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Local film makers to showcase features at the Cannes Film Festival

Bonnie Sithebe is a film producer, director and the co-founder of Durban Motion Pictures.Image Supplied

Bonnie Sithebe is a film producer, director and the co-founder of Durban Motion Pictures.Image Supplied

Published May 11, 2022

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By: Siyabonga Sithole

Two emerging local female filmmakers, Boni Sithebe and Sithabile Mkhize have been chosen to represent South Africa at the upcoming 75th edition of Cannes Film Festival from May 17-28. The two producers will form part of the KZN Film contingent that treks to Cannes and other film destinations on a yearly basis to sell the country as a serious and attractive film destination.

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According to the KZN Film Commission, the two filmmakers were selected from a long list of other applications received as part of the commission’s strategy to empower women filmmakes within the province.

Sithebe is a film producer, director and the co-founder of Durban Motion Pictures, an independent production company that has done extensive work in KZN with feature films such as Zithande, Amathafa and many other films and television productions.

Reacting to the news of her upcoming trip to France, Sithebe who is the former scriptwriter for Imbewu said she is excited about the prospect of showcasing her craft at an International platform such as Cannes.

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"As someone who has worked for years producing local content, this opportunity for me to pitch my next project at an international level such as Cannes could not have come at a right time. Where my career is going beyond producing only for local consumption but for the world. I am greatful to the KZNFC to have always supported my journey, as they still do, Sithebe said.

She says The Valley of a Thousand Hills is a story about a young woman who comes from a conservative village, who must choose between living a lie to stay the perfect Zulu daughter or risk her life for true love. Nosipho has a secret. A loving daughter held up as an example in her community, with a domineering father who has chosen a potential husband for her, but her soulmate and one true love is a woman.

The film is produced by Philane Sithebe and stars Mandisa Vilakazi and Sbongokuhle Nkosi. Sithebe is scheduled for her first pitching session on the 21st of May at the Pavilion Afrique.

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God’s Work produced by rising star Sithabile Mkhize tells a story of four homeless friends who are caught between escaping their hardships and being swallowed up in the process. The film is a profound and satirical exploration of the human beings that exist on the margins of society. Written and directed by Michael James, God’s Work is produced by Sithabile Mkhize with Toni Monty as the executive producer.

“As per our strategic goals of empowering the youth and woman in the industry in the telling of their stories, Ms. Sithebe and Ms. Mkhize’s projects stood out, and we are confident that they will achieve the objectives they have set in attending the festival,” COO of the commission, Jackie Motsepe said in a media statement.

The festival has in the past decades become of the of the leader film destination in the world attracting Hollywood stars and other art film stars from across the globe looking to showcase their works and clinch new production deals.

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