Durban film-maker Janet van Eeden with screenwriter Joe Eszterhas  who made Basic Instinct  at the London Screenwriters Festival last year. Van Eedens short film, A Shot at the Big Time, has been accepted for the Cannes Film Festival.

A DURBAN film-maker’s short film, inspired by the story of her brother being killed while doing border duty as part of military conscription, has been accepted for screening at the Cannes Film Festival.

A Shot at the Big Time, which premiered at last year’s Durban International Film Festival, was produced and written by Janet van Eeden, a lecturer at AFDA film school in Durban North.

Delighted to hear her film had been selected for the Cannes Court Metrage, the short-film corner of the Cannes Festival, which runs from May 14 to 25, Van Eeden said: “This honour is something my co-producer, Magda Olchawska, and I have dreamed of since we joined forces to make A Shot at the Big Time, the short,” she said.

“We met online when I ran a crowd-funding campaign for the film in 2011. I am working hard now raising funds to make the feature film by the end of the year, so when Magda let me know we had been accepted I was over the moon.”

A Shot at the Big Time was one of the projects selected for the Durban Film Mart in 2012. It was awarded an eThekwini Film Award in November.

When she couldn’t get funding for the feature film without giving away the rights to the film, Van Eeden decided to do her crowd-funding campaign and produce the film herself.

She did not raise enough money for the feature but did find a young director from Australia, Stephen de Villiers, and London producer Olchawska. The lead actors auditioned online.

Olchawska will represent the film at Cannes, as there has not been time to raise sponsorship for Van Eeden’s visit.

However, the whole team plan to present the film when they enter the feature into the festival. - The Mercury