Mr Johnson stars Paul Slabolepszy and Jana Cilliers. Picture: Supplied
Mr Johnson stars Paul Slabolepszy and Jana Cilliers. Picture: Supplied

'Mr Johnson' to premiere at Garden Route International Film Festival

By Entertainment Reporter Time of article published Sep 6, 2020

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“Mr. Johnson”, starring Paul Slabolepszy and Jana Cilliers, will have its international premiere at the “Garden Route International Film Festival (GRIFF)” from September 21 to October 11.

In line with the international festival trend, this year’s GRIFF will go virtual.

Directed by William Collison whose previous work include “Dis Koue Kos”, “Skat” and “Jagveld”, this is the fourth film from Azania Productions, the team behind the box office hit “Broken Promises Forever”and “Blessers”.

“Mr Johnson”, a bitter-sweet drama examines some of the ways old people are disregarded, side-lined and invisible in society.

When David Johnson awakes from a 47-year coma at the age of 73, he has a hard time dealing with his aged body and the fact that he has missed out on more than half his life.

As he slowly steps into this strange new world, his youthful exuberance is undimmed and with a little prodding, he tackles life and love with the energy and passion of a man half his age. However, like many other people of his age, he also has to wrestle with issues of loneliness and alienation.

The film also stars Frank Rautenbach, Sisanda Henna, Graham Hopkins, Jailoshini Naidoo, Carla Claassen, Drikus Volschenk, Anthony Cole, Heike Brunner, Clayton Boyd, Marinus Gubitz, and Mila Guy.

Writer and director William Collison said the inspiration for “Mr Johnson” came from his own existential crisis a few years ago.

“The inspiration for Mr Johnson came to me when I was going through an existential crisis a few years ago and suddenly became aware of my own mortality. What would it be like to slip into a coma, wake up in old age, and, with only a few years left, have to figure out the meaning of life,” he said.

Producer Aimee Dherman said the virtual nature of the festival means that the film can showcase to a much wider audience than ordinarily.

The “Garden Route International Film Festival” takes place from September 21 to October 11.

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