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Cape Town film-makers rejoice as ‘Carissa’ wins big at Venice International Film Festival

Deidré Jantjies. Picture: Instagram

Deidré Jantjies. Picture: Instagram

Published Sep 11, 2023


South African film-makers Deidré Jantjies, Annemarie Du Plessis, Jason Jacobs and Devon Delmar are celebrating a significant milestone in their careers.

Their feature film, “Carissa”, was selected for the “Final Cut in Venice” (FCV) at the Venice International Film Festival, which took place in Italy earlier this month.

The FCV is a platform for independent film-makers from Africa and select Middle Eastern countries to showcase their “work-in-progress” films to industry professionals.

Participating in such a prestigious programme gives film-makers an opportunity to showcase their work on an international stage, connect with industry professionals and secure support for the completion and promotion of their films.

“Carissa” tells the story of a young woman whose grandmother urges her to apply for a job opportunity on a new golf estate being developed in the mountains.

However, when she learns that the estate will be built over her estranged grandfather’s rooibos tea lands, she is confronted with a difficult choice: take the job or take over the land.

The process entailed presenting the working copy of the film to producers, buyers, distributors, post-production companies and film festival programmers.

“Carissa” won a €5 000 ( R101 600) cash award to support the film in post-production.

The film was also awarded €2 500) in post-production cost support and the acquisition of the non-commercial and non-exclusive broadcasting rights for seven years, with a value of €4 000 to €6 000, both from the Jury of Supporters award category.

Jantjies expressed her excitement and gratitude over the success of her first feature film as a producer.

“Little did we know that the film would win three awards, way beyond our expectations.

She hopes the achievement will inspire other emerging film-makers to share their work on the global stage.

“The cast and crew are delighted to have represented South Africa on a historical international platform of this nature, and hope this achievement will inspire other emerging film-makers to step out and pitch their work on a global stage.”

Hailing from Oudtshoorn, Dysselsdorp, originally, Jantjies, a cultural activist, is passionate about the historical stories of women.

Through her Na Aap Productions, she screens untold stories of southern Africa, focusing on stories closest to her heart.

“Carissa” is set to be released in 2024.

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