Pierre van Pletzen in the local movie Meerkat Moonship. Picture: Facebook

A South African movie that has already been accepted at 14 film festivals worldwide opened at cinemas on Friday, March 16.

Written and directed by Hanneke Schutte, Meerkat Moonship (Maantuig) follows the journey of a fearful young hypochondriac girl, Gideonette de la Rey, who believes in a family curse that has been passed down from generation to generation.

“It’s an enchanting film about the stories we tell ourselves: The stories that define our lives and, more often than not, limit our lives. With elements of magic realism, Meerkat Moonship is unlike anything we’ve seen in South African cinemas - it’s a beautiful story that shows us how to become braver,” said Schutte.

The film explores the idea that a curse is simply a story we tell ourselves.

“We always think about curses as these big dramatic things, but often a curse is simply a limiting belief that you have about yourself. The film shows us how to retell these stories in empowering ways,” she said.

Inspired by the youth novella Blinde Sambok by renowned SA author Riana Scheepers, Schutte used the book as a point of departure and turned it into a cinematic story, which she sets in the majestic forests of Magoebaskloof.

Starring Anchen du Plessis, Themba Ntulu and veteran actors Pierre van Pletzen and Rika Sennets, the film has been well received around the world.

“I’m so grateful and excited that our film seems to be resonating with audiences.

“At the Austin Film Festival in Texas, a lady gave me a note after the first screening telling me how much the film had meant to her and thanking me for writing it. I’ve been bombarded with messages from strangers telling me how much the film has affected them. That’s why I make films,” Schutte said.

The film’s main theme looks at finding the courage to face your fears.

“It’s a dark, beautiful and heart-warming tale that will inspire viewers to re-look at life and help them face the fears that are holding you back from achieving great things. Our child actors also truly carry the film, and we invest emotionally in these two characters that take us on a magical journey,” she said.

The Safta winner says the film is a feast for the eyes.

“It will take you on a magical journey through the misty forests of Magoebaskloof, Limpopo.

“It’s also an uplifting film that deals with friendship, death, hope and the triumph of the human spirit and it will leave you feeling inspired,” said Schutte.