young director Oliver Hermanus says he was "shocked" when he first learned that his latest movie, The Endless River, has become the first ever SA feature to be chosen to compete for the top award, the Golden Lion, at the prestigious Venice International Film Festival in September this year. And that his leading lady, Crystal Donna Roberts will be in competition for best actress.
Serious international film making cred doesn’t come much bigger than this.
"It took a few days to sink in," said Hermanus from Cape Town this afternoon, even though he has had international festival success before, when his dark and groundbreaking Skoonheid won best gay film at Cannes.
But he quickly diverted the attention away from himself.
"It’s a great opportunity to celebrate the achievement of South African acting, he said … Crystal is nervous, I’m sure. I spoke to her this morning. But she’s gonna have to own that red carpet, wearing something by a local designer, not Armani."
Liza van Deventer/Die Burger)
Hermanus says he hopes the country gets behind her achievement. "It’s a huge deal. Coloured actresses get typecast, so this is a big breakthrough."
Hermanus, who wrote the script for The Endless River, is known for his intense and intimate sets where he draws the most he can from his actors.
Roberts plays a small-town waitress opposite French star Nicolas Duvauchelle. He’s a French ex-pat and they form a bond when his family is caught in a farm murder.
"It’s a very interesting bond. One that becomes the undoing of them both," was all he would tell City Press.
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